Detailed product information on an enterprise-wide scale has become a basic requirement when it comes to content-driven commerce. On the supply side, this data is critical to IT, merchandising, marketing, accounting, and right up to management. Mission-critical decisions on all levels require the accurate and consistent flow of this information. If this data is incorrect, or is not available in a timely manner, productivity, efficiency, and eventually sales will be adversely affected. On the buyer side, consumers require the same degree of accuracy and timeliness to make informed decisions for their projects. Fortunately, this data issue is not an inevitability. A Product Information Management Solution, properly instituted, can make for greater collaboration and synchronization of product data across an entire enterprise.
The most obvious advantage of a PIM solution is that the data that is so critical to a number of areas, can be held in one repository, accessible to all branches of an enterprise as well as their commerce partners. Data will only need to updated, or otherwise edited once. It can then be released and everyone will have the most current product data at the same time. This will result in substantial savings in several ways, such as the time it takes to manually cleanse outdated or inaccurate product data, lost sales due to catalog errors, and speeding up the release of new items.
With omni-channel shoppers, the discrepancy in available data can be surprising. With a PIM solution in place, all information available to a consumer will be consistently accurate, regardless of the channel.
Product Data Management is just one stream of business-critical information that can make an enterprise-wide difference. Another is Master Data Management. This can include information about suppliers, purchasers, products, shippers and more. It is the basic, ground-level data that is needed to make critical business decisions and establish business structure and flow. When this information is current, it can be used by management to get the big picture of how the business is functioning, both internally and externally. It is invaluable in seeing trends and anticipating, rather than just reacting.
Centralized data, if it is used properly, can be one of the biggest tools an enterprise can have. The more information that is out there, the more detailed it is, the more accurate it is, and the more synchronized it is, can be the magic bullet that gives one business group the advantage over another.