Even smaller distributors can carry tens of thousands of SKUs; managing that amount of data can quickly become overwhelming. Finding the right platform for storing product data should be a priority when creating an online catalog, says David Jacobs, president of Sam's Custom Catalog Services in Balancing Online & Print Catalogs.
A good database can store millions of data points, accommodate fast changes and ideally will tie to order systems and inventory management systems.
"By doing that, you will have consistent product data across all of your systems, and that will provide costs savings over time," he says.
Even if you don't have an online store with buying options, Jacobs says having complete product descriptions available online will afford a significant advantage over having a simple price list or nothing.
Read more about the challenges of moving distributor catalogs and sales online in our premium article, Balancing Online & Print Catalogs.