WO2000021012A2 - Electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system - Google Patents

Electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system

Info

Publication number
WO2000021012A2
WO2000021012A2 PCT/US1999/023224 US9923224W WO2000021012A2 WO 2000021012 A2 WO2000021012 A2 WO 2000021012A2 US 9923224 W US9923224 W US 9923224W WO 2000021012 A2 WO2000021012 A2 WO 2000021012A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
catalog
product
order
service
items
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1999/023224
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2000021012A8 (en )
WO2000021012A9 (en )
WO2000021012A3 (en )
Inventor
Robin A. Mattern
Elias Lizardos
Basil W. Nikas
Original Assignee
Electronic Commerce And Catalog Services, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions

Abstract

An electronic catalog and shared electronic systems (figure 1) which can be accessed over a computer network (figure 1). Various items of the catalog are stored in a database (figure 4) and can be selected by a user in accordance with user determined parameters.

Description

ELECTRONIC CATALOG AND SHARED ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION SYSTEM

PRIORITY TO PRIOR APPLICATION

This application claims priority to Provisional Application

Serial No. 60/102,967 filed October 2, 1998.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of

electronic databases and, more particularly, is directed to an

electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system which

enables users of the system to retrieve requested data conveniently

and economically.

The present invention will be described in the context of a

government order processing system, but the novel and unobvious

features of the invention have application in a wide variety of

government and commercial (business-to-business) environments where

large amounts of information must be cataloged and made available

to users in an expeditious manner. The invention is described for

its use on the World Wide Web part of the Internet. It should be

understood, however, that the benefits of the invention may be realized with any computer network (LAN, etc.) that supports

multiple users.

One of the most important requirements of an economy is to

bring buyer's wishing to buy products into contact with sellers

[having products to sell] . In an economy driven by competition,

there are often many competing products from which a buyer can-

choose. Moreover, as modern day communications make the world

smaller and greatly expand market territories, a buyer is often

confronted with a confusing array of considerations when making a

purchasing decision. Price, quality, suitability, and delivery time

are but a few of the many factors a purchaser must consider when

making a purchasing decision. Thus, an informed purchasing decision

often requires the purchaser evaluate the offerings of several

vendors. Doing so can be time consuming and a busy purchaser may

simply opt to make a purchase without doing any real comparison

shopping. While making purchasing decisions in this manner may not

be detrimental for a small number of purchases, the potential

savings that result from a more careful purchasing decision can

mount substantially when large numbers of purchases are involved.

For example, federal, state and local governments routinely make

purchasing decisions involving large numbers of items and large

sums of money. The ability to make purchasing decisions quickly while simultaneously ensuring the proper item is purchased at the

lowest cost is critical to maintaining the effectiveness of a

procurement system.

In addition, vendors also require an efficient and cost-

effective way of informing potential customers of their wares.

Traditionally, paper catalogs, advertisements and personal sales

calls have served this purpose. Each of these methods has its

inherent drawbacks. For example, paper catalogs are expensive to

print and distribute and usually do not remain current for any

significant length of time. Advertising and personal- sales calls

also are expensive and tradeoffs must be made over which products

will be promoted to which potential customers.

Accordingly, there is a great need for a system which can

effectively catalog large amounts of information such as product

description, prices and the like, make it available to those in

need of such information in the form of multiple comparative

shopping listings, and allow for real-time purchase transactions,

including credit facility use, all in a secure electronic

environment .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to meet this need, Applicant has invented an

electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system. The novel features of the invention will be understood more fully and

clearly from the following description of the invention as set

forth in the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is an illustration of the system architecture of the

present invention;

Figure 2 is an illustration of a product mapping process in

accordance with the present invention;

Figure 3 is an illustration of a 3-step catalog search in

accordance with the present invention;

Figure 4 is an illustration of how transactions may be shared

in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 5 is an illustration of a process for printing

completed PDF forms using data entered into HTML forms in

accordance with the present invention; and

Figure 6 is a data flow of the interaction between a buyer and

a seller in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As mentioned above, the present invention and processes will

be described in the context of a government order processing system

as implemented on the World Wide Web and will be referred to as an

"Electronic Catalog Service." Figure 1 illustrates the system

architecture. The invention and processes can also be applied in the commercial setting.

Electronic Catalog Service

The Electronic Catalog Service is the common entry point for

all buyers and sellers. The supplier catalogs with MSRP prices can

be searched by anyone. Private contract catalogs are only searched

and used to create RFQs (Request for Proposal) and purchase orders

by authorized buyers.

The Electronic Catalog Service provides the ability for a

governmental entity to post its term contracts, schedule contracts,

surplus property and other buying vehicles that are available to

multiple buying jurisdictions, on an on-line, Internet environment.

This selective "electronic catalog" capability also permits

buyers to make their purchase selections on-line, and have them

converted into EDI or FAX purchase/release orders for transmission

to the catalog supplier. The buyer vehicles are in themselves small

"catalogs" that contain items, part numbers, and previously

negotiated or set prices. These mini contract "catalogs" are

maintained in the private part of the catalog database where buyers

can access them through the Internet. Only those buyers that have

the authority to make purchases off of a particular contract can

see items and prices. When a buyer has access to multiple contracts covering the same products or a buyer wants to check

published MSRP prices from public catalogs, he or she is able to

compare the prices for the different suppliers and manufacturers of

similar items.

The backbone of the catalog holds three major types of items

that make up the products and services that the buyers buy and the

sellers sell, First there are the generic items -- 175,000 covered

by the NIGP 11 digit code and over 6 million in the Federal Supply

Catalog. Second, each generic item is replicated 5 to 10 times

with each occurrence associated with a different manufacturer's

part number - over 20 million in the Federal Supply Catalog.

Third, these specific items can be replicated 10 to 20 times for

the different contracts or catalogs that carry them. These items

carry the additional supplier's stock or price list number.

Internet technology is rapidly evolving. As it continues to

improve, the catalog will become more graphical and support

multimedia presentations that will surpass the quality of the

message that suppliers make now in their print catalogs. While

links are routinely provided to supplier web-sites so that buyers

can investigate a particular product or service, many small

merchants will not want to build their own web site capable of

sending out streaming audio, video and animation feeds. An integral part of the Electronic Catalog Service is to work

directly with site promotion services to ensure the maximum and

most appropriate visibility of Web site facilities to Web search

engines and other appropriate points of publicity, including

placement of animated "tile" advertising on appropriate Web pages

(e.g., the Netscape Net Search page) and active promotion of

reciprocal hypertext linking with related Web sites.

Catalog Enhancements

A number of pre-existing databases make the service offered by

the present invention unique and much easier to find items than

services that just load contract items into a database. Even

before any contracts items are loaded into the database, it is

already filled with the following databases:

NIGP Code

The foundation of the procurement catalog data management

system of the present invention is the NIGP Commodity code.

Contract and open market catalog data is mapped to the NIGP code as

the common delineator so familiar to public sector purchasing

agents. The code is licensed from NIGP.

The NIGP coding scheme provides familiar, visible

classifications that buyers will use to search for items to purchase. The unique capability of the central catalog is the

neutral link and cross reference that it provides to other major

catalogs. Multi-vendor catalogs such as those built by Granger,

Sweets or Sears as well as those from single manufacturers like

Caterpillar whose catalog, though proprietary, are completely

replicated by independent catalog companies.

Another enhancement to the catalog is to add tools that assist

the buyer in preparing RFQs for complex products and services and

that assist the seller in working up' their Bids. Using the latest

Internet technology, these tools are being converted into Java

applets that run at the user's PC and work on data files linked to

the product or service being solicited.

Trade Services Catalogs

Trade Service Corporation is the recognized leader in

providing Benchmark Pricing to agencies throughout the United

States. As a neutral third party provider of data, Trade Service

gathers information from thousands of manufacturers throughout the

country. This information is compiled into industry standard

databases. The information is massaged to ensure consistent

output, and then disseminated in multiple formats depending on user requirements. The information is constantly updated to reflect the

manufacturers' latest suggested resale price, as well as catalog

number, UPC, unit of measure, etc.

Benchmark pricing, and electronic catalogs developed around

live information, generally results in deeper discounts for

agencies. This is due to the varied commodity structures against

which vendors are able to bid. Rather than provide a single

discount for commodities, the vendors can provide multiple

discounts against commodities, sub commodities, manufacturer lines

or single items. Bids can be received against a fair fixed price

for the life of the contract, or allowed to float as economic

changes occur. In this case, the negotiated discount is factored

against the changing list price. The database always remains

current reflecting negotiated contract pricing. Benchmark, or

neutral third party pricing benefits public sector agencies

throughout the solicitation, pre-and post-award processes.

Trade Service databases are used as a benchmark throughout the

bid process. Because the information is neutral, containing

Universal Product Codes (UPC's) and manufacturer catalog numbers,

rather than vendor specific SKU numbers, all vendors can respond to

solicitations with the assurance that they are bidding against a

level playing field. Vendors provide discounts against the manufacturer's list price, rather than the vendors' list price.

This streamlines the process for evaluating bids, comparing

responses, and awarding contracts; and ultimately saves

considerable time and taxpayer dollars.

The electronic catalog becomes a powerful tool for ordering

materials and auditing vendor invoices. Because the database

contains UPC's, it reflects the same schema as vendors' internal

systems making ordering consistent.

A central data repository managed by a neutral third party

data provider will improve the purchasing and materials management

functions. Improvements are through the reduction in data errors

inherent in manual input, accessibility to bar code and product

identification information, current contract pricing, and material

safety data sheets. Through the use of industry standard data that

utilizes universal product codes cross referenced to manufacturer

part/stock numbers, the jurisdiction can expect reduced transaction

costs, increased buying power through aggregated purchasing, and

streamlined contracting processes.

Federal Supply Catalog

This catalog, built and maintained by the Department of

Defense over the last 50 years, provides over 6 million National

Stock Number (NSN) items that have been identified as having unique

form, fit and function and have been classified by three coding

schemes that will link to the NIGP codes:

Federal Supply Class (FSC)

Federal Item Identification Guide (FUG)

Approved Items Name (AIN)

Once links have been made between the NIGP codes and the NSNs,

other valuable information can be made available, such as:

Specific Manufacturer Part Numbers

Prices for Previously Awarded Contracts

Searchable Technical Characteristics

Excess/Surplus Inventory Items

The service also has the capability for governmental entities

to advertise excess and surplus property on the Internet. The

advertisements are searchable by the NIGP Code (both class 998 and

the class-item for the item when originally purchased;- i.e. 070-06

for automobiles) . Advertising jurisdictions will have several

options : Restrict sale of the item to other units of

government; sale to be by electronic bid with a specified

bid opening date.

Permit the item to be sold to anyone, including the

general public; sale to be by electronic bid with a

specified bid opening date.

Offer the item for sale at a pre-established price

(restricted or unrestricted) .

Agencies are able to advertise upcoming auctions of excess and

surplus property. This information can be made available on the

Internet to the general public who could search by commodity code

or geographic location.

Currently there is no established marketplace for selling

excess and surplus property that is unique to government; such as

voting machines, police radios, etc. This capability provides a

low cost method for creating an electronic marketplace.

Product Mapping Process

Figure 2 illustrates how the product mapping process occurs in

accordance with the present invention. The system administrator

receives computer files from buyers and vendors. These files

contain lists of product names and contract or manufacturer suggested prices for various products. The contract prices are

usually ones which have been the subject of negotiation between the

buyer and the vendor and will remain in effect for some period of

time. The manufacturer suggested prices, on the other hand, are

prices which are available to the general public.

In addition to product prices, the computer files may also

contain manufacturer model numbers for each of the products,

products descriptions, the manufacturer's name, quantity price

breaks and may even include a graphical representation of the

product. In essence, the computer file is an electronic equivalent

of a conventional paper catalog. The computer file, however, can be

searched electronically based on key words and various other search

parameters and relationships.

The objective of the mapping process is to take product

catalog information from various buyers and vendors which is often

not consistent between catalogs and map it to an existing reference

catalog of product data (i.e., the proprietary data structure

illustrated in Figure 2) . The reference catalog is created from a

number of sources, including industry codes such as the National

Stock Number ("NSN"), the National Institute of Government

Purchases (NIGP) and the Universal Product Code ("UPC"). These

codes represent classifications for various products and are well understood by the purchasing industry. A classification for most

products can be found in each of the codes. Many states and local

governments also have product coding systems which the present

invention may use as well.

In mapping the buyer and vendor catalog files, various key

words such as product name and model number are used to find the

proper classification in the reference catalog. The process is

greatly aided if the buyer and/or vendor catalog files also include

an NSN, NIGP or UPC code for each product. If the buyer and vendor

catalog files do not include such a code, the file may be compared

to a stored database of invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading

and the like in search of an NSN, NIGP or UPC code which matches

the product. Such purchasing records are available from the Federal

Government as well as other sources. If an appropriate

classification cannot be determined automatically, a human operator

can make the determination.

Once a classification for the product has been determined, it

is given a new reference code from the reference catalog. Using the

techniques of the present invention, it has been found that a

proper classification can automatically be determined 85 percent of the time.

Product Catalog Search Figure 3 is a flow chart of a 3 -step catalog search in

accordance with the present invention. For example, if an end-user

wishes to retrieve information on a particular product, appropriate

key words are used to find the product classification. Once the

classification is found, the second step involves finding a

particular sub-category for the product.

This sub-category may well include several similar products

from different manufactures, thus enabling the user to do product

comparisons. The user then completes the third step by making a

product selection based on, for example, manufacture and model

number.

The steps involved in preparing and using the catalog for a

state or local government purchasing offices are described m the

following sections:

Verify Catalogs & Set Up Contracts

Contract officers browse items in the Contract Catalogs they

received after they have been loaded or updated by them or their

suppliers. Contract officers also set-up, confirm or change the

prices and terms for each contract they are administering. Larger

suppliers can also perform these same functions. Smaller suppliers

using the first level service cannot make changes to the catalog

items . Browse Contract Catalogs

Buyers can search through items in the catalogs limited to the

catalogs from which they are authorized to purchase and their

product profiles. Both of these filters can be easily modified for

a particular session by turning on and off specific contract and/or

product groups. There are two basic methods of locating an item.

The keyword method is a two step process with the first search

returning those product families that match the entered keywords.

Then the user picks the lowest level product family to see the

items available for purchase. The second method of browsing the

catalog database is to navigate down a product family hierarchy

that often has small pictures related to the type of product. When

the lowest level product family is reached, the user picks those

he or she wishes to purchase. The final list of actual items to

purchase can be filtered by manufacturer, price and keyword in the

product name .

Query Public Catalogs

If a buyer cannot find an item on the Contract Catalogs issued

to them by their Contract Administrator, they can search the public

Supplier Catalogs maintained at the Catalog Service. This can be

done at the same time as the search of authorized contracts or

separately by modifying the catalog profile for that session. The Buyer can do comparison shopping between the prices of items that

may appear on multiple private contracts or public catalogs. The

result is a list of similar items from different manufacturers and

different suppliers.

Electronic Procurement System

Figure 4 illustrates a business model for conducting commerce

in accordance with the present invention. The top portion of Figure

4 shows the conventional manner in which buyers and vendors

interact. The arrows indicate the exchange of purchase information

in the form of request for quotes, purchase orders, invoices, bill

of sales, shipping notices and the like. The exchange of each piece

of information is in many cases only for the purpose of creating a

"paper trail" should reconciliation become necessary. Creating this

"paper trail" is, however, expensive, time consuming, and is

wasteful of resources. The need to dispose of these paper records

when they are no longer needed poses additional concerns.

Applicant has discovered that a more efficient way of tracking

commercial transactions is to maintain them in a shared database as

illustrated in the bottom portion of Figure 4. When a buyer wishes

to submit, for example, a purchase order, it is stored in the

shared database and is immediately available for review by a

vendor. Thus, there is no reconciliation necessary because only one copy of the transaction exists, i.e., the copy which is stored in

the shared database.

The Electronic Procurement System is for those procurement

offices that wish to maintain an electronic link with their

suppliers, but do not want to undergo the time and expense to setup

direct EDI links between themselves and all their suppliers under

contract. Using a secure Internet browser, buyers can look at

records of all intermediate revisions or cancellations of purchase

orders, shipping notices and invoices that flow back on forth

between them and the buyer. The electronic link on the supplier

side can be either through the Internet if they are using the

Bidder's Service or through their established EDI VAN.

The introduction of "Purchasing Cards" has helped to reduce

overall administrative costs. The service accepts these

purchasing cards, along with other general purpose credit cards.

Administer Buyers & Suppliers

Contract administrators set-up and assign Buyers who are

authorized to make purchases off of each contract and/or if they

can make purchases of public catalogs at suggested retail prices.

Contract administrators or the Buyers themselves can also set up a

product profile that will be used to limit the items in the public

catalogs or private contract catalogs. Suppliers that do not have a contract or public catalog loaded at the Catalog Service can

register themselves and maintain their own product profiles for

filtering RFQs that they are interesting in bidding on.

Prepare RFQs or Purchase Orders

The Buyer selects the items they wish to purchase from the

private contract or public supplier catalogs on their Internet

Site. The Buyer has the following options as to how they would

like to proceed when looking at a list of similar items:

Pick specific items to put on Request For

Quotes to be sent to the appropriate

suppliers. In this case the item is known and

the supplier responds with their best price.

Pick generic items without a Manufacturer and

Product Number to put on a Request for Quote

that is sent to the appropriate Suppliers. In

this case the Supplier selects the specific

item in their response.

Pick generic items without indicating a

Supplier. This is known as an un-addressed

RFQ that is addressed each night by the

Electronic Catalog Service according to

Supplier profiles. These requests are also placed on the Electronic Bidder's Service for

Suppliers to search if they do not received

notice of the item due to their product

Profile .

Pick specific items with a manufacturer and

part number to put on purchase orders to be

sent to the appropriate suppliers.

Buyer orders are immediately updated in the Electronic

Procurement System databases and are immediately available for any

Supplier that is a customer of the Bidder's Service. For those

that are not, the order is transmitted through the EDI VAN service

if the Supplier is registered as EDI-capable. If not the order is

sent either via e-mail or fax depending on preference of the

registered Suppliers.

Authorize Payment for Orders

If the user wants to pay for the order immediately with a

credit card, digital certificate smart card or procurement card,

the service takes control of the operations to perform the payment

and order fulfillment processes. The exchanges between the browser

and the server are encrypted to insure confidentiality and

performed behind a firewall. The check-out procedure is as follows.

After establishing a secure link with the browser, the server receives the content of the shopping cart and presents an order

form to the buyer for collection of secure personal information to

complete the transaction. The client then enters the requested

personal information (billing and shipping addresses, phone number,

E-mail address, etc.); chooses among the payment options offered;

then enters the requested payment information, e.g. credit card

type, account number, etc.

All information that is captured in the above process is

recorded in a secure transaction database for subsequent use in

daily and monthly reports. The process also adds t e applicable

taxes and shipping costs.

Review or Update Orders

The Supplier receives its orders from the Buyers either

immediately through the Catalog Service if the are a customer, or

via an EDI transmission, Fax or E-mail depending on their level of

service. The supplier then indicates if the order can be shipped in

full, or if one or more line items must be back ordered.

When a supplier is an EDI customer or a Bidde'r's Service

customer, the buyer will receive acknowledgments, adjusted purchase

orders and intent to ship documents soon after the supplier releases

them. For any item on an order that is not yet indicated as being

shipped, the buyer can cancel or change and re-submit it to the suppl ier .

Receive Shipping Notices and Invoices

Suppliers that are customers of the Bidders Service can "turn¬

around" the Purchase Order into multiple Shipping Notices or

Invoices when they are ready to ship. The Supplier can indicate

that some items must be back-ordered and thus create partial

Shipment Notices or Invoices by picking a subset of the line items

or by splitting the quantity ordered into shipped and not-shipped

quantities for individual line items.

EDI capable suppliers use their own internal system to process

the order and send it back to the Buyer through their EDI VAN

Service. Suppliers that received their orders either via Fax or E-

mail notify the Buyer of the intention to ship via traditional means

or via E-mail. In all cases, however, the status of the order will

simply be "PO Sent" until the Buyer authorizes a payment for the

purchase. Buyers will immediately see these shipping notices and

invoices if they are a customer of the Order Management Service.

Update Order History

A copy of all sales invoices processed by the Catalog Service

or received by the VAN service are recorded by the Order Management

Service. These award notices can be kept as part of the Contract Catalogs. Copies of all transactions processed by the Catalog

Service or sent through the VAN Service are kept in the Order

Management database for daily and monthly reporting.

Billing and Payment Methods

In order to complete the purchase cycle and capture important

data about the procurement process, an electronic payment must be

made. It can be by credit card and the traditionally paper-based

part of the transaction is over. But most business and governments

would rather pay monthly bills and only pay after goods have been

received and inspected to be in good condition. Converting this

method of payment is a challenge for everyone involved, now

including the buyer's and seller's bank. The service was the first

to support a totally secure environment including credit cards, and

bank independent Electronic Funds Transfer, in addition to providing

a unique capability to connect with suppliers using Electronic Data

Interchange (EDI) for managing and processing of orders and

invoices .

This system has a comprehensive payment and order fulfillment

capability. It includes a transaction server and many back-office

functions: processing credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX,

Discover and all other popular cards) ; business purchase cards for

business-to-business transactions; tax calculations; shipping method selection and billing; e-mail confirmations; inventory verification

and complete order fulfillment including delivery of orders to

multiple suppliers in any format of choice - EDI, fax, e-mail or

computer file. These functions take place behind a "firewall" which

prevents unauthorized access to the back-office functions. The

system provides access to transactional and statistical information

pertaining to a customer purchases either on-line or as report

files .

The system has integrated payment and order-processing

capabilities into its catalog web-site using Industry-standard

security software that supports Microsoft and Netscape Internet

browsers as well as the new Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)

protocol developed by MasterCard and Visa International .

State and local government purchasers can securely market

products and services, accept orders, process payments and fulfill

orders on the Internet. Delivery can be immediate in the case of

soft goods such as publication material, registrations and software.

In the case of hard goods, a transaction will be transmitted to the

suppliers and goods will be shipped in the normal fashion.

The moment that the customer commits to make a purchase by

clicking on the prepare order button, the Catalog Service completes

the payment and order fulfillment process in a secure back-office environment. The payment can be accompanied by a remittance notice

if the supplier is capable of receiving EDI transactions.

Credit Card Transactions

An example illustrates the flow of information for a credit

card transactions. An on-line credit check with the appropriate

financial institution is made through the normal credit card

authorization process if the credit is authorized, the required

funds for order settlement is temporarily held until it is

determined if the merchant is able to fulfill the order and the

customer is notified on-line of the status; if the credit request

is denied, the customer is notified on-line that his order can not

be accepted the order is sent to the supplier via the Internet as

an E-mail, fax or a computer file or in EDI format.

The supplier acknowledges receipt of order following an

inventory verification, an invoice confirmation is returned to the

Order Management Service by the supplier if the order can be

fulfilled; if the order can not be fulfilled, notification to this

effect is transmitted. The pending payment transaction is processed

through the financial institutions. Where the order is fulfilled

both the customer and the supplier are notified of the outcome of

the purchase request (e.g. by E-mail, or Fax) and the customer

receives a final invoice if the order is being fulfilled, or a notification that the order cannot be fulfilled in accordance with

contract or delivery requirements.

Upon completion of the processing of an order, the Order

Management Service provides confirmation on the acceptance/refusal

of the order to the intervening parties. An important feature of the

service is that the system can accept all popular credit cards for

which the individual merchants have been accredited, including VISA,

Mastercard and American Express, while the debiting of purchaser

accounts and crediting of merchant accounts can take place with any

financial institution. Furthermore, the system will also accept a

large number of private credit cards, e.g. from retail

organizations .

On-Account Transactions

In the case of a state and local jurisdiction, ordering from

a supplier under some form of blanket purchase agreement or

indefinite delivery contract, it is more common to pay on account

as opposed to use of a credit card as per the previous examples . The

supplier in this case will have established terms of payment with

its clients, e.g. net 30 days.

The process for on-account payments is similar to the credit

card process with the following differences. The first step is to

confirm that the customer has a valid pre-established account with the merchant. The order processing proceeds in the same manner the

order confirmation proceeds in the same manner with an invoice being

sent to the customer; however, there is no immediate debiting of the

customer account and crediting of the merchant account, as was the

case with credit card payments, as payment will only be due at some

future date as established between the merchant and the customer the

invoice can be paid on-line through the Internet at any time after

receipt, with the option of specifying the deferred date on which

payment is to be made.

Procurement Card Transactions

These type of transactions are similar to the credit card

transactions m that an on-line check with the appropriate financial

institution is made.

Complete Transactions Reporting

A complete record of all buyer transactions is available, made

through the Catalog Service. In addition to the standard transaction

reporting, many other analysis type reports can be generated for

improved management information.

An example of a report is an open purchase order journal

produced on an ad-hoc basis including vendor order details and order

fulfillment status. The Order Management Service can also provide

information that helps to determine which products are being frequently ordered that might be better purchased in larger lot

sizes .

Daily Transactions

This report gives a list of all transactions performed so far

during the current day. The information contained in the report is:

Transaction number

Date and Time of transaction

Organization ID

Buyer ID

Seller ID

Session ID (recorded sequentially for each buyer )

Contract ID

Payment Type

Sales Total

Shipping cost charged

State or Provincial sales Tax

Federal Sales Tax

Transaction Total ( sum of sales amount + shipping +

sales taxes )

Seller's Name

Seller's Address ( excluding City, State/Region, Zip and

Country) . Seller's City, State/Region, Zip and Country

Telephone number of Seller

E-mail Address of Seller

Shipping Name ( Name appearing in shipping address )

Shipping Address ( excluding City, State/Region, Zip and

Country) .

Shipping City, State/Region, Zip and Country

Billing Name ( Name appearing in the billing address )

Billing Address ( excluding City, State/Region Zip and

Country) .

Billing City, State/Region, Zip and Country

Telephone number of Buyer

E-mail address of Buyer

Status code indicating the completion status of the

transaction.

Confirmation code ( this is the credit acceptance code ) .

Daily Transaction Detail

This report gives the details on the products involved in a

specific transaction. This report provides the information contained

in the transactions of the day listed above plus the following

product information (one line per product) :

Transaction number Product number.

Quantity ordered.

Product description ( obtained from the catalog ) .

Unit price of the product.

Monthly Transactions

This report will list all products and services for all

transactions performed during a specified month. The information

given in this report is:

Transaction number

Date and Time of transaction

Product number

Quantity

Product Description

Unit Price of product

Monthly Transaction Summary

The information provided in report summarizes the daily

transactions with the following information:

Total number of transactions during the period.

Total State or Provincial sales tax for the period

Total Federal sales tax for the period

Total shipping charge for the period

Total transaction amounts for the period. The information is grouped by:

Completed transactions

Rejected transactions

Canceled transactions

Problem transactions

Product and Services Purchased Summary

A monthly file which contains a list of all products sold

during the month along with the class, name, supplier, purchase

amount, manufacturer and quantity (if applicable) sold for each

product and service.

HTML-PDF Forms

Figure 5 illustrates another concept in accordance with the

present invention related to business forms. There are many

situations known in the prior art wherein filling out a paper form

is a prerequisite to obtaining a service or benefit. Insurance and

medical forms readily come to mind. In most cases, the service or

benefit will not be rendered unless the proper form is used and is

completed in the proper way.

Applicant has discovered a novel way in which much of the

tedium can be eliminated when completing complex and cumbersome

forms. The invention builds on the advances in printing documents

made possible by the Adobe PDF technology. Although PDF technology represents a major advance m printing complex documents, there

remained deficiencies in how the printed information is compiled

In accordance with the present invention, a process is provided

in which data for a printed form can be entered into, for example,

a user friendly HTML form. The data is then checked for accuracy

and/or a determination is made whether the entries fall within

predefined ranges. The user can then be alerted to any errors and

given an opportunity to correct them before proceeding further. Once

the HTML form is completed, the form data is transferred to the

corresponding PDF form for printing by both the one filling out the

form and also by the form recipient.

Because it is time consuming to convert a regular form to an

HTML form, Applicant has also invented a process to generate

automatically the HTML form, the CGI program that verifies and

checks the user entries as well as automatically creates a database

for the form data.

It should be obvious from the above-discussed apparatus

embodiment that numerous other variations and modifications of the

present invention are possible, and such will readily occur to those

skilled m the art. Accordingly, the scope of this invention is not

to be limited to the embodiment disclosed, but is to include any

such embodiments as may be encompassed within the scope of the claims .

Claims

WE CLAIM:
1. An electronic catalog system comprising:
memory means for storing a peramater of catalog items;
selection means for selecting one of said catalog items;
user input means for making said selection in accordance with
user determined peramaters; and
control means for controlling said selection process.
PCT/US1999/023224 1998-10-02 1999-10-04 Electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system WO2000021012A9 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10296798 true 1998-10-02 1998-10-02
US60/102,967 1998-10-02
US41100999 true 1999-10-01 1999-10-01
US09/411,009 1999-10-01

Publications (4)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2000021012A2 true true WO2000021012A2 (en) 2000-04-13
WO2000021012A3 true WO2000021012A3 (en) 2000-07-20
WO2000021012A8 true WO2000021012A8 (en) 2000-08-24
WO2000021012A9 true WO2000021012A9 (en) 2000-10-12

Family

ID=26799934

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US1999/023224 WO2000021012A9 (en) 1998-10-02 1999-10-04 Electronic catalog and shared electronic transaction system

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2000021012A9 (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
KR100880193B1 (en) 2006-11-21 2009-01-28 주식회사 지오피아 Method for servicing user created contents in internet
US7734494B2 (en) 2000-12-22 2010-06-08 Cgi Technologies And Solutions Inc. Virtual procurement folder
US8768760B1 (en) 2000-06-07 2014-07-01 Pt 259, Llc Reciprocal linking arrangement between web pages

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5528490A (en) * 1992-04-10 1996-06-18 Charles E. Hill & Associates, Inc. Electronic catalog system and method
US5740425A (en) * 1995-09-26 1998-04-14 Povilus; David S. Data structure and method for publishing electronic and printed product catalogs
US5870717A (en) * 1995-11-13 1999-02-09 International Business Machines Corporation System for ordering items over computer network using an electronic catalog
US5897639A (en) * 1996-10-07 1999-04-27 Greef; Arthur Reginald Electronic catalog system and method with enhanced feature-based search
US5898594A (en) * 1996-06-24 1999-04-27 Leason; David Method and apparatus for enabling a selection of catalog items

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5528490A (en) * 1992-04-10 1996-06-18 Charles E. Hill & Associates, Inc. Electronic catalog system and method
US5740425A (en) * 1995-09-26 1998-04-14 Povilus; David S. Data structure and method for publishing electronic and printed product catalogs
US5870717A (en) * 1995-11-13 1999-02-09 International Business Machines Corporation System for ordering items over computer network using an electronic catalog
US5898594A (en) * 1996-06-24 1999-04-27 Leason; David Method and apparatus for enabling a selection of catalog items
US5897639A (en) * 1996-10-07 1999-04-27 Greef; Arthur Reginald Electronic catalog system and method with enhanced feature-based search

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8768760B1 (en) 2000-06-07 2014-07-01 Pt 259, Llc Reciprocal linking arrangement between web pages
US8781890B2 (en) 2000-06-07 2014-07-15 Pt 259, Llc Access rights modification within webpage implementation server system
US8996398B2 (en) 2000-06-07 2015-03-31 Pt 259, Llc Reciprocal insertion of links for web pages
USRE45971E1 (en) 2000-06-07 2016-04-12 Pt 259, Llc Developing electronic documents providing E-commerce tools
US7734494B2 (en) 2000-12-22 2010-06-08 Cgi Technologies And Solutions Inc. Virtual procurement folder
KR100880193B1 (en) 2006-11-21 2009-01-28 주식회사 지오피아 Method for servicing user created contents in internet

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO2000021012A8 (en) 2000-08-24 application
WO2000021012A9 (en) 2000-10-12 application
WO2000021012A3 (en) 2000-07-20 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6799165B1 (en) Apparatus and methods for inventory, sale, and delivery of digitally transferable goods
US7162458B1 (en) System and method for process mining
US7177836B1 (en) Method and system for facilitating financial transactions between consumers over the internet
US7593898B1 (en) Method and system for payment transactions and shipment tracking over the internet
US6141653A (en) System for interative, multivariate negotiations over a network
US7127415B1 (en) Method and system for acquiring branded promotional products
US7577582B1 (en) Methods and apparatus for facilitating transactions
US6332135B1 (en) System and method for ordering sample quantities over a network
US20020147656A1 (en) E-commerce using a catalog
US20030093320A1 (en) Method, system and computer program product for facilitating a tax transaction
US20010056379A1 (en) Electronic commerce broking system
US20030204289A1 (en) Automated vending
US20010034663A1 (en) Electronic contract broker and contract market maker infrastructure
US20020077893A1 (en) Real estate rebate system and method
US20040103022A1 (en) Method and system for web-based marketing of goods and services having incentive features, tracking and processing incentive based marketing data
US6108639A (en) Conditional purchase offer (CPO) management system for collectibles
US20010039524A1 (en) Electronic bond & guaranty process and business method
US20020116281A1 (en) Internet-based systems and methods for reallocating and selling used industrial equipment and machinery
US7363271B2 (en) System and method for negotiating and providing quotes for freight and insurance in real time
US6336105B1 (en) System and method for representing data and providing electronic non-repudiation in a negotiations system
US20030004823A1 (en) Integrated procurement system facilitating the sharing of research and purchasing across multiple buying organizations
US20050108112A1 (en) System and method for facilitating the real-time pricing, sale and appraisal of used vehicles
US7698240B1 (en) System and method for providing electronic financial transaction services
US20030233246A1 (en) Method and system for selecting a sales channel
US6415270B1 (en) Multiple auction coordination method and system

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
ENP Entry into the national phase in:

Ref country code: AU

Ref document number: 1999 65091

Kind code of ref document: A

Format of ref document f/p: F

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A2

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A2

Designated state(s): AE AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY CA CH CN CR CU CZ DE DK DM EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MD MG MK MN MW MX NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG UZ VN YU ZA ZW

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A3

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A3

Designated state(s): AE AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY CA CH CN CR CU CZ DE DK DM EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MD MG MK MN MW MX NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG UZ VN YU ZA ZW

AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: C1

Designated state(s): AE AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY CA CH CN CR CU CZ DE DK DM EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MD MG MK MN MW MX NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG UZ VN YU ZA ZW

CR1 Correction of entry in section i

Free format text: PAT. BUL. 15/2000 UNDER (30) REPLACE "NOT FURNISHED" BY "09/411009"

DFPE Request for preliminary examination filed prior to expiration of 19th month from priority date (pct application filed before 20040101)
AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: C1

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

CFP Corrected version of a pamphlet front page
AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: C2

Designated state(s): AE AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BY CA CH CN CR CU CZ DE DK DM EE ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MD MG MK MN MW MX NO NZ PL PT RO RU SD SE SG SI SK SL TJ TM TR TT TZ UA UG UZ VN YU ZA ZW

COP Corrected version of pamphlet

Free format text: PAGES 1-33, DESCRIPTION, REPLACED BY NEW PAGES 1-33; PAGE 34, CLAIMS, REPLACED BY A NEW PAGE 34; PAGES 1/6-6/6, DRAWINGS, REPLACED BY NEW PAGES 1/6-6/6; DUE TO LATE TRANSMITTAL BY THE RECEIVING OFFICE

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: C2

Designated state(s): GH GM KE LS MW SD SL SZ TZ UG ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

REG Reference to national code

Ref country code: DE

Ref legal event code: 8642

122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase