For decades, retailers and their suppliers have communicated via email with spreadsheets, PDFs and other documents as attachments in those emails. From the advent of the internet and email communications, this was the fastest, most effective way for retailers and suppliers to send each other product data, financial information and other documentation to negotiate and complete business initiatives. Though this technology was sufficient for the 90s and early 2000s, new technology and supply chain demands have outgrown simple email communications.
In the last decade and a half, technology has improved the tools for data storage and management. From product information management (PIM) to product data management (PDM) programs, software innovations have provided companies with more options for organizing their product data. Other collaboration tools like product lifecycle management (PLM) software have helped teams move into the future of product development. Yet, the problem remains that without a centralized system for both product data and communications, companies are subject to data silos with important information living in at-risk locations with individual teams, or worse, with individual team members.
Surefront was designed to solve this problem and unify all tools needed for merchandising, product development, and sales. Officially termed a “unified collaboration management” platform, the cloud-based SaaS solution combines people, product data, and communications in a single space. This ensures maximum engagement throughout the entire value chain by allowing users to manage product data, track merchandising and development workflows, send and receive quotations with 3rd-party partners, and execute sales orders without ever leaving the platform.
Founded in 2016, Surefront aims to streamline the core functions of product development, merchandising, and wholesale operations to help companies bring products to market faster and more efficiently. By unifying stakeholders with a central repository for product data and financial information with built-in communication tools, the platform naturally breaks down data silos and promotes immersive collaboration regardless of users’ physical location. Such complexity in creating a platform with multi-entity, multi-hierarchy collaboration presented significant challenges to Surefront’s development team, which they were able to overcome with the help of AWS.