Exchange of Catalog Data in B2B Relationships - Analysis and Improvement
In B2B relationships electronic product catalogs and the respective catalog data gain an important meaning as the starting point for procurement decisions. Suppliers have to provide catalog data for their customers and market places in standardized XML formats and defined quality. Contrary to B2C, catalog usage in B2B is characterized by the fact that data of the catalog-creating enterprise is imported into an information system (target system) of the catalog-receiving enterprise. Despite the application of standardized catalog formats, often a relevant amount of coordination and communication between the involved enterprises is necessary. Especially in the initialization phase, when the first exchange between two partners is established, a lot of adjustments regarding syntax, contents and quality of the transmitted data have to be made. A starting point for the improvement of exchange processes is extending the XML catalog standards so that they support the coordination and the exchange more widely by providing an appropriate process model and additional business messages. The paper pursues this approach by examining the catalog exchange processes for lacks and inadequacies, and developing a three-stage improvement concept that can be used for the extension of commercial XML catalog standards.
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