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    Product data management (PDM) is a crucial investment that top performers in the market have made to make their product information more findable, usable, and valuable.

    PDM is the process of sourcing and organizing data about your products. This includes accurate and complete descriptions, technical specifications, images, related content, and more.

    There are a lot of moving parts to consider when it comes to PDM—millions of SKUs from hundreds of suppliers in different formats, product images, related products’ information, manufacturers’ information, and more. A software to enable better PDM, also referred to as a product information management (PIM) system, can include information such as:

    • Product descriptions
    • Technical specifications
    • Parts information
    • Related products
    • Related digital assets

    In short, PIM software can enhance your PDM strategy by managing the product information needed to market and sell products through distribution channels like your online product catalog.

    Continue reading to learn the top four benefits your organization can reap by selecting and implementing a PIM system into your business.

    To learn everything you need to know about product data management, click here.

    1. Data Completeness & Control

    One of the main advantages of a PIM system is the ability to retrieve any data related to a product at any time with ease.

    Having control over product data allows team members to streamline the processes involved in getting products from suppliers and to customers.

    PIM software also allows you to have better control over large data sets and other elements, such as:

    • Category specific attributes
    • Attribute management taxonomy
    • Ecommerce navigation taxonomy
    • Incoming and outgoing data to/from external sources
    • Item entity data models

    Most companies have product management, marketing, and ecommerce teams who will create and use the data, engineers who supply data, and suppliers whose data input needs to be coordinated. So, it is important to identify the key players who will participate in ongoing governance by asking:

    • Who owns each of these data sets?
    • Who will attend training?
    • Who will be part of the governance processes after the PIM system goes live?

    Each team needs to have a voice, and their requirements need to be understood.

    See the benefits of data control in action.

    2. Improved Collaboration

    Adopting a PIM system into your organization can benefit the entire team dynamic. Each department will have easy access to all information related to the product—this allows for improved collaboration.

    From the product data managers, to product engineers, to sales personnel and customer service teams, the full organization will benefit directly from accessing the same product data within a PIM system.

    The features of PIM software, such as fast data sharing, data modification control, and revision-tracking, allow teams to be more collaborative. Although multiple people will be working through one platform, PIM systems can be set up to prevent data sets from overwriting without the correct governance, so there is no risk of violation to the style guide rules.

    Using PIM software, there is a single access point where the latest versions of the data can be found so all product participants can access them.

    See how one team’s collaboration has improved since implementing a PIM system.

    3. Reduced Risk of Error

    The more accurate, complete, and timely information you have, the more likely you are to make better business decisions, stay competitive, and manage risk.

    Since all product information will be stored in a central system, the chance of errors—like data loss and sharing inaccurate information—is drastically reduced.

    A central system where several users can check each product data sets usually results in fewer errors. This will enhance processes and result in better key performance indicators, like time to market for new products, better product data audit results, and improved overall data fill.

    4. Increased Efficiency

    A PIM system gives teams more time to spend on value-based projects rather than wasting time searching for and managing data themselves.

    In a competitive market where customers expect fast, personalized buying opportunities, your organization can’t risk losing sales or damaging customer relationships due to poorly managed product information.

    Better yet, organized product data in an effective PIM system enables automated, low-touch conversion points for your customers. For example, an accurate online product catalog fueled by a PIM system enables customers to find the information they need quickly and easily, then happily convert to a sale—meaning more time for your team to spend on high-value tasks, like nurturing the customer relationship for repeat sales.

    Although the benefits are clear, moving to a PIM system like Informatica, Agility Multichannel, Salsify, or Enterworks is a big step. It should be considered carefully, as a great deal of preparation is required to make that move successful.

    Get Started: Optimize Your Product Data

    Ultimately, PDM is the beginning of a process that helps you control all projects, collaborate more with your team, reduce development errors and costs, and use resources like PIM systems effectively and efficiently.

    Earley Information Science can help you compile, arrange, and effortlessly access all product information in one centralized location—creating a seamless system for your entire ecommerce team. Contact us to begin optimizing your product data.

    Seth Earley
    Seth Earley
    Seth Earley is the Founder & CEO of Earley Information Science and the author of the award winning book The AI-Powered Enterprise: Harness the Power of Ontologies to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster, and More Profitable. An expert with 20+ years experience in Knowledge Strategy, Data and Information Architecture, Search-based Applications and Information Findability solutions. He has worked with a diverse roster of Fortune 1000 companies helping them to achieve higher levels of operating performance.

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