Context-Based Search

Back in the day, the only thing people could really do when looking for a piece of information was to ask someone or to physically look it up. You want the phone number for the pizza place down the street? Better know how to use that phone book. You want to know the populations of different countries? Hope your encyclopedia (or your library’s collection) is up to date.

Maybe it goes without saying, but Peter Kinder, the chief technology officer at Wax Digital, put it well when he said, “The ability to search for practically any piece of information on the internet has radically changed our lives in a very short space of time.”

Case in point: when Google first launched in 1998, there were roughly 3.6 million searches performed on their platform. Fifteen years later, in 2013, the number of searches recorded by Google rose to more than 2.16 trillion.

Prior to the internet-era, procurement was a much different creature. Organizations relied on supplier catalogs or placing phone calls to learn more about inventory and pricing. Discovering new manufacturers, more-efficient suppliers, and lower pricing options took a lot of time and energy.

That’s not to say that the roots of procurement can’t be seen in the blossom of today’s technologically superior procurement landscape. Vroozi, which was recently referred to as a “next generation eProcurement vendor” by Jason Busch, the founder and managing director of Azul Partners (and a respected member of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) community), helps to lead the revolution in procurement technology innovation.

Vroozi’s own procurement platform offers the ability to create content-rich supplier catalogs with easy-to-use, drag-and-drop technology. With predefined supplier content templates and a simple content management interface, suppliers can upload their entire catalog in just minutes. Meanwhile, dynamic custom-field support allows users to tailor any listing to their liking in a user-friendly format that helps to showcase the most-relevant item information. In fact, Vroozi’s technology is so easy to navigate, it takes the power of catalog content management out of IT’s grasp and allows it to come full-circle, placing it back into the hands of procurement professionals.

As the internet helped to reshape our view of the world, it also helped to redefine how we went about retrieving information. Suddenly, there were not only different search platforms, there were different methods for performing internet searches. This concept was not lost on Vroozi.

Search engines are fast, accurate, and easy-to-use. Vroozi believes your business catalog search engine should operate the same way. Vroozi’s catalog search engine was created on the premise that enterprise decision-makers should also have a simple, reliable, and intuitive search tool. Our web-based catalog management tool is scalable for both buyers and sellers, incorporating the ability to perform a federated search across catalogs via Boolean, parametric, and synonym search methodologies.

Because technology never stands still for very long, it should come as no surprise that the newest way to search, known as context-based search, is the latest innovative way to identify items of relevance to the searcher. As context-based search is further developed, Kinder suggests that it may present some key applications within the buying community.

“Consider an incoming email from a member of staff to their manager requesting replenishment of a key supply,” implores Kinder. “Rather than the manager then having to manually search and requisition the goods, a context search engine could pick up on the request and pop-up the product options, current offers, and of course the ‘click to order’ button. As an integral part of a purchasing process this technology could remove significant administration.”

Furthermore, context-based search could look completely beyond the purchasing catalog at-hand, as the mechanism uses the product in question to suggest comparative items and prices from across the internet, much like Vroozi’s federated method of searching for solutions across ALL catalogs. Another application could occur in the context of item location. As context-based searching takes into account the locality of the items in question, it could lead buyers to prioritize their suppliers in brand-new ways.

Whatever the future holds for ERP and procurement technology, you can be assured that Vroozi will set the bar in regards to balancing the best, most-efficient, most-intuitive practices for businesses to seek out solutions AND remain confidently in control of their procurement process.