Resolution: Make my ordering system more user-friendly — part two

September 22, 2017By Behind the Shelf Blog, Data Analysis and Management, Resolutions

by Mary Hart, senior data assets specialist, for the Resolutions blog series

In my previous post about improving your ordering system, I focused on standardizing product entry to improve the ease of use of the system for internal and external users alike. In this post I’m going to suggest going one step further – and I think as long as you’re going through the effort of making updates this should be seriously considered – adding keyword data.

Standardizing the item setup process will be a great improvement to your ordering system. It will go a long way in making sure users can understand abbreviations quickly and easily. Where keyword data rounds out the solution is making sure items are found quickly and easily. No matter how a user thinks to search for an item – by brand (Tylenol), product name (Sinus Severe), description of solution (pain reliever) – or misspells the brand or product name, adding keywords to your system will ensure they can find what they are looking for without difficulty.

A good example of this is someone searching for a product from A+D, a manufacturer of diaper rash ointments and creams. See the illustration below to see the number of ways a user may search for the brand.

If you have keyword data incorporated into your ordering system, no matter which of these forms are typed in, A+D will come up as a choice. In addition, keyword data can be added to allow retailers to search by category, treatment terms, or attributes to find items to order. Adding keywords makes it nearly impossible for a retailer to be unable find what they are looking for.

Where to begin? Again, I suggest finding a vendor that has experience in the industry, owns reliable data, and has the product expertise so customizations can be completed most efficiently and effectively. A strong project management background will also be important to ensure a timely and accurate implementation.

The task of updating your ordering system is daunting, without a doubt. But with the right partners and processes in place, you will be reaping the benefits from it in no time.