Product Data Catalog using Sitecore

05/02/2016 by Vanick Digital

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Vanick utilized Sitecore and custom web services to implement a Master Data Management solution for MCR Safety. The integration between Sitecore and SAP also allowed for new features and functionality within their customer facing website.

BUSINESS NEED

MCR Safety has more than forty years of experience as a leader in the field of personal protective equipment, they sell products to safety equipment distributors and ship products through two distribution centers in the U.S.

Currently, they offer 2,294 unique products with 7,686 possible product variations including size, color, and features. MCR’s master product data is stored within SAP and used for multiple applications across the enterprise. The marketing team requested a product catalog to be stored within their customer facing website. There was also a desire to modify and append content to existing product information being consumed by Sitecore from SAP without modifying the source data.

SOLUTION

Vanick proposed Sitecore as a Master Data Management (MDM) solution to meet the needs of MCR’s marketing team. This was accomplished with custom developed web services to integrate Sitecore with SAP including a nightly synchronization process to push new product data and product updates into Sitecore.

Product content within Sitecore was architected in a way to retain the master source product data, but enable the marketing team to modify and append content as needed for the public facing website. Sitecore was also leveraged to store product metadata in a way that provided a great user experience regarding the product catalog within their site. This included marketing specific content, imagery and faceted searching across all product variations.

Product specification PDFs can also be printed out by customers via the product catalog, and the specifications within the PDFs are consumed directly from SAP. Vanick accomplished this by adding a presentation layer to the

Sitecore content integrating with HTML-to-PDF conversion software to create these documents in real-time based on SAP data.

RESULTS

This solution provided MCR’s marketing team with the ability to modify all product content within their website while maintaining the integrity of the source data. The solution simplified the addition of new products on the website as this data was consumed and displayed on the website dynamically as part of the nightly synchronization process between Sitecore and SAP.

The production specification PDFs were impactful as well considering their distributors had the ability to provide marketing materials to customers with confidence since the product information was being consumed directly from the source (SAP).

 

"This MDM solution has allowed our marketing team to update product information on our website without affecting our source data in SAP. The data within Sitecore also feeds our customer facing product catalogs and product spec sheets.” - Webmaster at MCR Safety

Vanick Digital