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|Management of Listings
Features and functions to manage and display inventory and public postings
|Listings are offers to sell or wanteds for purchase or, where used, auctions. They may be posted by Dynaprice clients within Dynaprice-provided inventory management systems or, where permitted, by registered, identified users at public market portals or other venues permitting public postings.
Each venue has a team of employees and administrators who can enter and edit their own inventory items and/or edit public postings entered by other users.
Dynaprice venues provide a rich set of functions to enter, edit, search and feature very well-described and photo-illustrated listings. These functions are described below.
Structured Product Detail
Extensive description and
for each type of product
|Through use of the proprietary DynaSpecs system, each well-defined "product class" (e.g., Stero Zoom Microscope) is characterized by a large number of fully-searchable data fields for descriptive information. These "descriptors" differ by product class. For Stereo Zoom Microscopes, for instance, descriptors include the magnification range of objective lens and the type of illumination; for a Turbomolecular Vacuum Pump, they include the inlet valve type and the minimum pressure reached.|
Dynaprice data services have no competitive equal in providing large numbers of fully searchable, product-unique, descriptive data fields for use both in internal business systems and in many different public market portals.
Up to 100 descriptors can be associated with each product class. Each is treated in its appropriate format, whether text, numeric, date, multiple-choice, or convertible measurement units. Descriptors may be grouped three levels deep, to frame components or for user convenience. And in addition, the same type of descriptive detail can be used for cross-product inventory data, such as purchase date, availability of a manual, or responsible technical representative.
The depth of exposed product description, and its standardization across many independent inventory and marketplace websites, advantages Dynaprice clients over others offering less complete descriptions in less standardized formats. These features help buyers (and sellers) on the web find what they want among large numbers of alternatives and saves them time otherwise wasted inquiring about poorly-described items.
Time saved by viewers is also time -- and cost -- saved by Dynaprice inventory clients.
Classifications and Menus
Each client creates its
own way to group and
organize its product classes
|Each venue of each client can pick and choose which product classes to cover and how to organize them into hierarchical classifications and menus. A company can establish a "standard" classification scheme for use, in whole or in part, by multiple subordinate venues.|
Each classification scheme can be set up as a "web", not just a "tree" -- meaning that the same sub-branches may be placed under more than one higher-level branch. This eliminates the need for cross-references and speeds use of the menu structures that help users of websites navigate and find what they want.
"Flattened" menus are available at any point in the classification/menu hierarchy where subgroup classifications are shown; links permit the viewer to get a single, long, scrollable list of all the lowest-level product classes under a menu grouping selected.
Fast FIND and advanced
searching from the top of
|The top of each page in a venue displays a simple "Fast Find" search term entry box, with a "GO" button.|
Text entered is matched against both individual product categories (and synonyms for their names) and the headlines and summary descriptions entered for each listing. Results from a search, which treats the text entered as an initial word fragment, are immediately displayed as a list of "found" product categories and items. Numbers entered are treated as complete item numbers for rapid access to individual listings, but only after the viewer confirms that the number is not part of a description sought.
Advanced search facilities are provided behind a "Full Search" link on the top of every page.
Clicking this link (next to an explanatory help link), produces the advanced search criterion entry form as a popup window. On this may be entered individual parameters for make, model, product classification and item description in various combinations, together with specification of a two-level sorting sequence. The advanced search facility operates with a scope bounded by the last-viewed menu page. It can be usefully narrowed by the viewer's going part way down into a major classification grouping before its use -- thereby avoiding false returns from other clearly unwanted classifications.
Together with the menuing system described above, these facilities provide a rich assortment of ways users can find what they want using means familiar to them from other websites. Where really tight searching for individual items among very large counts within the same product class is needed, however, Dynaprice systems provide the most powerful item searching capability on the internet, as described below.
Custom search engines
tuned to each product class
for pinpointing exact needs
|Each product class is given its own unique search engine, customized to the set of descriptors it carries.|
Users can select up to 5 product-specific descriptors, out of a total up to 100 descriptors for each product class, to use for framing search criteria; these are combined with price, quantity, and like common elements for pinpoint searching. For each selected descriptor, a custom form element is prepared for the entry of search criteria; these provide for minimum-maximum ranges for numbers, dates and choice lists, alternate units for measurements, and word-part searching for text.
Search results are presented in tables that are also customized by product class, with up to eight product-specific descriptors selected for bidirectionally-sortable column heads.
Data Entry and Edit
forms for handling listings
data with speed, ease, and
maximum error avoidance
|The unique combination of "descriptors" assigned to each product class is reflected in the data input and edit forms used to enter new listings into Dynaprice venues. Each type of product has its own, custom data entry and edit screens, with its own combination and layout of descriptors.|
Each descriptor is entered into its own database field, where it is fully searchable in its native data format, i.e., as text, a number, or a choice.
Wherever possible, descriptive data is reduced to quick-entry formats (multiple choice lists, radio buttons, and checkboxes) to speed data entry and minimize typgraphical errors that destroy searchability.
Descriptors can be grouped on these forms for user convenience; for example, "exterior dimensions" can include as sub-descriptors "length," "width," and "height," while a component such as "objective lens" can include "make," "model," and "magnification."
Full Detailed Descriptions
Clean, complete display of
structured product detail
with multiple photos and
|Individual listings are presented with each descriptor shown separately in its own format within a set of striped lines. Only descriptors with non-blank data are shown, to prevent display of long lists of blank entries.|
Measurements, in any of some 35 different dimensions, are shown with mouse-click conversion of values among up to three alternate units of measurement.
Full description pages can include one or more photographs. They identify the source of the item in venues (such as market portals) not limited to one source and show the listing-specific shipping and handling and payment terms provided by the owner.
Full description pages also display client-customizable response buttons for users to accept, counter-offer, or inquire about the listing described, via emails directly to the owner (without commissions). These buttons create transactions within the dealmaking or customer relationship management system used to facilitate the back-and-forth negotiations customary in used equipment trading.
Custom Inventory Record
Client-custom data record
to fit other company data
formats or existing data
|Every listing's item description is actually broken into two parts. The first part is the description of the item, which is custom to the product type as described above. The second part is common across product types, but custom to each Dynaprice client company (or venue within it); this part holds inventory management data specific to that company, e.g., "manual available," "when purchased," "responsible technician."|
Up to 80 data fields can be combined into a company's custom inventory record. These are additive to the "standard" data fields used by all clients: type of listing (inventory, consignment, etc.), internal identification code, warehouse location, visibility level, two managed quantities (shown and hidden), and two managed prices (shown and hidden).
Each Dynaprice client can use the DynaSpecs system to compose a uniquely formatted inventory record for itself. Dynaprice can help each client do this without programming or database design work.
Custom inventory records usually match or extend the record used in an earlier data processing system. Once the custom record is designed, Dynaprice can easily upload data from those older data systems to speed client setup.
For public and market portal
websites, facilities for
public posting of listings
|If public postings are permitted, usually in market portal venues, these can be entered by identified, registered members of the public. Entry of public offers and wanted is done using product-custom data entry and edit forms similar to those used by staff of inventory venues.|
Public-posted listings, however, do not carry the company-specific inventory record information that true inventory listings do. Instead, they have space for item-specific shipping and handling and payment terms. Public-posted listings can be managed only by the person who posted them, not a team of people (though administrators of the venue where they are posted may gain access to edit or delete them).
Product-specific search engines permit users to search ONLY for client inventory items, ONLY for public-posted listings, or both.
Venue administrators can choose to accept public postings for ONLY wanteds, ONLY offers, BOTH or NEITHER. Members of the public see only the type of listing authorized at each venue, if any.
Handy promotional tools
to raise the prominence
of selected listings
|Selected listings may be given prominent exposure for promotional purposes at certain high-traffic locations within each Dynaprice venue. These include a set of "Specials" pages designed for this purpose and linked to a "Specials" button on each client's home page and the top of each inside page.|
Featured listings may be selected for showing on:
Venue administators, not ordinary viewers, see "SET FEATURE" and "DELETE FEATURE" buttons at these locations, one for each menu page, 10 for each "Specials" page. They may simply click on the "SET FEATURE" button at the location desired, and navigate to the listing (which must be visible in the venue) to select it. Selected items are displayed in a format that includes any picture available, terms of the offer or wanted, and a summary description. They are linked to the full description of the featured item, where the customized accept, counter-offer and inquiry buttons are displayed to encourage user action.
This system is designed to help venue administrators promote the items they most want to sell (or acquire), and complements the other marketing-oriented features of Dynaprice venues.
Facilities to speed entry
of descriptive specs for
|Where highly repetitive data entry operations are required, Dynaprice offers special facilities to eliminate the need to enter "standard" data.|
This is often the case for trading in numerically-designated parts, supplies, or components of standard design. It may also be possible for collections of more complex equipment where a database of specifications by exact make, model and year is available.
Dynaprice can convert "standard specs" databases into its own format and load those "pre-specified" items into its systems. Each such effort is a custom job. But the result is the same: faster, easier data entry for instances of standard items that enter inventory or become available for purchase or sale.
When a standard parts database is loaded, new facilities are offered the venue staff (and, potentially, registered members of the public). First is a handy search of the "standard parts" database, by part number or description, from each menu in a venue, with the scope narrowed to product types classified under that menu. Possibly through a choice among alternates found, the user can readily "pick up" the detailed specs of the standard item desired.
Once the standard descriptive specs are picked up, they are offered to the user entered into the corresonding fields of a data entry form for a new listing of the product type involved. The user can then add price, quantity, condition, inventory data, and other item-variable information to complete the data entry form and enter a new listing into an inventory or public market venue.
Once entered, such listings are searchable just as any other, on both the standard and the item-specific data, field by field.