The importance of e-procurement is growing and thus also the need to replace all kinds of paperwork preferably by automatic electronic processes. That is the reason why we decided to dedicate the newest article to internationally respected standard of BMECat.
BMECat is a format based on XML for electronic product catalogues exchange between B2B subjects. BME is an abbreviation for the institution named Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e. V., that initiated the creation of the first version of BMECat together with leading German companies like BMW, Bayer, Siemens and others in 1999. Cat is an abbreviation of the word catalogue.
Companies not using the BMECat format usually have to create product data manually for their intern needs and for customers after receiving goods. In a better case, they copy the data information from printed catalogues, eventually from excel. BMECat eliminates this activity.
The main goal of BMECat format is to satisfy both sides – suppliers and purchasing organisations. Suppliers need to describe their product in a suitable way and purchasing organisations want to know all available information about products they intend to purchase. All of those requirements depend not only on BMECat format itself but thanks to it you can save costs for printing hundreds of catalogue pages, control the data correctness and have the data at one place in your own system.
Besides of all already mentioned benefits, using BMECat will save time, reduce the errors, improve the data quality and enable the opportunity to use classifications or simply update the prices directly in one system. Apart from that, the data in this format can be used for the purpose of web presentation, for example in an e-shop, or they can be downloaded into an ERP system.
The data structure of BMECat format:
Product data are sorted by using following categories:
• Product group
• Purchase information
• Additional information (pictures, documents…)
• Special Marking
Data in this form can be transferred from suppliers to purchasing organisation or perhaps a production company may use it to hand its data over to suppliers, branches or distribute them through sale channels.
For whom is BMECat intended?
Simply for anyone who need to exchange the catalogue data with partners. A use of standard formats protects your investments and makes you independent and more flexible, meaning you won’t be affected too much by the future changes.