In addition to announcing that APPA Search will soon be replaced, APPA can also now announce that it has partnered with Brandconnect to develop Promodata, a new digital tool that aims to make supplier data more accessible to the industry.
APPA CEO Wesley Fawaz said that ‘one of the key findings of last year’s APPA Search/IT Survey was that distributors need better access to up to date supplier product data. What is often very time consuming and difficult to manage, many Distributors are still needing to individually import individual supplier's data into their own IT systems.”
Promodata is based on an existing technology platform developed and currently used by Brandconnect. The objective of the new service is to improve the online experience of searching for and sourcing products (a key priority for distributors), reduce administration time (for both suppliers and distributors) and to provide distributors with better access to supplier product ranges.
Promodata will firstly feed the supplier data into the new APPA Search and will also be available for distributors via API connection for an annual subscription fee.
APPA and Brandconnect are in the final stages of developing Promodata. and are currently working to update the APPA Format to further standardize supplier data. One of the missing elements of the APPA format is that there is no standard set of product types or sub-categories for products. Each supplier categorises their products differently which makes it difficult to sort and match products for search purposes We are recommending the APPA Format having a defined set of product types and sub-categories rather than having them currently undefined, so that we don’t continue to end up with Drink Bottle vs Water Bottle etc.
"Having supplier product data in a consistent and standard format, accessed via a single source point will provide many benefits for suppliers and distributors," said Mark Hudson, Managing Director of Brandconnect.
"It is why Promostandards was established in the US as it allows data to be presented on a website in a uniform and consistent way. This is better for the end-user and distributors as it saves time, is up to date and convenient."
Further details regarding the project will be announced in coming months.