Established in 1974, Yorkshire Purchasing is the largest formally constituted local authority purchasing consortium in the UK. The organisation provides a professional procurement service that enables its public sector customers to enjoy cost and efficiency savings through their substantial bulk buying power and the convenience of a 'one stop shop'.
Yorkshire Purchasing employs over 400 people, and has annual revenues in excess of 270m. The organisation's customer base extends across more than 100 local authority areas encompassing schools, colleges and universities in addition to all major local government departments including Social Services, Catering, Transport, Highways, Building, Energy, Admin and Waste Management as well as the Emergency Services.
Every year Yorkshire Purchasing publishes a sizeable catalogue, comprising over 1,600 pages and containing details of more than 12,000 items. Yorkshire Purchasing has a team of experienced buyers that are responsible for collating product information and imagery for each years' catalogue. This process has traditionally been managed using paper-based methods, which worked well, but which were time consuming and labour intensive.
To streamline the process, YPO approached eleventeenth to provide a digital asset management system to gather all product information and imagery into a central system.
eleventeenth created a solution based on our Asset DLM platform. The system holds all of the Yorkshire Purchasing product data centrally and provides easy access to the organisation's internal and external stakeholders in catalogue production. Each buyer has the tools to prepare their pages by selecting the relevant products and one or more of the associated illustrative images.
Linking each of the thousands of images with the appropriate product was automated using product references within the meta-data of the image files. The AssetDLM image processing system scans for product IDs and keywords and uses these to make locating images as simple as a web search.
To accelerate the creation of the first digital catalogue for 2009, eleventeenth prepared a mock version of the 2008 catalogue using the online catalogue - the structure of which reflects the paper catalogue - as a template. Because many pages remain the same from year-to-year, with only a few product variations, the "page copy" facility means staff can quickly prepare large sections of future catalogues based on previous catalogues.
In addition to products, pages can be assigned attributes and notes to complete the content. Page data is made available to external Mac operators for page production.
Labels can be assigned to products and pages for the purposes of catalogue indexing, which previously took weeks, but which is now available at the click of a button. Better still, those label assignment remain attached to product, ready for the creation of the next catalogue.
eleventeenth specified and procured a powerful 16-core server, with a huge RAID disk array, upon which to host YPO's Asset DLM system