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AUTHOR

Dennie Ovenberger

inRiver Champion & Business consultant

2017-01-22

| Dennie Ovenberger

INSIGHT

Key success strategies for making PIM work

The benefits of PIM are clear but there are some key factors to consider in order to harvest the potential of the new PIM system.

Implementing a PIM system is, as with other strategic decisions, no not essentially easy. But, with a successful deployment, improved product information and related processes, enterprises are able to directly translate improved user experience and quality to increased sales and profits. The benefits of PIM are clear but there are some key factors to consider in order to harvest the potential of the new PIM system.


You know you need a PIM System when:
  • Your product information is spread over legacy systems and desktops. Scattered information is very difficult to manage and the effort to keep it up-to-date and consistent over the spectrum of channels is costly.
  • The digital transformation has entered you business and your competition is growing faster since the manage e-commerce and product data better.
  • A centralised platform for product data that allows for parallel updates and automation of processes visibly can replace manual work spread out over individuals, offices and regions.

 

Implementing PIM is a cultural change on top of the more mundane technical and data quality challenges that will arise. Questions such as "Where do we store our data when we have a PIM system?". Yes, the answer is right; "it depends".

 

PIM systems that are built for sales and marketing, and those are the ones we recommend, are necessarily not designed to store product revisions, bills of materials etc. in an effective way. Forming a strategy, backed by top-management for how Master Data shall be stored and managed is one of the key success factors.

 

Above we touched on the subject of vendor selection and it is our experience that the best choice is a system that have the user-friendliness that is required for "non-IT persons" are to be preferred. However it is very important that the chosen system can easily integrate and synchronise with your ERP and PLM systems, as well as to work effectively on the output side.

 

Some other core strategies for PIM deployment are Data Quality, Standardisation of workflows and processes and last, but not least, the implementation project frame work utelised. The effort that has to go into the Data Quality can not be understated. Celaning and improving data will not be done by the system, but whilst you have got it right it will provide correct information in all channels, instantly. The standardisation of processes are alo key to success as otherwise it will be hard to gain the desired productivity.

 

On the PIM implementation framework, we strongly recommend to use Agile, itterative techniques. It is virtually impossible to foresee the desicions you have to make by the means of atraditional approach. Not to mention the time and effort you have to but into that sort of massive analysis. Here our experince is that we learn as we go and we accept some failures, that we are able to easily correct due to the incremental approach. Implementing PIM is an elephant, so take it in in smaller manageble bites.

Read next: Enterprise PIM is a fundament in digital transformation

Read previous: Helping integration through software development

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