In a climate where businesses are waking up to the significance of compelling product experiences across sales and ecommerce channels, product information management (PIM) solutions have earned a special spot. That’s because PIM collects, consolidates and enriches product information to improve data quality, consistency and management.
This, in turn, helps in achieving both operational and analytical excellence—leading to accelerated business growth and higher ROI. With such massive potential and impact on business outcomes, getting a perfect PIM strategy for your business becomes a critical step.
Venturing into any information management system, be it for B2B or B2C, begins with a basic unit – ‘data’. Since the whole point is to cleanse, consolidate and steward data optimally, it must also be approached systematically.
First things first – you need to secure buy-in from management, key stakeholders and decision-makers. This fundamental, but substantial, measure is needed to create a solid groundwork for charting out a fitting strategy for your business.
Here are six basic principles that every ‘world-class PIM strategy’ must encompass.
A PIM project is unlike any classic enterprise IT implementation, as it aims to directly contribute to higher efficiency and enhanced customer experiences, which is tied to your digital strategy. This, in turn, feeds into your overall growth strategy and ROI.
Therefore, organizations must never lose focus of the big picture. In other words, what’s needed for your business growth must be made a priority in your PIM strategy. And that’s how a PIM solution must be envisioned.
Often, companies have different platforms and tools installed in the organizational framework. These can be legacy or advanced versions of content management systems (website, mobile apps, POS display), ecommerce (webshop, marketplace), Web-to-Print (datasheets, catalog), and business tools (sales platform, product configurator).
Integration of a PIM platform with all of them makes data flow seamlessly. Given this compatibility and platform onboarding for synchronization, it is advisable to cluster these systems into groups.
The groups can be ‘critical and not critical’ or ‘existing and non-existing’ – depending on how you want it. This way you can simplify your PIM strategy, to delimit or divide it into several phases.
The raison d’être of the existence of any PIM strategy is to transform the data quality and focus on how the information can be utilized best. It must disseminate clear and accurate product details, which are consistent on every touchpoint.
Achieving excellence in data quality will cover the following steps:
It should be clearly spelled out in the strategy which data needs to be imported and which must be entered manually.
In addition, there are usually interfaces to other systems that communicate with PIM. Since PIM solutions replace several tools and platforms and perform those tasks with better transparency and synchronization while communicating with almost all systems through interfaces, they ensure no data leakages happen. Getting this aspect right is crucial to your PIM strategy.
A workflow is an orchestrated, repeatable pattern of activities that processes a set of data in every organization. The product information workflow management abilities of an ideal PIM solution should be able to help you structure your workflow by allowing you to pick from drop-down selections, modify workflow paths and keep up with business process updates.
It can include processes like article creation, quality assurance and translation. To maximize efficiency and your competitive advantage, moving data through a solid product workflow is key.
A successful PIM strategy is incomplete without the people, knowledge (about where the product information is housed) and resources required to implement PIM. To put it simply, the first thing is to identify who the single contact person and/or team is who will be responsible for the implementation.
Second, having the knowledge about the location of product information is central to your PIM strategy; without it, success remains a distant dream. Lastly, it’s essential to make sure that you have enough resources for project management, data input and interface programming that are required to carry out the implementation.
Many times, customers never engage twice with the same brand, especially if brands deliver incomplete or inaccurate product data; in fact, they abandon them for good. From daily necessities to luxury expenses – product information is a major driving factor.
If you are intending to refurbish your data management to weave a strong experience for your customers, merely plugging in a PIM system without a sound strategy will not cut it. Although product information management has a guaranteed advantage, it won’t yield the maximum output unless strategized wisely.
So, if you’ve made up your mind for getting a PIM implemented, make sure you don’t miss out on any of these steps in your strategy.
Dietmar Rietsch is the CEO of Pimcore, an open-source software platform for managing digital data and customer experience. Dietmar deals with new technologies and the digital transformation of companies daily. He is a passionate entrepreneur who has been designing and realizing exciting digital projects for more than 20 years.Reblogged 1 year ago from www.clickz.com