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Update on RIA Product Data Collaborative from Executive Director Terry Schalow

Published on | Terry Schalow | News & Updates

Project update on the PDC from our Executive Director
PDC Update

I want to start this update by saying how much we appreciate the patience our members have shown during the many months since we first talked about the PDC (before it even had a name) and now, as we look to launch the platform.  We’ve done a lot of talking and promoting, and our members have done a lot of waiting, so I want to take a moment to address why it has taken longer than anticipated to deliver the platform. 

As I’m sure you can imagine, any software development is a large undertaking that requires meticulous planning, testing, and refinement. We knew that going in, but even our partners didn’t realize how complex this undertaking was, and no one could have imagined it would take this long to launch.  But make no mistake: our team has worked incredibly hard on this and we very much look forward to sharing it with our membership.

I also want to make clear that while we embrace the idea of not letting “Excellent” get in the way of “Very Good,”  we also believe that you have one chance to get it right, and we’ve been working diligently to ensure that when our members try out the interface for the first time, they get immediate value from it and continue to use it as it evolves. 

So when do we think this will be ready?  Within the next few weeks, our goal is to begin a round of beta testing and from there, we will begin training sessions for all retail members. These sessions will be available both online and we look to add these in person as well at the upcoming RIA Summit, providing opportunities for hands-on learning and support.

I also want to manage expectations and let you know that the roll-out of the platform will occur in phases. The initial phase of the PDC will include UPC and other essential product data from top brands in our channel. This data will be presented in an easy-to-navigate interface, empowering retailers to select their product assortments using a variety of filters tailored to individual store requirements.

Once assortments are selected, they can be effortlessly exported to files formatted for your preferred third-party systems, streamlining the entire process from selection to implementation.

Subsequent phases of the PDC will introduce additional brands and more robust data types, including product images and Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) information. This phased approach ensures that we deliver the key data sets that the majority of our retail members are asking for, and the platform will then evolve to ensure it supports the variety of product data requirements of every retail member.    

We are confident that the RIA Product Data Collaborative can contribute to an impactful, time and money-saving tool for our channel. We look forward to letting you get your hands on it, and will welcome your feedback.  Thank you sincerely for your continued support and patience, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me personally. 

Terry Schalow

Executive Director

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