Critical Success factors are the ladder of your project or business, whose success brings you one step closer to the Global Market. The trending market’s environment has pushed every business to have a presence in the global market. With the helping hand of assets, resources, technology, people, and strategic tactics you can achieve critical success factors.
Critical Success factors need the backing of technological integration, product category, automatic data integration, data readiness, product’s insights, data storage at one secure location, data optimization, and many more tools that ease out the data migration- That is where PIM, Product Information Management comes into the picture.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Product Information Management is the tool that manages your increased assorted data; it also manages and stores data to a secure location, where you can reach out whenever you need it. PIM is a system that stores, manages, and collects data from different sources. In the output PIM gives you sorted, consistent, and reliable data.
Why Is It Important?
You need PIM for many reasons. The first and foremost reason is Systematic work. The next two are Lead generation for your business and rapid production from your manufacturers.
1. Systematic Work
PIM not only collects the data but distributes products into their specific product catalogs. This product catalog will ease out your working process and systematically you can carry out your business activities.
2. Lead Generation
Once you work systematically, you will know what the barrier that renders your growth is. You can come over the barrier and can generate more leads. Once you have a product catalog in a systematic manner and with reliable information in it; your customer will get a better idea in choosing the right product from your catalogs.
3. Rapid Production
Speed of production directly represents the performance of your business. Product information software is key to achieve high performance. What could not you achieve with reliable product information by your side? You get the right product information at the right time with Product Information Management and that will eventually boost up your production.
Benefits of Product Information Management (PIM) System
PIM has a great significant impact on your business. You may not be able to see the benefits directly, so here I have thrown the light on the not-so-hidden benefits of PIM.
1. Enhanced Data
It is not a piece of cake to manage all product information on your own, without the support of PIM. PIM tracks product information, manages product information, makes sure that only reliable product data reaches your hand, and turns disorganized data into organized data.
2. Better Customer Experience
Your rich product data will boost customer loyalty. The cases of a product return or un-satisfaction level of the customer will be nearly minimal because customers are well-informed prior about the product data, which is accurate and reliable. The customer’s satisfaction level will increase, so loyal customers will be more loyal towards your brand.
3. Boost Time-efficiency
With the presence of PIM, you will not ever have to jumble on the different software for accurate product data. You can get product information at one secure single-central platform; this will save your time and efforts. In less time, you will be able to reach through the right data.
4. Cost-saving option
Would not be weirder if you outsource the special tasks of your business which could be taken care of by PIM without any added cost? PIM is indeed a cost-saving option. You do not buy multiple software that integrates product information, classifies product information, and gives you sorted product data. All in one solution, PIM can take care of all.
Another great advantage of PIM is, it integrates with all and any of your existing software. Your business does not need to implement any other software to make PIM integrate with your existing software. PIM easily integrates with your existing software so that new market products will be launched in no time and at a lower cost.
What are the Challenges faced by Global Companies on Product Information Management (PIM)?
Now that you have seen the importance and benefit of PIM; you need to understand the challenges your business will face once it tries to keep its foot in the global market. The global companies have seen critical challenges, which could be solved by Product Information Management-PIM.
1. Mis-handling Enormous Data
Global companies have marked their foot in the global market and hence the global audience. The amount of data of the global market is immensely high. You set your presence global with years of success and hard work; you would not like to ruin your brand image because of the irresponsibility of data lost.
It is inevitable to lose data when enormous data is concerned. With PIM, you can handle all the data of the world without being concerned about its loss.
2. Negligence of Digital Assets
A range of products will have photos, videos, presentations, and manuals- all these are the digital assets of your business. This digital asset has to be stored at one secure location otherwise you may need to create them all from the scratch.
Product attributes, product images are equally as important as product information. Your customer will observe the product image first then the description. For that, you need to have PIM- which takes care of both product information and product images.
3. Lack of Transparency
As far as the global market is concerned, you will have more departments and more team members. To take care of all team members and make sure they work in synchrony is another challenge itself. Lack of transparency can raise a lack of trust and that will eventually disturb your working process.
To overcome the problem of lack of transparency you can rely on PIM. PIM has special features in the system that allows total transparency yet total security. All departments can know about the progress of work of other departments yet without any interference. They all can trust each other with PIM.
4. Disorganized product catalogs
It is a very tedious and time-consuming activity to organize product catalogs. Since global companies deal with a huge range of products, multiple scales, and different requirements the maintenance of product information and catalog is certainly difficult.
PIM takes care of the organization of the product catalog. PIM makes sure that you have products classified in their particular category-under product catalog with accuracy. The complex product catalog problem is solved by PIM in just a jiffy.
5. Inaccuracy and inconsistency in the product information
Global companies have many products to deal with; the manual entry of product data and the traditional approach of data storage may lead you to lose your data forever. You might also end up having inconsistent and half-filled data that is of no use.
To avoid inconsistency and inaccuracy, you need PIM. The sorted feature of PIM will take care of half-filled, inaccurate, old, and unused data.
6. Delays in product launches
When you do not have reliable product data, consistent and accurate product data you will need to delay the new product launch process. If you delay the new product launch, then you will tail behind your global competitors. In the global market, the level of competition is cut-throat, and in that, you can’t afford to have a delay in the new product launch.
Thanks to PIM, you will never have to wait for another day for launching a new product. You can launch it, whenever you need it, and thus will have an edge over your competitors.
When to use Product Information Management (PIM)?
If three or more characteristics of the below list apply to you, then you should not wait for a blink and need to have PIM.
- When you have a high volume of products.
- When you have a high volume of product-return.
- When you have multi-source product data.
- When you have multi-sales channels.
- When you have a high volume of customer information.
- When you have a dynamic product range.
- When you have multi-product relationships.
Key Factors of Product Information Management (PIM) Deployment Success
Apart from enjoying the benefits of this software, you need to be clear about the process and factors that will lead you to success. I am discussing some of the factors for your convenience, which are;
1. Understanding Your Project And Its Requirements
Every project is unique so you need to keep an eye on all of its issues and features, thereafter prioritizing the hierarchy. Don’t rush into installing the software as once you launch the project you won’t be able to make major changes to it.
2. Division Of Product Needs Into Mandatory And Optional
You will be able to do this by facing both minor and complicated issues related to it. Don’t ignore the complicated ones; neither give much attention to minor plots that can be resolved easily.
3. Appointing The Right Dealer
The contractor to whom you will be giving the responsibility of developing your PIM system should be serious about the job. He should be active in communications, cooperative, and knowing the right budget for your PIM.
4. Train Your Employees And Organize Healthy Discussions With The Departments
You should be ready to set up training sessions for your employees as the system will surely be new to them. After all, PIM is just software, and it needs manual hands-on to make it work with zero hassles.
Let them be aware of its benefits to them and the company’s future. Keep it simple. It’s your department employees who need to work with the software so understanding their problems will enhance the product outcomes. Remember to take regular feedback during the implementation process. This will help them to do the project, not just for the sake of salary but focus on its quality.
5. Be Flexible To Welcome Changes Both Before And After The Implementation Of The Software
As told, each project brings with it new challenges. So you may think that you have done your job very well and there is no need for changes. But wait!! There exist various departments in your company who may recommend to you something better. Don’t ignore and rush. Take time. As good things take time.
6. Don’t Be In A Hurry To Disable Your Current Processes
Adapting to new technology will take time. Reconsider their pros and cons before jumping into a new land, as you just need to create a standard system with updated features to highlight the best in your catalog.
Additional data can be added without altering the older ones. You can start with your data migration process as early as possible. Ensure that your PIM integration with the company’s software is readily available without any interference.
7. You Can Happily Replace Excel/Word/Paper Records
Electronic records are portable, easily transferable, convenient to handle, and retrievable. They occupy less storage space. Excel sheets were inarguably our priority in the good old days but it’s time we accept the new normal.
8. Customizing Is Simpler
Keep in mind that no software comes with 100% feasibility to cater to your requirements. But there is an option to modify them as per your demands. This will help you save your time from developing brand new software.
9. Come up With Solutions That Is Future-Oriented
Complicating your solutions may lead to data handling glitches. Being specific with your problems is good but you cannot be perfect every time. So come with flexible solutions that can be changed when the need arises during the implementation of the project.
10. Create A Working Routine And Fix A Budget Which It Deserves
Gaining experience in working with PIM may consume time but this doesn’t mean you will underestimate your project’s budget. It may render your losses at a later point in time, so invest wisely.
Keep your vision of the project very clear and it should reflect on your project also. Your employees must invest quality time. So, permit them the required permissions to the software so that they can update the progress first to the PIM data whereby it is distributed to other secondary software.
Gone are the days when salespeople used to visit every door with their product catalogs to sell them, now the technology has touched new boundaries which are far more efficient and compatible with the huge demands nowadays.
One of them is the PIM i.e. Product Information Management software that manages all of the data surrounding the products in your product catalog in a very systematic manner. Marketing, sales, e-commerce, product management, IT, print catalogs department, and many others can benefit from the PIM system.