You’ve made a decision that your organization needs a Product Information Management (PIM) solution, but now what? With a sea of options to choose from, where do you start?
Your product content processes need to be brought up to speed, and as you explore what is available out there Forrester, Gartner, digital articles, and service providers continue to mention PIM and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions.
You begin evaluating your options. Every vendor promises that this is going to be the silver bullet that elevates you into the big leagues. Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars said it best: “It’s a Trap!” Bombarded by claims of what the solution can do, it becomes difficult to discern the capabilities from the sales pitch.
So, what can you do about it?
Truth be told, the complexity of selecting what PIM or MDM might work best for you is due to the vast difference in capabilities and specializations that each platform offers.
Looking at Gartner’s magic quadrant or Forrester’s PIM wave report may give us an insight into where solutions position, but this is not sufficient to inform every organization’s needs and the nuances within each solution. Your decision must rely on your business strategy, however, it must also be relative to which providers meet specific technical requirements and the impact this will have on the way your organization functions.
When looking to evaluate options, some factors to consider may include:
– The complexity of your products
– The methods by which you acquire or share product information
– Marketing, catalog and merchandising requirements
– Workflow impact and data governance
The value of identifying these dynamics is to ensure that you can avoid the sales pitch and get down to business. What is it that you’re looking for?
For example, certain solutions put a large focus on the ability to model complex products and govern that data. These tend to favor B2B products with high variance and requiring very specific information standards to ensure product information is accurate, robust and normalized.
Others PIM solutions focus much more on how product information is shared with your channels. The goal is to allow for an effective strategy to manage how digital assets and product data arrive at your channel partners, streamlining processes and facilitating how an organization can leverage product in diverse manners.
The business decision of what software solution to implement is not easy, but if carefully researched, can yield significant positive returns for those organizations with an informed view of why they are undergoing this process.
As Edward Tufte, Yale professor, statistician and pioneer of information design, states, “at the heart of quantitative reasoning is a single question: Compared to what?” Being able to compare objectively how a solution will function within your organization will make the difference between purchasing a game-changing enabler or another tool that will be underutilized and shifted out.
As you begin your path into digital transformation, knowledge is your ally. Reach out to C2 to delve more into this complex topic and learn more about your options.