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Companies adopting SCP 4.0 have reported up to 65% inventory reductions and annual savings over $2 million. This vendor managed inventory and demand planning solution provides great suggestions to keep inventory on target....Read more
Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order manage...Read more
QStock Inventory offers a comprehensive inventory control system that helps businesses increase their profitability while reducing inefficiencies across the supply chain. QStock Inventory offers real-time monitoring....Read more
Luminate Platform by Blue Yonder (formerly known as JDA Software) is a cloud-based supply chain management solution for large and enterprise companies. It serves clients across a variety of supply chain industries including automo...Read more
EazyStock is a market-leading inventory optimization tool that connects with ERP systems to digitalize inventory management operations.
While most ERPs are good at stock control, many rely on users to manually calculate and input...Read more
IntelliTrack Assets helps businesses maintain and track various assets including technology, furniture, tools, off-site equipment, and more. The platform enables organizations to monitor asset movement, maintenance schedules, assi...Read more
SIMMS by KCSI offers a full suite of features that are essential to successful inventory and supply chain management, such as tracking, kitting and industry-specific customizations that ultimately help boost the bottom line....Read more
Join the over 2,000 people who have utilized AdvancePro's dynamic and customizable inventory management solution to oversee their warehouses efficiently and maintain customer satisfaction. Deployed as Web-based or on-premise....Read more
Built for growing product-selling businesses using QuickBooks, Acctivate is a premium inventory management & multi-channel order fulfillment add-on that helps you focus on growth without operational limitations.
Solve for QuickB...Read more
Solid Commerce is a cloud-based inventory management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industries such as computer software, apparel and fashion, consumer goods, business supplies, retail, and more. Ke...Read more
Megaventory is a cost-effective, Web-based inventory management system. Designed with small businesses in mind, Megaventory includes standard features such as order management, demand forecasting and reporting capabilities....Read more
Easy inventory management and order processing for online merchants.
Ordoro helps growing merchants operate like large-scale corporations, but at a fraction of the cost! Optimize your fulfillment workflows with bulk shipping labe...Read more
QuickBooks Commerce is a powerful cloud-based inventory and order management software for modern online businesses. Seamless integration across all major e-commerce platforms ensures that product listings, orders, and data stay up...Read more
One Platform. Total Commerce Control.
Linnworks is a leading commerce automation platform that works with the world’s major marketplaces and selling channels.
Linnworks connects, manages and automates commerce operations, power...Read more
Ecomdash is a cloud-based inventory management system that integrates standard inventory management features with order management and shipping management capabilities into one platform. It is designed for small to midsized online...Read more
Veeqo is an all-in-one inventory and fulfillment platform that gets your ecommerce business ready for growth. Built on 30+ ecommerce and shipping integrations, Veeqo unifies your inventory and orders, speeds up your dispatch, and ...Read more
PomodoTech Order Management from ADI Business Solutions offers a complete order fulfillment and shipping solution. This web-based or on-premise system is scalable and integrates with Microsoft Dynamics RMS. ...Read more
Wasp Inventory Control, designed specifically for small businesses, offers supplier management, inventory management, demand forecasting, reporting and analysis, and more. It is an on-premise solution....Read more
CBOS is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals and helps them to integrate their data and processes across locations and departments....Read more
One of the most crucial tasks for companies in the manufacturing industry is keeping track of every part used.
These businesses have to know about each and every part that's included in original product designs, where those parts are sourced and/or stored and what materials are required for making specific parts in-house. And they have to be able to see updates to all of that information in real time.
That's why tracking parts is (not coincidentally) also one of the most difficult tasks—especially for manufacturers who deal with mechanically complex products.
Fortunately, we live in an electronic age, and today's manufacturers and OEMs have the immense advantage of using electronic parts catalog software. Sometimes referred to as EPCs or digital parts catalogs, these magical systems enable manufacturers in any market—from transit to toys—to track and update parts and, in many cases, control orders as well.
In fact, companies that fail to deploy electronic parts catalog software or integrate EPCs into their existing manufacturing inventory systems will lose precious time and inevitably fall behind competitors who do.
If you're reading this, that probably means you're at least interested in digital parts catalogs, but maybe you want to learn more about them before you start looking at specific products. To help you do that, we're going to cover the following topics:
Electronic parts catalogs can most simply be described as digital registers of all the parts used to make a product, but that's only one small element of these software systems' overall functionality. In addition to serving as an electronic inventory of parts, ELP software is also a tool for marketing, sales and customer service.
Manufacturer marketing teams can provide electronic parts catalogs as digital downloads or promote them in email marketing as a way of sharing valuable information that will help engineers looking to buy make decisions. This info can include:
Design drawings and/or 3D models
From there, the individuals who opt to engage with your EPC become qualified sales leads. Alternatively—depending on the functionality of the catalog system in use—once those buyers select the parts they need, they can then place and order directly within the system. ELC software can also handle processing orders and, in some cases, provide tracking information for the buyers to reference.
Should the buyers need to return their order for any reason, most electronic parts catalogs also allow users to set up automated returns processes, which can be used to improve customer service. That, in combination with the convenience of having all of the information and features in one place, will easily improve your customers' satisfaction.
Common Features of Electronic Parts Catalog Software
Now that you have an understanding of what electronic parts catalogs are, we can go a step further to cover functionality. While it's important to note that not all EPC systems will include every feature, here are some of the most common capabilities of these systems:
This feature makes it simple for users to identify changes to any parts in the catalog and edit them accordingly. For example, some parts may become obsolete over time and will be replaced by newer models.
Engineering change orders
If you're a distributor using this software to sell parts manufactured by a different company, you'll want your software to provide automated engineering change instruction (ECI) and/or engineering change notice (ECN) functionality, meaning it will monitor for notices from OEMs and update your catalog if and when the need arises.
Because these systems involve a customer-facing, web-based catalog component, pushing out updates must be quick and easy.
Allows customers to view part information and purchase parts within the system while also allowing users to manage those orders (including making changes to orders, tracking orders or returning orders).
Here's an example of what searching an electronic parts catalog can look like:
Benefits and Potential Issues with Electronic Parts Catalog Software
A few of the general advantages to using electronic parts catalog software for manufacturers include:
Increased OEM sales by providing buyers with parts that are guaranteed to fit the make and model of the product they're buying parts for.
Reduce errors by providing specific part numbers to check against products and ensure a match.
Increase customer satisfaction by making the process of ordering and returning parts as easy as possible.
Beyond these, there is one major benefit to using this type of software: saving time.
Before electronic parts catalogs came along with automated updates and engineering change notices, manufacturers had to manually monitor for those changes and make the edits and updates by hand—which was (and is, for those who have not yet adopted this software) an incredibly time-consuming task.
One potential issue that manufacturers must consider when researching EPC software products to purchase is longevity.
This is an industry that sees tremendous changes over relatively short periods of time, so there is a real risk of investing in software solutions that will quickly become obsolete. To avoid this potential pitfall, make sure the EPC products you're considering is capable of supporting multiple CAD software applications and that the software provider is equipped to push out updates that will help your team continue to be able to serve your customers.
Other Key Considerations
As with any business software purchase, pricing will be a main consideration. With electronic parts catalog software, pricing varies according to the deployment method (e.g., cloud-based or on premise) as well as the type of software being used (e.g., a standalone system vs. an integrated feature in a larger manufacturing software product). To learn more about pricing, you'll need to contact the sales teams for products you're considering and request that information, which will also give you an opportunity to discuss their product features and options.
An additional consideration that is specific to electronic parts catalog software is the way your downloadable files will be formatted. Because engineers work with a number of different file formats, you need to make sure you're EPC accommodates that by offering the right type of digital CAD models. You can choose to provide your downloadable models in either a neutral format, which is system-agnostic, or a native format, which supports the majority of CAD and imaging systems.