What is the Biggest PIM Challenge for Distributors?

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As a distributor, one of your biggest goals is to carry the most relevant products for your customers. As new products are introduced and customer preferences change, your product mix is ever-expanding. You think implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) system will fix all your problems, but you realize that whereas PIMs are great at managing product data once you have it, getting that initial data into the PIM is where much of your problem lies.

The hard part about onboarding new products is that you have to do this all the time. Let’s face it… it’s a pain! Your large manufacturing vendors tell you to go scrape their websites for their product information and the smaller niche vendors don’t have complete data about their products. The group in the middle does pretty well, but they send you product data in a variety of formats from Excel files to PDFs to digitized pages from a catalog. All in all, it is just tough and time-consuming to onboard new product data into your PIM system.

That is until now.

When Xerox bought C2 a few years ago, we did not realize that we both had complementary skills in the area of Product Data that would be a huge help to our customers.  C2 had experts in the PIM implementation space. We know how to work with your business to identify and implement the optimal PIM system. Xerox brought expertise in the area of Automation, specifically RPAaaS or Robotic Process Automation as a Service. This unique offering from Xerox builds custom automation bots for a variety of business functions and then runs the bots for you as a service offering. Xerox currently has hundreds of bots running for dozens of customers.

How do PIM and RPAaaS fit together? Think Product Onboarding to your PIM.  Let’s say for example that your new or updated product process is for your vendors to submit new products or updates to products to a central email…  Historically someone opens these emails, reads the content, opens the attachments, logs into your PIM system or your ERP (or both), and enters all the relevant product information in the appropriate locations.

Now imagine a world where no one monitors that email inbox. No one reads the emails or the attachments. No one has to log in to the various applications and load the product data… because a Xerox BOT is doing it every time. Xerox BOTs are smart. They are smart enough to read emails. They are smart enough to open and read attachments, whether those are Excel, PDF, or something else. They can make sense of the data, log in to your applications and input the data to the proper locations, save and close the applications.

Sound too good to be true?  It’s not. Welcome to the new world. Welcome to C2 + Xerox.

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