Product data can often be found in a variety of different systems. Development, marketing, sales, logistics: each department stores its data in a different location. The spectrum ranges from development systems to ERP and CRM all the way to digital asset management for handling images and other multimedia assets.
Establishing order here is the order of the day. It’s about time to centralise all your product data. What you need is a central platform for shared use to manage your data effectively and economically, allowing enhancement for specific target groups and needs-based provision for a variety of online and office purposes.
A central system for your product data is the only way to ensure that employees who require access to product-related information can obtain it smoothly. A central system for the storage, maintenance and provision of product data is also a key prerequisite for the high data quality your company needs to handle increasingly short product lifecycles and a growing number of sales channels.
Where is your product data located? It is important to obtain a clear picture of the systems and locations within your company where relevant data are stored and managed. In many cases, this kind of stocktaking can deliver surprising results: specifically, the complex image of a landscape with numerous data islands and silos. The problems that arise as a result are well-known, but they are far from resolved.
That’s why you should consider the damage that data silos cause in marketing and sales: Scattered product data requires a great deal of effort to maintain and unify. It is hard to check and ensure data quality and data updates if the data are kept in various systems, formats and different locations. The time to market is drastically slowed, since the latest version of the product data is not available everywhere at all times: instead, it must first be collected, reviewed and prepared. Operating multiple different systems is also expensive and time-consuming.
Relying on a central PIM system instead of decentralised islands and silos is a more efficient way towards a better future. Define clear responsibilities for the supply, creation and provision of product data. Use integrated work flow management for fluid processes, e.g. for change management. Ensure transparency across all product versions. Enable automated monitoring and updates of your product information according to rules that you define. Shorten product introduction times by establishing a central source for all media and translation processes.
It is also important for your PIM system to have extensive integration options, whether using APIs or other interfaces to connect with other systems. For example, as a retailer it can be important for your PIM system to have integrated supplier and catalogue management.