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10 tips on how to successfully implement PIM in your company

Until a few years ago, most companies managed product data using tabular structures, such as the popular spreadsheets. Currently, the technology is developing dynamically, and customers are becoming more aware and interested in online shopping.

Manufacturers and sellers not only focus on the consumer experience, but also on providing the proper quality product information. 

Both manufacturing companies and the e-commerce industry turn to product management system, also known as PIM, to improve the quality of product descriptions, streamline data administration and workflow processes, and increase productivity.

PIM is a powerful technology that can not only improve internal processes, but also increase sales, reduce the level of product returns and the number of abandoned carts.

For the implementation of the PIM to bring the expected result, it is important to act properly and effectively from the very beginning.

To do this, you need to focus on choosing the solution that will not only meet your business needs, but also ensure proper implementation within the organization. If your company is ready to implement a PIM project, it is the time to read the top 10 tips on how to do it effectively.

Do you want to know more? Read the article:  PIM tools (Product Information Management)

 

Costs of PIM implementation

When managing product information, whether when being a part of the e-commerce industry, a manufacturer or distributor, you need an appropriate system that will gather all data in one place. In the case of online stores, the situation may be even simpler, as they most often already have data management systems.

These systems are not the most effective ones; however, PIM will easily integrate with them to quickly take over their responsibilities. The key to success is to plan the proper data migration path.

If you are not a part of the e-commerce industry, you usually have to start from nothing. Below, there are steps that will facilitate the effective implementation of PIM in your company.

What business benefits does a manufacturer receive after implementing PIM? You can learn more about this in this article.
 

Step 1. Write down your goals

The essence of any effective implementation of the IT system lies in defining goals and tasks – without this, it is not possible to effectively implement the project.

Ask yourself a few questions:

What do you want to achieve by implementing PIM?
Do you want to improve the quality of product information? Increase employee efficiency and productivity? Maybe it can reduce costs by introducing a single, multifunctional platform?

Make sure you know and understand your goals before you move on to designing your data structure, the heart of the PIM system.

Why is understanding needs and setting goals such an essential element of design? Read the article: Pre-implementation analysis and the success of the project
 

Step 2. Select and define system users

Do you know who will use the PIM system in your company? You must identify all decision makers who will be responsible for entering data and any changes and modifications.

This is initial from the point of view of information protection, so that only authorized persons have full access to it. This also reduces the chaos and distributes responsibility only to specific employees, making them work more efficiently and keeping data in the right quality.

Get to know the needs of users and their requirements for the system so that the interface is designed as good as possible. It can be accessed via a web browser or a computer or mobile application.
 

Step 3. Indicate the appropriate location of your data PIM gives you a choice.

Depending on your needs, your data may be centralized or decentralized. Large companies most often choose the first model of information collection due to the wide range of products and the complex structure of the company.

Thanks to the central database, all departments in the company have a simple access to extensive information. When it comes to the decentralised PIM systems, they are used by smaller organizations, in which each team manages its data. Their location depends on your individual needs.
 

Step 4. Identify the most important processes and system functions

After determining the decision makers and data location, a crucial step is to plan business processes and their workflows. Key issues:

  • Identification of product families and their attributes – the product families are their categories, while the attributes define the features describing their specifications. This stage is extremely important, especially for manufacturers and distributors who do not yet have product data in another system.

Thanks to this, it is possible to speed up the process of describing products, and customers will be able to see only the information that they are interested in at a given moment. When it comes to attributes for each of the product families, the approach should be minimalist (MVP), e.g., 15 characteristics per product.

Thanks to this, you will be able to quickly complete data in subsequent products and expand information in the future.

  • Import and export of data – how the process of adding a product is to look like, will the exporting of data to distributors affect the achievement of business goals.
     
  • Integration with other systems – PIM integrates perfectly with other technologies that are already present in your company. Thanks to this, you will improve the existing work and maintain consistency, e.g., with product SKU.
     
  • Data workflow – smooth workflow of product information is a principal element of the PIM system. As a result, one is able to download and transfer assortment data in a bidirectional manner almost in real time. When designing workflows, it is important to determine permissions.

In this way, only specific people in the company will have access to some information - as a result, the data quality is maintained. Thanks to this, you save your time and minimize the risk of publishing incorrect product information.

When designing a PIM system, you can enrich it with additional functions depending on individual needs and the provider you choose. Some of them are:

  • Translation into various languages both in terms of administration/operation panel – the system can be supported in different languages from the user level, but also in terms of support in the area of translation of all product information.
     
  • Integrated DAM (Digital Asset Management),
     
  • PDS (Product Data Syndication) - publishing and sharing product data in various channels addressed to customers, markets, sellers, and many more, which aim to maintain a consistent and uniform internal data collection process, standardize each point of contact, and assure a smooth publication based on business principles and company quality standards,
     
  • Omnichannel support - all information on products and rules of sales are available from one principal place.


Read what the DAM platform is and how can you use it in your business? DAM platforms - "new" player in the game of digitization
 

Step 5. Consider the data migration path

When all processes have been defined and the product data have been properly prepared, it is time to transfer them to the PIM system. The purpose of this step is to incorporate this solution into the company's systems and integrate it with technologies to ultimately become the main platform.

While this is not difficult for manufacturers or distributors due to the lack of other information management systems, in the e-commerce industry it is the most tedious stage of PIM implementation. The data is transferred until the PIM is launched. However, this is a major step to ensure efficient management of the product base.
 

Step 6. Plan the data management

It is essential to ensure the quality and accuracy of product information. The PIM system not only shows how to manage information, ensures the accuracy and consistency of product data, but also models it – composes relationships and connections between datasets, creates categorization and hierarchy.

By setting classification standards, it gives companies the possibility to construct flexible and scalable data models. Their quality is responsible for the completeness of the information and its gradual enrichment, as well as for auditing.

At this stage, make sure you have a plan to manage and regulate product data and to continuously evolve them for operational analysis – whether you have established a data repository, an application server, and an interface basing on user needs. These three components work together to ensure that all interested parties can access, manage, and update product information.
 

Step 7 Choose the supplier

Choosing the right supplier ensures implementation on time and on budget, considering all the key factors for the success of your project. The issues to pay attention to at this stage:

  • compare the offers of different suppliers,
  • check if they have worked in your industry so far,
  • submit a request for quotation to specific suppliers,
  • evaluate and select the offers,
  • get a personalized DEMO for your business,
  • make your final choice.

Contact us. We will analyse the needs of your business and suggest which PIM platform will better suit its development. 
 

Step 8. Calculate total cost of PIM

To avoid strategy risks, you should know and understand the total costs of implementing the PIM. Pay attention to:

  • cost of license per user,
  • potential risk-related cost liabilities,
  • replacement costs,
  • the cost of the PIM implementation itself,
  • fees related to ongoing maintenance.


 

Step 9. Negotiate and decide

Before building the entire PIM implementation strategy, it is important to know all the objectives and priorities concerning your project. When choosing a supplier, set specific requirements, by considering short- and long-term goals.

At this stage, it is important to set time limits, conditions regarding confidentiality, and determining the risk level. Once you have defined everything with the supplier, you can proceed to the implementation of the PIM system.
 

Step 10. Implement, test, monitor

During the implementation stage, the test phase is important. At the beginning, a small number of products is introduced into the system, and then all selected functionalities are assessed; whether the platform has properly integrated with other systems, how data migration is made.

Thanks to this, you can assess on an ongoing basis whether the system meets your expectations or whether any module needs to be better adapted. In this way, you not only check if a PIM works properly, but also if all the product information is consistent. In addition, the test phase provides a possibility to verify the implementation of the project assumptions developed during the pre-implementation analysis.

In addition to testing on a sample data, it is worth performing integration tests on more information to verify the performance of the system. This will allow you to locate the server resources you need to modify at the right time.

During the test phase, the onboarding of your employees is important - you not only check whether the system meets your expectations, but also whether the system users find themselves in a new solution.

Their suggestions will be important in the test phase as each change will be reflected in their performance and work efficiency. After passing the tests and accepting it by the whole team, the PIM platform can be successfully implemented and made available to decision makers.

At this stage, the installation, configuration, and final preparation of the infrastructure on which the company works take place - a cloud, an application, or a browser.

Do not treat the implementation of PIM as a one-off move, it is a large project and process that allows for a comprehensive approach to managing the product base. It is worth constantly monitoring, optimizing, and supplementing it with new elements in order to develop the business.

In a dynamically changing environment, it is impossible to effectively produce or sell without the PIM tool. A company that wants to undergo a digital transformation should focus on automation and synchronization of tasks.

The implementation of the PIM system is a step towards business development. Also, a well-chosen and configured system can manage a large amount of data and product information. It allows for organizing them in such a way as to intuitively manage them on each sales channel.

This significantly reduces the amount of manual work to be performed and enhances the control over the company.

It provides an opportunity to save time and costs, and positively affects product communication. This tool facilitates and automates a significant part of the work, reduces operating costs, and opens further prospects for conquering new markets. 


To help you determine which platform is better for you, we present a comparison. PimCore or Akeneo. Which PIM to choose in which situation?


 

 

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