In a market that changes rapidly, it is important that you can move quickly from an idea to a salable product. For this to happen, you must be able to collaborate efficiently across departments when creating new products, and respond quickly to changes by updating product information across channels.
In this context, a central system for Product Information Management is a good aid, because it lets people work flexibly and much more efficiently with product information rather than having information spread out across several sources.
A PIM system, among other things, makes it possible to optimize the last stage in the product release, when you have a nearly complete product, which will soon be marketed. Among other things, it is here where the critical time-to-market can be reduced.
Instead of the traditional linear process, which ends with the products being registered in the ERP system and thus ready to be sold, you can let the products’ life cycles start in PIM, which functions as a kind of sandbox – a central location, where product information can be worked on, before it is released on the relevant channels and internal systems.
In the PIM system, all of the departments can work with the products in parallel, and it means that among other things, marketing can start to prepare its campaigns early on in the process, even though the products are perhaps not 100 % in place.
How to optimize the entire
Keep the ERP system free of irrelevant data
The other big advantage of utilizing a PIM system as a sandbox is that you keep your ERP system free of any irrelevant product data. Let us illustrate this by using an example of a fictitious wholesaler company, which we will call Acme Inc.
Acme Inc. has become the sales agent for a new product series, which the product manger John has high expectations of. There is a large range of spare parts, and to be able to market the new products, John has registered all of them in the ERP system.
It is important for Acme Inc. that it can market the total pallet of spare parts, but in reality however, it is doubtful whether Acme Inc. will come to sell all of the products, since they are niche products. It is therefore not appropriate to have them filling up the ERP system. But to ensure that the products are accessible just in case, John cannot see any other way other than registering them in the ERP system.
Using PIM as a sandbox
In reality, John needs a sandbox, in which he can place his products and work with them, without them affecting the ERP system before there is an actual purchaser for them. This is what he would have had if he had used a PIM system.
The ERP system is based on transactional data, which cannot be deleted and thus fills up the system, whereas in the PIM system, you can quickly change and delete data. The PIM system can beneficially be used to prepare the products for sale, and John can provide marketing with the opportunity to market the new products based on all of the relevant data, even though they are not yet registered in the ERP system.
Once selling the individual products or product groups becomes relevant, they can be easily transferred over to the ERP system.
In this way, the life cycle of the product is optimized, while at the same time irrelevant data is prevented from adversely affecting the performance of your ERP system.
Download white paper on how to optimize the entire value chain with PIM
In this guide we focus on how to utilize the PIM system as a motor for a number of business value chain optimizations, and on the concrete gains you can attain in product development, procurement, manufacturing, marketing, sales and after-market services.