The amount of product data that companies create and store has increased exponentially in the last decade. What’s more, customers today demand and expect personalized and quickly accessible product information. To solve these issues, many companies adopt Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. PIM acts as a central hub for all product data to provide consistent and accurate views of product information. The benefits of using PIM are many, but how do you know you should undertake that kind of investment?
Here are 10 signs it’s time to consider PIM.
1. You have a large number of SKUs
Handling a multitude of stock keeping units (SKUs), and the data associated with each one, can quickly become unmanageable. Without a comprehensive system to handle SKUs, errors can be introduced and the amount of effort required to maintain such systems is high. To put this into perspective, companies with over a million SKUs use PIM systems almost exclusively(3) over other options. Although a low number of SKUs can usually be handled without a data management solution, keep in mind other factors that increase complexity such as distribution channels and customer geographical diversity.
2. New products are introduced often
Launching a new product is exciting, but with every launch you have to produce customer, technical and training materials, to name a few. New data also has to be pushed through many outlets, from websites to catalogs. Constantly managing this effort without using a central data source can result in inaccurate product and marketing information.
3. Highly personalized products
These days, especially in industries such as retail, product personalization adds additional layers of information that have to be stored and distributed. If your offerings are highly customizable, consider a PIM solution to manage your data.
4. Product portfolios with complex combinations
Following the previous point, products that consist of several independent parts that have to be categorized and properly presented to a customer require careful, consistent and accurate product information. Most commonly, portfolios where many products complement each other greatly benefit from a data management solution.
5. Data is spread across a multitude of sources
Product data residing in multiple databases and critical information constantly and permanently stored in spreadsheets presents a clear sign that error prone data is rampant across your organization. Without a system to govern and validate information, important data is easily outdated or lost. With storage requirements for data doubling every 19 months, integrating additional data sources takes 33% longer without a proper data governance system(2).
6. Data and business processes need to be optimized
Organizations that don’t have established processes continuously experience drops in efficiency and performance. It’s very hard and costly to expand offerings and promote growth without a system to determine and manage the right internal and external product processes.
7. You want to manage and improve the quality of your product data
Data enhancement is a common goal among most organizations and there are many different ways to achieve this. Regardless of the method, the chosen implementation needs to be able to standardize and provide adequate governance to ensure you provide accurate internal and external information.
8. Analytics is suffering due to lack of adequate data
Good analytics requires good data. If the information necessary for critical or strategic analysis is hard to obtain or not accurate enough this is a clear sign that a centralized information management solution can help your organization. With a central and easily searchable repository, time spent cleaning data prior to performing an analysis is greatly reduced.
9. Your user base is globally dispersed
Having to customize product images, descriptions, benefits and languages across different countries or regions is challenging and time consuming. Even with a moderate number of products to support, large marketing and sales teams would struggle to handle the content needed by your global customers.
10. You consolidate all your product data for all sales channels
Supporting product information from multiple channels either promptly becomes unmanageable or requires a large amount of manpower to accomplish. Companies that deal with multiple channels without systems like PIM usually find that customer experience suffers due to awkward or inconsistent product data. In fact, almost 50% of retail organizations struggle to maintain a single version of product information across channels(1).
To Wrap Up
There are many reasons to switch to a PIM solution. If you’re on the fence about investing in one and you are seeing many of the above signs in your organization, chances are that you will greatly benefit from PIM. Also consider that up to 44% of companies that have adopted PIM say it has improved sales potential(1).