Meeting the ever-changing demands of the product data is always difficult, and doing that efficiently is especially hard. If your business attempts to support multiple marketplaces or even geographic regions – the amount of work needed to be done to make that happen grows even exponentially.
Unfortunately a lot of businesses are either unaware of their issues or claim that all those difficult and costly processes are a part of business by themselves – and nothing else, no attempts to make it better whatsoever. There’s also a fact that some businesses don’t have the slightest idea about how they can alter their current system to make it a better fit for their needs and purposes. As an extent of that, they use tools and methods unfit to solve their specific issues.
Luckily there is a solution that solves those problems. There are more and more businesses that achieve better results with good enough backend operations that allow much bigger choice in both customization and control of frontend operations.
Still, in order to address the issue in some way, you need to admit you actually have the issue in the first place. Further on in the article we’ll discuss 3 instances of you being ready to introduce a good PIM solution and 4 signs showing that you need to change or improve your existing product data management system.
3 signs you’re prepared to introduce a qualified PIM solution to your business
The patterns of massive brands’ work can show us that there are a few common signs showing the business is ready to introduce a PIM solution to help them with managing workflows, overall business scaling, and others.
The first sign: product data management across multiple marketplaces and locations
A lot of businesses are always looking for ways to expand in one way or another, or working out some solutions to optimize the existing selling processes, no matter if it’s a number of stores, regions, basic retail or 3rd-party marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, etc.) they’re working with.
For most of the brands launching a new catalog or updating the existing one is extremely taxing (a lot of competent staff and / or a lot of time needed). The whole process is difficult, costs a lot of money most of the time, serves as a blocker to the company’s expansion and may result in getting behind in the competition for the said company.
The second sign: the variety of ways to provide product data
Usually there’s quite a variety of ways that data supplier can provide the required product information, and most of the time each of them uses only one specific tool or system. In general there are a lot of data sources from manufacturers, product suppliers and procurement systems to SEO, translation and marketing agencies, and some others.
All those data inputs result in a huge mass of various product data types and formats. It leads to difficulties with the data retrieval process due to the need for the company to purchase required technologies and the staff to be able to accept and work with all of that information. Most of the time it results in the faulty and ineffective workflows, impacting the entire business as a whole, increasing product costs and time, reducing customer satisfaction, etc.
The third sign: incapability of the current product data management system to work at the current scale
If the company uses manual processes, it most likely means that there are a lot of problems with data errors and unproductive workflows in that company.
The lack of PIM system means that all the important data can simply get lost or outdated. This also means there’s no way for the organization to maintain and exchange product data across the entire company.
Using PIM not only helps you with data collection and its maintenance, a high-quality PIM solution also includes a way to sync across all of your business applications through iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service). The supported applications include ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and other systems, both legacy and modern.
4 signs you probably need to change your existing PIM solution
Even if there are a lot of companies who’s looking to include product management system for the first time, there are also quite a few of those who already has an implemented solution of sorts.
Next you’ll see a few of the most common ways in which brands try to improve their product data management system but create more problems for themselves in the end.
Attempt #1: working with manual PIM
This is one of the most common ways organizations try to solve their problems in regards to the product information. This includes working with Excel sheets, cross-scripting SQL, and other manual methods. All of those result in high overall cost, abundance of errors, and a lot of time spent. This often frustrates the staff and makes it a lot harder for the leaders to make decisions based on such data.
Attempt #2: trying a custom PIM
Sometimes companies try to create and implement a PIM of their own. Overwhelming majority of the time it doesn’t end well. For example, it’s easy to underestimate the overall depth of the integrations needed. As a result, there are no tools, the integrations are barely working as it is, the data workflows are basically nonexistent, and the amount of wasted resources is staggering.
Attempt #3: implementing some sort of “All-In-One” solution
Just as there’s no size that fits all in clothing – the same applies to the PIM solution of that kind. These solutions are incredibly expensive and inflated, and lack the capability of handling the gentle mix of satisfying back end performance and manageable consumer front end load. The correct PIM should meet your definite business needs, because the process of customizing workflows, inventory, accounting and a myriad of other things is simply too big of a challenge for All-In-One solution.
Attempt #4: choosing the wrong PIM provider
There’s always a possibility that the tools you’ve selected don’t live up to your expectations after all the time spent on implementing them. There are also cases of businesses purchasing some sort of PIM lookalike product that can’t scale with the business growth or can’t provide the number of features needed for the operation support from beginning to end. Either that, or businesses attempt to work with what they have or beg for the promised features and / or functionality.
It doesn’t matter which case is it, it’s never too late to change your mind in regards to the solid PIM solution, and if the solution is as good as it’s presented, then there should be no workflow or technology that will be too complicated for that particular system.
If your business is in need of assistance, you’re always welcome to contact us. Before that we highly recommend you to check our PIM solution, it may become an answer to all of your questions.
Photo credits: Cathryn Lavery / Unsplash