DDS (Distributor Data Solutions), a leading e-commerce product content and data management provider serving the wholesale distribution industry, has announced the rebranding of its primary solution offerings around the delivery and management of "next-generation" product content for manufacturers and distributors.
DDS' "Content-as-a-Service" offering for distributors is now CONTENT/io, and its corresponding "Syndication-as-a-Service" for manufacturers is SYNDICATION/io. The purpose of DDS' re-brand is to distinguish its manufacturer- and distributor-focused solutions, which have grown significantly and distinctly under the same name—DDX, or the Distributor Data Exchange, per the company's initial development focus from the perspective of the distributor (company founders Dale Holt and Matt Christensen came from a successful electrical distributorship).
Now in its sixth year, DDS realized early on that its philosophy, technology and tools were equally relevant and critical to manufacturers serving the electrical and related construction and industrial markets. The company is also actively expanding to additional verticals in response to the breadth of lines carried by its distributor customers, as well as growing interest from manufacturers and buying groups in other industries.
"Both [our manufacturer and distributor] offerings have been incredibly successful, and both have matured significantly over the last couple of years, so we felt it was time they stood alone," said Christensen, DDS company president. "The distinction also helps explain and identify the services we provide to companies on both sides of this exchange of critical product information."
DDS' CONTENT/io service for distributors is unique in that it delivers multiple manufacturers' product content via automated, scheduled and pre-formatted files customized to each distributor's e-commerce platform and needs. In working closely with manufacturers to obtain this data, they found that most are similarly struggling to efficiently syndicate product content to their entire distribution channel, including both wholesalers and retailers.
With SYNDICATION/io, DDS also applies a "custom" treatment to the ingestion of manufacturer content. According to Christensen, rather than forcing every supplier's data—and each has remarkably different data—into any sort of standard template, DDS uses a custom import for every product line so that all information available from manufacturers is preserved and stored exactly the way it was produced. This also prevents certain types of data, and excess amounts of data, from being lost when it can't "fit" into a pre-defined template.
At best, manufacturer data provided via standard delivery sources also requires major manipulation on the distributors' end prior to uploading to their systems. This causes significant delays in time-to-market and contributes to inconsistent manufacturer marketing information from one distributor's site to the next. DDS' solutions were designed to address these challenges, reducing the technology and resource burden for companies on both sides of the equation.
"The reality is, manufacturers are finding that if they can't deliver their content in full to hundreds of distribution partners in the format, or multiple formats, that each needs for uploading to their ERP and e-commerce systems, it becomes somewhat unusable and it's a non-starter for many," added Christensen.
DDS' services are monthly subscription models that include regular maintenance of product content, another key challenge for manufacturers and distributors in providing end users with accurate and up-to-date information online. DDS is consistently developing and adding new features to its services for added value to both supplier and wholesaler customers.