Regardless of whether you sell your own products, or if you are a wholesaler, you will most likely need to import product data from subcontractors or the like. However, before you release foreign data into your own system, it requires that you ensure the data are sound and valid.
Namely, you'll want to make sure that you're validating all data when importing new information into your PIM solution. This helps prevent you from overwriting good data with bad data.
Case in point: If you're importing data from a third party, such as a product supplier, you'll likely get the information in an Excel file or XML sheet. If your company is larger than the supplier, you can likely exert your influence to encourage the supplier to format the data in the way you'd prefer to receive it.
If your supplier is larger than your company, however, you might not have much of a choice and will need to accept data in whatever format you get it. In a case like this, it's especially critical to validate that data before importing it into the PIM-system.
Manual Validation is Hard Work
While manual validation of data is essential, it's also hard work. Depending on the number of products, and the number of data fields per product, it's easy to find yourself spending hours validating data, checking data fields and double-checking your work.
Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way. The key is to map the data fields cleverly, perhaps even to suit the format in which you receive data. By doing this, you can shave a lot of time off. Here’s another tip that will save you even more time: accessing a supplier portal.
Work Smarter with a Supplier Portal
A supplier portal is the smart way to automatically validate data, as it allows your product suppliers to upload their product data into a framework that you provide. A supplier portal acts as the no-man's-land between your supplier and your PIM system. This way, data fields can be mapped in advance, and your only job becomes checking for errors or structural changes in the data. Once you approve the uploaded data, the validation of said data has already happened and you're good to go! It's the easiest way to save time on data entry and reduce the pains associated with manual management.