How to Implement a Product Information Management System: Plan and Common Mistakes

This is a guest article by Margo Sakova, Marketing Manager at Gepard

In this data- and consumer-driven world, dealing with every bit of product information can become a company’s worst nightmare. That’s when your business needs to launch PIM — product information management software that serves as a single repository to gather, manage, and expand product information and integrates with other data sources and eCommerce channels.

PIM, as a central hub for all your product content, helps to increase product data quality, improve your team’s communication process, drive more sales, elevate customer experience, and significantly boost your ROI.

Now you know what product information management is and its benefits. And that means it’s time to learn how to implement a PIM solution efficiently.

PIM Implementation Plan

PIM design and discovery sessions

Functional workshops are valuable to get an idea of how data flows through the system, what the most important data sources for your business are, and who the data owners inside your company are. Also, you need a complete understanding of what departments and teams are the recipients of product data.

PIM system orientation and data modeling phase

It’s important to precisely ascertain product data and its attributes: structure, formats, taxonomy. Some product data might be modified along with the data flow. Your data should be adequately consistent to meet the requirements of data recipients. It’s also the right time to discuss the language localization of product data.

Ideally, these sessions should result in building a product information management data model, data attribute structure, design specification, and a data requirements document.

Building product information management architecture can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth spending enough time and effort on it because PIM structure will define many future data flows.

Configuration process and PIM migration

PIM integration

You can start testing the PIM system integration with a small group of people: Engage a few company employees to use PIM for creating a pilot launch, go through role-playing sessions, and test the data workflow. It’s useful to provide the training for admins, super users, as well as end users.

Define an output of the PIM solution

Different sales channels might require different transportation methods and data formats. The more PIM output variations — the more complex your product information data model and design become.

Remember, the roadmap to PIM implementation differs depending on your company goals and expectations, so the one-size-fits-all approach does not work here.

To create an excellent product information management tool you and other stakeholders need to have a global view of your business and well-established communication within the company.

Working With Data During PIM implementation

Data gathering

Data check

Setting the data governance policy

Building data taxonomy

Defining product data attributes

Testing

Data migration

Data synchronization/syndication

On the other hand, with the automated product content syndication software, your business can benefit in many ways:

  • It solves the challenge of product data transformation with the help of intelligent transformation algorithms.
  • All the required information, imported from various sources, is automatically adjusted to the needed data models and formats.
  • The content is automatically distributed across many channels, complying with the taxonomy of retail partners.
  • The product information is kept up to date and products become easily discoverable, which leads to increased sales.

How to Implement PIM and Overcome Potential Challenges

Data inaccuracies and inconsistencies

Solution. Product information management software with advanced functionality can solve this problem. PIM tools can offer backups, technical support, and activity logs. It’s important to optimize the database configuration and control the performance after each change. This will ensure the high quality for the tremendous number of database elements and their attributes.

Onboarding nontechnical users

Solution. The product information management best practices prove that this problem can be solved if the PIM software is user-friendly and adapted for use by non-technical employees with reduced technical support. Usually, PIM vendors conduct a few workshops to help employees learn how the system works.

Involving many parts

Solution. A way out is having a professional that is solely responsible for PIM workflow. This should be a person with extensive knowledge and a global vision of your business.

Final thoughts

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Margo Sakova is a digital marketing professional with 7 years of experience. Marketing Manager at Gepard, the product information management & syndication platform, helping to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels. Skilled in market research & analysis, building online marketing strategies, marketing funnel optimization, and content marketing.
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