Manufacturing is a science. It’s a process that requires extreme detail every step of the way.
In our blog defining Product Information Management (PIM), we discuss that a PIM is a single place to collect and manage all the information and data necessary to market and sell a product.
Whether your organization utilizes a made-to-stock (MTS), make-to-order (MTO) or make-to-assemble (MTA) model, a reliable product information management system makes it easier to sell your product and provide customer support, especially as your business grows into new markets and expands into new distribution channels.
Empowering Manufacturing Ecommerce with a PIM System
Distribution channels aren’t the same after the pandemic. Neither are customer expectations of distributors and suppliers.
Readily available information has redefined business, including any company that strives to have ecommerce success. The manufacturing industry is no different.
Manufacturing companies have been forced to upgrade their digital presence. It’s not enough to build a great product; you need to support that product with accurate and accessible information. You need to be agile when it comes to supporting sales and customers. Manufacturers aren’t only being asked to produce quality products, their timelines are getting shorter by the day as well.
It can be difficult for manufacturing businesses to keep up with both production demands and consumer expectations.
The Benefits of a PIM for Manufacturers
Streamlining processes and information across multiple channels is a challenge. To meet that challenge, more companies are turning to product information management systems to meet demand, exceed customer expectations, and provide critical sales and customer service support.
Rather than forcing your already overworked manufacturing team to run down and communicate product changes, you can automate updating new information with the PIM. You can provide the excellent support and information customers expect while keeping your focus on building quality products.
What Type of Data Is in a PIM?
- Product information, attributes and identifiers. These are typically made up of SKUs to help vendors and distributors track products, identifiers brought on by product updates, and attributes that describe the product, all of which can be handled quickly and easily across every channel with the PIM.
- Digital assets. A product information management system provides the capacity to deliver digital assets to help enhance the consumer experience. Even with the prevalence of online retail, consumers still want to see a realistic view of the product. Using a configurator, your product is brought to life in 3D visualizations, allowing your customer to get the full view.
- Marketing material and messaging. The marketing material and messaging are very important in providing a consistent brand, experience and message in the market. In the competitive marketplace, SEO and your product listings can be the difference between a successful product launch and ongoing sales, and a product that never generates revenue. This is key for organic traffic (people coming to the site through search engines). This powerful capability of a PIM can help decrease the cost per lead and become a critical tool for your marketing efforts.
- Technical specifications. Today, customers purchasing a product are not only buying an object, but also the information related to it. A PIM stores that information and makes it accessible to anyone that needs it. It puts the power in the hands of the consumer who needs to reference or confirm technical specifications, rather than putting your team in an information-retrieval bind every time a customer has a question. In addition, with the PIM acting as a single-source of product truth, you can reduce the mistakes and errors that result in recalls and returns.
We’ve covered a few of the common benefits of a PIM here, but these aren’t the only benefits you should expect to see. Every manufacturer is different, with varying products, product needs and customer expectations. A PIM provides the flexibility to manage a range of products across multiple industries and business channels.
Benefits of a Cloud-Based PIM
It’s a busy and crowded digital world. Information and data moving across the multiple channels can get convoluted if you don’t have the right solution in place. To increase the reach and capability of their PIM, many manufacturers are turning to cloud-based systems. A cloud-based PIM connects the dots between your assets and products and your potential customers, further increasing your ability to get information where it’s needed.
Speed and Flexibility
When it comes to ecommerce, time to market favors the early entrants. A cloud-based PIM empowers innovative products through adaptability and quick learning capabilities. Timing is everything, but pushing products out the door may not be the best strategy. The innovative power of a PIM gets you at the front of the line when it comes to time-based competition.
Not to mention, a study by McKinsey & Company found a product six months late to market earns 33% less profit over five years. A move to the cloud makes handling and processing data faster, more reliable, cost-efficient and profitable.
Manufacturing organizations rely on relationships with customers to develop a long-term partnership. A customer’s lifetime value is greatly more profitable than a one-time purchaser.
Customer experience is critical to turning a one-time purchaser into a long-term, lifetime customer. The PIM facilitates, automates and improves the customer experience. A specific part or wrong specification can throw off an entire project and leave the customer frustrated and unlikely to return. A product catalog supported by a cloud-based PIM updates in real-time, improving the quality and consistency of product data across all channels. The real-time product updates will minimize ordering mishaps and help you better support product launches or custom product sales.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Depending on the size of an organization, it can take a host of IT professionals to set up, manage, maintain and update the open-source PIMs which many companies struggle to implement. This also opens the door for increased costs and inefficiencies. More input is required for less output.
An open-source PIM also increases the risk of excess or contradictory information. You can have different data scattered in disconnected silos, leading to further problems downstream. As many businesses have come to realize, spreadsheets aren’t designed to manage your product catalog. A cloud-based PIM system helps streamline activities to increase productivity and efficiency across departments.
Centralized Data Source
When you have disparate information across various systems, information that’s then pushed across countless channels, it’s nearly impossible to keep it all consistent. It’s inevitable that there will be mistakes and errors.
The cloud-based PIM gives you a single location for product truth that connects with every department, every distributor and every customer. Rather than answering the same question repeatedly, and hoping you don’t make a mistake, you have a beautiful web of info supporting and connecting your sales, marketing, design and operations.
It’s an easy button for your production information. Life would be easier, right? Through the PIM, data, information and content are easily accessed, uploaded and distributed in real-time across any connected technology such as an ERP or CRM. That’s what the cloud-based PIM is designed for.
No matter the use case, all handling and processing of data should be protected. Cloud security has grown in recent years and is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to protect data and information.
Product information can be easily protected through the cloud and will eliminate the need for various security systems. It’s also in constant compliance with the most recent cybersecurity regulations.
Digital Asset Management
PIM is different than a DAM (digital asset management). However, the right cloud-based PIM can act as both. Content is easily uploaded and distributed in real-time, updating any other connecting technology.
The Best PIM Solution for Manufacturers
The manufacturing industry has constant moving parts (no pun intended) and requires a solution that fits the needs of each organization. GO2 Partners sought to deliver the best cloud-based PIM for the industry and has delivered. Offering customizable solutions, we have the experience and expertise to improve your time to market and overall efficiency.