When you first started out, your company’s data was easy to manage. Even if you had 100 products, you could take the time to update each one. You might have even been able to manage the task with a single spreadsheet page. Most companies find product data management to be a fairly manageable task on a small scale.
However, once a company starts growing or once the data become more complex, spreadsheets aren't ideal solutions. In this article, you'll learn three important signs that it is time for your company to change the way it manages product data.
1: Errors Start Creeping In
It starts with small errors. Maybe, there is missing information or your product descriptions are incomplete. Or, it could be that data is not updated quickly enough, a product displays as being available in a configuration that has been discontinued or doesn’t list all the options available.
You might also find that you have several spreadsheets that list product information, but they are all different and you aren’t sure which information is accurate. The errors are just big enough to make a salesperson double check or cause a few customers to have to choose different versions of the items they ordered.
These might seem like little omissions and frustrating inconveniences, but they are actually signs that your system isn’t keeping up with your product data needs.
2: Campaigns or Product Catalogues are Late
Another sign that you need to change the way you manage product data is the timing of your catalogues and campaigns. Most often, projects get finished after their deadlines.
When your spreadsheets are no longer sufficient, you will find that finalizing projects becomes much more difficult. In many cases, there is no agreement on the correct product information.
As a result, time is wasted across the organization, and tasks like design take longer because time is spent looking for product data and double-checking that the right version is being used.
When the same data is used in different parts of a company (say marketing and product development), that information needs to be standardized and synchronized. If not, it leads to inefficiency.
3: Loss of Perspective (aka Not Knowing Where to Start Task)
Finally, if your company needs to change the way you manage data, you might experience a loss of perspective. It becomes difficult to know where to start a task. You can’t create a campaign because you aren’t sure what the current line contains and you don't know the exact specs for each item.
Even compiling a product catalogue seems daunting because you don’t have a way to know which set of information is correct. That problem forces you to manually verify each product entry. It takes countless hours to do. The more people you have working on the project, the more challenging it is to manage. Eventually, you get stuck with the unenviable task of trying to find the best way to approach a task without the right technology for the job.
Growing companies need systems that can grow with them, systems that can be scaled, systems that can keep up. The right product information management system can act as a driver for further growth instead of keeping your company from reaching its fullest potential.
If you have noticed any of these three signs, then now is the right time to find a product information management system that will help your company thrive.
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