Electronic Parts Catalog Software helps manufactures both organize and manage all of their parts and ensure buyers are satisfied with the entire sales process. How does it work?

Electronic Parts Catalog Software


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Fishbowl Inventory logo
 
An Intuit Gold Partner for more than a decade, Fishbowl is a well-known inventory add-on for QuickBooks. Reduce double data entry. Improve speed of reordering and receiving processes. Improve data accuracy and more.
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An Intuit Gold Partner for more than a decade, Fishbowl is a well-known inventory add-on for QuickBooks. Reduce double data entry. Improve speed of reordering and receiving processes. Improve data accuracy and more.
 
Systum logo
 
Systum is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include marketing, customer relationship management, sales automation, e-commerce, inventory management and quoting and billing. Systum... Read More
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Systum is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include marketing, customer relationship management, sales automation, e-commerce, inventory management and quoting and billing. Systum... Read More
 
Agiliron Inventory Management logo
 
Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read More
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Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read More
 
FlowTrac logo
 
FlowTrac is a cloud-based and on-premise warehouse management solution offered by EMS Barcode Solutions that helps companies manage their inventory, assets and warehouse. The solution is suitable for multiple businesses. Users can... Read More
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FlowTrac is a cloud-based and on-premise warehouse management solution offered by EMS Barcode Solutions that helps companies manage their inventory, assets and warehouse. The solution is suitable for multiple businesses. Users can... Read More
 
Lead Commerce logo
 
Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read More
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Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read More

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AdvancePro logo
 
Integrate your existing QuickBooks records quickly and easily into AdvancePro's system. In addition to high-performance warehouse and inventory management tools, it also offers highly-tailored CRM features.
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Integrate your existing QuickBooks records quickly and easily into AdvancePro's system. In addition to high-performance warehouse and inventory management tools, it also offers highly-tailored CRM features.
 
AMICS logo
 
Advanced Manufacturing and Inventory Control Software (AMICS) for warehousing is a hybrid inventory management solution, which offers users various modules for managing their inventories, assets and warehouses. The solution can either... Read More
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Advanced Manufacturing and Inventory Control Software (AMICS) for warehousing is a hybrid inventory management solution, which offers users various modules for managing their inventories, assets and warehouses. The solution can either... Read More
 
Kn{owl}edge logo
 
Kn{owl}edge is a cloud-based inventory management solution for small to midsize businesses in a variety of industries. The solution offers reporting and analytics capabilities for inventories of all sizes. Inventory items can be designated... Read More
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Kn{owl}edge is a cloud-based inventory management solution for small to midsize businesses in a variety of industries. The solution offers reporting and analytics capabilities for inventories of all sizes. Inventory items can be designated... Read More
 
Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS­ Pro) logo
 
Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS Pro) is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides users with order management functionalities. It caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals. GOIS Pro allows... Read More
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Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS Pro) is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides users with order management functionalities. It caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals. GOIS Pro allows... Read More
 
Jazva logo
 
Jazva is a cloud-based e-commerce management solution with an array of functionalities for small to midsize B2B and B2C retailers that operate on a variety of online marketplaces and ship their goods from multiple warehouses or fulfillment... Read More
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Jazva is a cloud-based e-commerce management solution with an array of functionalities for small to midsize B2B and B2C retailers that operate on a variety of online marketplaces and ship their goods from multiple warehouses or fulfillment... Read More

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SalesPad logo
 
SalesPad offers a cloud-based inventory management solution to helps businesses manage their inventory lifecycle. Key features include point of sale (POS), order processing, purchasing management, payment processing and reporting. SalesPad... Read More
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SalesPad offers a cloud-based inventory management solution to helps businesses manage their inventory lifecycle. Key features include point of sale (POS), order processing, purchasing management, payment processing and reporting. SalesPad... Read More
 
Infoplus logo
 
Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
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Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
 
Dynamic Inventory logo
 
Dynamic Inventory is an inventory management solution that provides inventory control and tracking features. The solution is for small and midsize businesses and can either be installed on-premises or be hosted in the cloud. It helps... Read More
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Dynamic Inventory is an inventory management solution that provides inventory control and tracking features. The solution is for small and midsize businesses and can either be installed on-premises or be hosted in the cloud. It helps... Read More
 
Red Rock Warehouse Manager logo
 
Red Rock WMS from 3PL Central is a cloud-based inventory and warehouse management system for companies doing retail distribution, e-commerce fulfillment and manufacturing. Red Rock WMS can integrate with QuickBooks, manage multiple... Read More
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Red Rock WMS from 3PL Central is a cloud-based inventory and warehouse management system for companies doing retail distribution, e-commerce fulfillment and manufacturing. Red Rock WMS can integrate with QuickBooks, manage multiple... Read More
 
Before! Predictive Analytics logo
 
ACTOR’s Before! software application solution for inventory replenishment optimization starts with a highly accurate demand forecast that minimizes forecasting error.  This software produces a model that is able to quickly pick... Read More
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ACTOR’s Before! software application solution for inventory replenishment optimization starts with a highly accurate demand forecast that minimizes forecasting error.  This software produces a model that is able to quickly pick... Read More

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SIMMS Inventory Management logo
 
SIMMS by KCSI is a comprehensive inventory and supply chain management (SCM) system that helps businesses organize and control various aspects of their inventory. With features like serial number tracking, lot control, kitting and... Read More
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SIMMS by KCSI is a comprehensive inventory and supply chain management (SCM) system that helps businesses organize and control various aspects of their inventory. With features like serial number tracking, lot control, kitting and... Read More
 
MarginPoint Mobile Inventory logo
 
Marginpoint Mobile Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides businesses in various industry verticals with tools for the management of warehouses, storerooms and fleets of service vehicles. Key features... Read More
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Marginpoint Mobile Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution that provides businesses in various industry verticals with tools for the management of warehouses, storerooms and fleets of service vehicles. Key features... Read More
 
S2K Warehouse Management Software logo
 
S2K Enterprise Management solution by VAI is a cloud-based, integrated ERP system designed to manage midsize and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical... Read More
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S2K Enterprise Management solution by VAI is a cloud-based, integrated ERP system designed to manage midsize and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical... Read More
 
Latitude WMS logo
 
PathGuide Technologies delivers comprehensive warehouse management systems to optimize productivity and key processes across distribution enterprise. Their flagship product, Latitude WMS, is engineered to embrace the system’s flexibility... Read More
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PathGuide Technologies delivers comprehensive warehouse management systems to optimize productivity and key processes across distribution enterprise. Their flagship product, Latitude WMS, is engineered to embrace the system’s flexibility... Read More
 
SAP Distribution logo
 
SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
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SAP S/4HANA is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite designed to serve businesses of size and kinds. SAP ERP is used to address the needs of many industry verticals including manufacturing, retail, service... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: September 22, 2018


One of the most crucial tasks for companies in the manufacturing industry is keeping track of every part used.

These businesses have to know about each and every part that's included in original product designs, where those parts are sourced and/or stored and what materials are required for making specific parts in-house. And they have to be able to see updates to all of that information in real time.

That's why tracking parts is (not coincidentally) also one of the most difficult tasks—especially for manufacturers who deal with mechanically complex products.

Fortunately, we live in an electronic age, and today's manufacturers and OEMs have the immense advantage of using electronic parts catalog software. Sometimes referred to as EPCs or digital parts catalogs, these magical systems enable manufacturers in any market—from transit to toys—to track and update parts and, in many cases, control orders as well.

In fact, companies that fail to deploy electronic parts catalog software or integrate EPCs into their existing manufacturing inventory systems will lose precious time and inevitably fall behind competitors who do.

If you're reading this, that probably means you're at least interested in digital parts catalogs, but maybe you want to learn more about them before you start looking at specific products. To help you do that, we're going to cover the following topics:

What Is Electronic Parts Catalog Software?

Common Features of Electronic Parts Catalog Software

Benefits and Potential Issues with Electronic Parts Catalog Software

Other Key Considerations

 

What Is Electronic Parts Catalog Software?

Electronic parts catalogs can most simply be described as digital registers of all the parts used to make a product, but that's only one small element of these software systems' overall functionality. In addition to serving as an electronic inventory of parts, ELP software is also a tool for marketing, sales and customer service.

Manufacturer marketing teams can provide electronic parts catalogs as digital downloads or promote them in email marketing as a way of sharing valuable information that will help engineers looking to buy make decisions. This info can include:

  • Product details
  • Part numbers
  • Data sheets
  • Related products
  • Design drawings and/or 3D models

From there, the individuals who opt to engage with your EPC become qualified sales leads. Alternatively—depending on the functionality of the catalog system in use—once those buyers select the parts they need, they can then place and order directly within the system. ELC software can also handle processing orders and, in some cases, provide tracking information for the buyers to reference.

Should the buyers need to return their order for any reason, most electronic parts catalogs also allow users to set up automated returns processes, which can be used to improve customer service. That, in combination with the convenience of having all of the information and features in one place, will easily improve your customers' satisfaction.

 

Common Features of Electronic Parts Catalog Software

Now that you have an understanding of what electronic parts catalogs are, we can go a step further to cover functionality. While it's important to note that not all EPC systems will include every feature, here are some of the most common capabilities of these systems:

Parts management

This feature makes it simple for users to identify changes to any parts in the catalog and edit them accordingly. For example, some parts may become obsolete over time and will be replaced by newer models.

Engineering change orders

If you're a distributor using this software to sell parts manufactured by a different company, you'll want your software to provide automated engineering change instruction (ECI) and/or engineering change notice (ECN) functionality, meaning it will monitor for notices from OEMs and update your catalog if and when the need arises.

Online updates

Because these systems involve a customer-facing, web-based catalog component, pushing out updates must be quick and easy.

Sales/order management

Allows customers to view part information and purchase parts within the system while also allowing users to manage those orders (including making changes to orders, tracking orders or returning orders).

Here's an example of what searching an electronic parts catalog can look like:

Catalog search functionality in Snap-On's EPC5

 

 

Benefits and Potential Issues with Electronic Parts Catalog Software

A few of the general advantages to using electronic parts catalog software for manufacturers include:

  • Increased OEM sales by providing buyers with parts that are guaranteed to fit the make and model of the product they're buying parts for.
  • Reduce errors by providing specific part numbers to check against products and ensure a match.
  • Increase customer satisfaction by making the process of ordering and returning parts as easy as possible.

Beyond these, there is one major benefit to using this type of software: saving time.

Before electronic parts catalogs came along with automated updates and engineering change notices, manufacturers had to manually monitor for those changes and make the edits and updates by hand—which was (and is, for those who have not yet adopted this software) an incredibly time-consuming task.

One potential issue that manufacturers must consider when researching EPC software products to purchase is longevity.

This is an industry that sees tremendous changes over relatively short periods of time, so there is a real risk of investing in software solutions that will quickly become obsolete. To avoid this potential pitfall, make sure the EPC products you're considering is capable of supporting multiple CAD software applications and that the software provider is equipped to push out updates that will help your team continue to be able to serve your customers.

 

Other Key Considerations

As with any business software purchase, pricing will be a main consideration. With electronic parts catalog software, pricing varies according to the deployment method (e.g., cloud-based or on premise) as well as the type of software being used (e.g., a standalone system vs. an integrated feature in a larger manufacturing software product). To learn more about pricing, you'll need to contact the sales teams for products you're considering and request that information, which will also give you an opportunity to discuss their product features and options.

An additional consideration that is specific to electronic parts catalog software is the way your downloadable files will be formatted. Because engineers work with a number of different file formats, you need to make sure you're EPC accommodates that by offering the right type of digital CAD models. You can choose to provide your downloadable models in either a neutral format, which is system-agnostic, or a native format, which supports the majority of CAD and imaging systems.

 

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