The 2017 PromoStandards Workshop

Published on August 16, 2017

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 PromoStandards Workshop in Austin. The workshop, which was held the day before PPAI's annual Tech Summit, is designed to give IT professionals who work in the promotional products industry information about PromoStandards. For suppliers, it provides information on how to implement the standards. For distributors, it provides information on how to use the standards.

Three focused sessions were offered: Getting Started with PromoStandards & "The Basic Services", Product Data and PO:Basic Orders (non-configured data), and Product Data and PO - Fully Configured Orders.

At the moment, two of the PromoStandards services are in early beta: Invoice and Purchase Order. I've been testing the Invoice service for a few weeks now and that's been going very well. However, I've struggled a bit with Purchase Order, simply because there hasn't been much information provided on it. So I attended the session on fully configured purchase orders - and I'm glad I did.

During the session, we talked quite a bit about fully configured purchase orders. The key to making the Purchase Order service work is to have a good grasp of the Product Pricing and Configuration service, which you use to configure a PO's lineitems. While it's not absolutely essential POs include configured lineitems, it certainly helps. If the lineitems aren't fully configured, then you're essentially submitting "Basic" POs that require manual processing.

After the session, I spent some time experimenting with the Purchase Order standard, and was able to push a test PO through to Starline. Honestly, I'm not sure that I would have been able to accomplish this without the information that I got from attending the session.

One very helpful tip that I picked up during the session is that the PromoStandards team maintains a number of repositories on Github. You can find it here: https://github.com/promostandards

The 2017 PromoStandards Workshop was a great opportunity to learn about the standards and to network with other IT professionals who are working with them. The workshop alone has made the trip to Austin worth the time and money, and I'm already looking forward to attending next year.