The DoD EMALL is an on-line electronic commerce portal that allows registered Government users to shop for, and order, a large variety of finished goods from DLA supply centers and commercial vendor catalogs. The EMALL includes over 1200 commercial vendor catalogs and over 14 million off-the-shelf commercial products. Sales in the last fiscal year were over $0.5 Billion dollars, making the EMALL one of the largest electronic marketplaces in the world. This fast growing portal adds several new vendor catalogs each week.
Vendors represent information about similar products differently, and data quality varies greatly from vendor to vendor. Large portions of the aggregated EMALL catalog data can be characterized as inconsistent, incomplete, and at times redundant. This environment makes product searches significantly less effective and results in excessive spend. The challenge was to create a Master Data File of the EMALL aggregated catalog to connect EMALL customers with the information they need to purchase products, and to make it easier for EMALL personnel to manage the content on the portal.
XSB used its Xtractica® solution to standardize the poorly structured text in the EMALL vendor catalogs. This generated a Master Data File for the entire EMALL. The MDF identifies equivalent items, classifies product descriptions and extracts and standardizes attributes and values. The system was able to eliminate duplicate and misleading records to make product searches more meaningful for EMALL customers.
- The Master Data File simplifies the process of cross catalog searching and product comparison for EMALL customers.
- Standardization of manufacturer's names and part numbers alone has resulted in a two-fold reduction in the number of unique items and could potentially save at least 10% in customer spend.
- Standardized content enables EMALL managers to quickly analyze spend across suppliers by item class to determine where commercial catalog coverage is meeting customer needs and what categories of products would benefit by soliciting additional suppliers.
- This solution easily scales as the DoD EMALL grows.