Implementing PIM: 5 most asked questions

New business models and publication channels emerge as a result of digital change. To promote e-commerce, enable supplier self-service, and better warehouse management, businesses are redesigning their IT landscapes. Product data management is one key component in all of this. When B2B companies discover they need a Product Information Management (PIM) system, they'll face numerous new problems. In this blog, we'll go over the five most common questions that firms with PIM implementations have.

Business processes get more digitized or even entirely rebuilt for digital optimization as organizations embrace everything digital. Compliance with local, national, and industry legislation and regulations but also connectivity with data pools, are becoming increasingly crucial for efficient business operations. This presents a number of issues, but one sticks out: managing product data and providing optimum information for distribution across all channels. We've compiled a list of five challenges and provided relevant responses based on our experience installing PIM:

1. I have my product data in ERP. How should I use this data in conjunction with a new PIM system?

Traditionally, every company's product or service information is recorded in some type of ERP system. It's critical to understand how the ERP data is currently utilized and how the PIM data will be used in the future in order to utilise this information best in conjunction with a PIM system. This assessment is dependent on not only the product data, but also the data processes surrounding its use, maintenance, and control. The process of producing an initial product record is critical in determining the best approach for your product data. There are two basic ways to this:

  1. ERP takes the lead
  2. or PIM takes the lead

2. I use a lot of information from other companies. What is the best way to get this rich data from partners and other data sources?

Any data that your PIM system requires comes from external or internal sources. Your suppliers usually have the greatest and most up-to-date product data, which they exchange via data pools. Enhanced product data and product classifications given in standardized forms are being adopted by an increasing number of businesses. One of the most well-known is GS1 (from 1WorldSync), which caters to businesses such as retail (including supermarkets and pharmacy), food, medical, and home improvement (including garden). ERP, PLM, and WMS systems are examples of internal sources. You can access additional sources and acquire the correct product data for your new PIM system using APIs or an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

3. What kind of data quality tooling will I need? What does it need to do and check?

Putting all of your product information in one place is merely the beginning. You'll need data quality tooling to be able to answer management questions such as:

  • Why does our e-commerce site contain such minimal product information?
  • What is the status of our intended level of product data quality?
  • How do we effectively enrich data? How can we keep track of its quality in key areas like details, material codes, and food ingredients?

You'll need software to analyze, validate, and improve data as part of your business processes. These procedures can aid in the organization of data, the setting of goals, the suggestion of data improvements, the monitoring of data quality in general or specific sections or attributes, the filtering of exceptions, the matching of data to legislation, and the validation of data before it is released.

4. How do I migrate my current product data to the new system?

Data migration usually entails more than merely transferring source data to a new PIM system. The majority of data transfer initiatives also necessitate significant data validation, cleansing, and transformation algorithms. This necessitates a high level of competence in both the source and destination systems, as well as a thorough understanding of the data. As far as we can tell, the right steps for data migration are:

  1. Confirm business requirements and choose the right migration strategy
  2. Perform data quality checks and cleanse data
  3. Define the system setup
  4. Create a data migration plan
  5. Execute the data migration plan
  6. Do after migration checks
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5.How do I give access to my suppliers?

Suppliers supply product data in a number of formats in different B2B contexts. E-mail, fax (yep, faxes are still used in 2018), text files, Excel files, or XML are all options. All of these formats must be manually uploaded into the ERP or PIM system that stores your (supplier) product data. Depending on the quantity of products, uploading product information can be a full-time job. Following the upload, each record is manually validated to check if it meets the company's basic quality standards. Simple checks include: is there a product picture attached, is there a brief description supplied, and is this product subject to any legal restrictions? It is not a major concern if you only have a number of providers.

But what if you're a supermarket or wholesaler with thousands of vendors? Then you'll be seeking for a more efficient approach to process all of that data, such as through a supplier portal. Your supplier can either manually or automatically upload their data here. A report is automatically delivered to the supplier and receiver after processing. We've barely scratched the surface of these fundamental PIM questions in this blog.

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