An effective Product Information Management (PIM) system can benefit organisations across a wide range of industries, by simplifying, centralising and streamlining the process of managing product data and ensuring information remains accurate, complete and up-to-date across every data publication and distribution channel.
But with so many PIM systems on the market, how can you select the solution that will provide the best fit for your organisational needs and deliver the best returns for your business?
If you’re considering PIM software for your company, we’ve put together ten questions to ask before you select a solution, so that you can choose a PIM system that’s right for you.
- What do we want to achieve from a PIM solution?
Just as with any software investment, it’s important to have clear objectives around what you want to achieve from your PIM system, so that you can align its performance and impact with your business goals.
The key performance indicators you select for your PIM solution will depend on the specific needs and wants of your organisation, but they may include reducing time to market by a particular percentage, accelerating product data updates by a certain metric, or defining a streamlined onboarding process for new product introductions (NPIs).
- Can the PIM system handle the complexity of our product information?
When it comes to finding a PIM system that’s the right fit for your business, your considerations should go beyond the number of SKUs it can manage (although, of course, you’ll want to ensure it’s equipped for this).
If your product data is particularly complex in terms of the amount of information required, the level of configurability needed, the way product data is structured, or the need for compliance with global data standards, check that the PIM system you select is capable of enabling your team to manage your product information effectively.
- Can I store and manage digital assets?
Many PIM solutions will allow you to upload, store and manage digital assets such as product images and other information, providing a single, centralised platform for both product information management and digital asset management.
While not every company will require this dual functionality, it’s particularly valuable if your product descriptions contain rich media, as this will make it much easier to ensure data and visual content is linked and can be accessed in one go.
- Does the system align with all the channels we use to publish and distribute our product data?
For organisations that publish content across multiple channels, in different formats, or in numerous languages, a PIM system that streamlines the process of sharing information will help to reduce the time and resources involved.
Be sure that your PIM solution is capable of handling a wide variety of channels and formats, such as apps, product catalogues, email marketing, and any other channel in which you may wish to publish content, both now and in the future.
- Is the PIM system scalable and adaptable?
While you may decide a particular PIM system fits the needs of your business right now, it’s crucial to establish whether the solution has the capability to support your organisation as you grow and expand into different markets or regions.
A scalable solution that can easily adapt to new requirements and levels of data complexity will provide a robust platform that supports business growth. By choosing a PIM system that offers features that may benefit your business in the near future, you’ll save time, money and resources down the line.
- Does the solution offer the ease of customisation that we need?
Before you select a PIM system for your business, check whether the solution can be configured to suit your business needs, such as through the ability to build custom workflows for product information management.
The ability to tailor PIM processes to your organisation will provide greater flexibility and empower you with more control. From intuitive data connectivity tools and customisable exports, a PIM solution that offers a custom approach to product information management can help your team members work more efficiently in the way that best suits them.
- Is the PIM solution cloud-based?
A secure, cloud-based PIM system offered in the format of software as a service (SaaS) can offer a range of benefits to businesses of all sizes, including greater scalability, improved accessibility, enhanced security, and reduced costs.
What’s more, with an increasingly decentralised workforce, cloud-based solutions can provide organisations with the capability to empower their team members to work from anywhere at any time, with instant access to the information they need from any device.
- What level of support will we receive?
Having an understanding of the type of support you’ll receive following your purchase of a PIM system can help to gauge whether the vendor and software package is right for the needs of your organisation. For example, does the vendor provide local support?
If you’re new to PIM software—or, even more so, if you haven’t dealt with product information management before—it’s crucial to select a supplier that offers a comprehensive level of support, training, and technical guidance so you can get set up to use your PIM solution quickly and without disruption to your business.
- Does the vendor have experience in my industry?
Different industries will have different requirements from their PIM solution, so working with a vendor that has experience in, and knowledge of, your particular sector can be crucial for ensuring a solution that’s the right fit for your specific needs.
PIM systems can offer a wide range of benefits to industries as diverse as food and beverage, healthcare, retail, food service, and government, so be sure to check whether potential suppliers come equipped with an understanding of how product information management is and can be used in your particular sector.
- How can this PIM solution benefit the business?
From cost savings to increased efficiency through automation, improved product data accuracy and visibility to greater compliance, PIM systems can provide a multitude of benefits to organisations looking to streamline their product information management processes.
By understanding how the PIM solution you’re considering can positively impact your business in the ways that matter most to you, you’ll be better equipped to make a strategic decision on a PIM system that will deliver the best ROI and results for your business.
|To learn more about how Bizcaps can transform master data management processes for your organisation, visit https://www.bizcaps.com/pim-product-information-manager/