Isn’t that what all employees want? It doesn’t have to be a long road from wish to reality: all it takes is a well-positioned PIM system. This can spare you lots of work. Processes that used to be manual are digitalised, work flows are automated and efficiency is markedly improved. You can reach the target even faster through cautious preparation and laying certain foundations.
When it comes to company data, it’s often like our teeth: A tooth hurts, it gets treated and a filling makes everything all right for the time being. In terms of our data world, that means: Improvements and repairs are carried out here and there, but the actual problem is not resolved. The issue is deeper – and remains untreated. In most cases, all that helps is getting to the root of the problem. If you waste too much time compiling your product data, or if data are kept isolated in different systems, Excel lists or databases and updates are time-consuming, it’s high time to tackle the root of the problem and introduce a PIM system.
In this context, it is recommendable to have a clear idea from the start about what exactly the system should accomplish. To this end, you need to be clear about how your processes and product data are obtained and what objectives you are pursuing with PIM optimisation.
Before you decide on a provider, you should clearly define your expectations and requirements and also include future strategies, business models and company goals.
You have to know what your products look like, what characteristics (attributes) they have, on what channels your customers come into contact with data now or in the future, where your data sources are and what formats the data are stored in.
These questions can only be answered by resolving a variety of different aspects. This includes the requirements of internal target groups such as the different product data stakeholders as well as the expectations and demands of external target groups. Not to mention influences such as country-specific legislation, national and international standards and diverse regulations.
And that’s not all. You need a clear idea of the required characteristics and processes: from copying and conversion functions for technical units and currencies all the way to user rights management, work flow management and data filling for channels and media.
In addition, you have to ensure that your product data forms a consistent whole, regardless of the original sources. In today’s world, customers encounter your products on all sorts of channels. They rightly expect these encounters to be based on consistent product data.
The good news is that you don’t have to tackle the challenges of introducing a PIM system on your own. You can bring in assistants and experienced PIM experts to help. They will also be useful when you are integrating your PIM system with the rest of your IT infrastructure, for example ERP and CRM systems such as SAP or Microsoft.
In summary: when it comes to introducing PIM systems, good planning is half the battle. Make sure to choose a software provider who offers you a sufficiently flexible system for customer-specific data modelling with strong out-of-the-box functionality so that you can make changes as needed during ongoing operation and react quickly to market changes.
There are a variety of different PIM systems. The better you know your specific processes and needs, the easier it will be for you to choose the optimal PIM system and integrate this into your existing platforms.