A Strategic Asset
In today’s environment, a company’s business ecosystem has new channels with many customer touch points. This has led to the need for companies to effectively leverage their product information.
What is Product Information? It generally included information such as SKU Number, Description, Price, Product Images and supplier data, but it does not stop there. Product information touches every part of an organization starting from Sourcing, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Distribution and Customer Support.
Product information is distributed in various formats such as catalogs, brochures, price books, websites, and digital content. With its reach across all aspects of an organization Product Information holds the key to a company’s success. Centrally managing and distributing this information has to become the primary initiative for the all the various departments. Product information thus is a strategic asset similar to supplier, customer and financial information.
A Central Product Information Management (PIM) System
A Central Product Information Management System is a comprehensive system that allows an organization to store all aspects of product data; it covers both internal and external product data. The system will be used across the entire spectrum of the Product Life cycle, across various departments. The product information will increase in value as it goes through the different phases, as information gets added to it by the Product Development, Marketing, Sales and Customer Support Department. The PIM also includes catalog management system for distributing the product information.
The Central PIM links to an ERP system for automatic updates for supplier data and core product information such as SKU Numbers and Price. On the other end of the spectrum the PIM can also connect to a CRM system to bring customer information into the repository. The rich product information travels through its various phases with it being enhanced, corrected, aggregated and used in a consistent and a controlled manner.
Benefits of implementing a Product Information Management System
Organizations that have implemented a PIM see a significant cost savings due to reduced errors, improved automation and increased productivity. The cost savings are present across all departments since product information has a single source which leads to more accuracy and consistent availability of the required information. Companies see reduced product returns due to the accuracy of the data, lower customer support requests and accurate pre and post sales information. A catalog software system thus provides decreased operational costs to organizations.
By setting up a central Product Information Management System, a company can see increase in its revenue in the following aspects.
- Accelerated marketing efforts and a faster time to market products
- Higher revenue due to price related errors
- Higher Sales because of the availability of quality information to customers to make an informed purchase
- Better automation across the whole organizations IT efforts
A catalog software system will be linked to other systems like the ERP or CRM, due to the integration information will be synced between these systems very smoothly which contributes to business automation for the company.
Each of the various departments and customers automatically gets accurate product information in the right time and in the right format.
Reporting and Business Intelligence
Organizations need access to insights about product data and processes to make informed business decisions. Using a central PIM allows the generation of real-time product sales and customer trends reports, these reports provides the much-needed edge in the competitive business.