Basically, a retailer or distributor needs to achieve the following on the ‘buying’ side of their organisation;
• Collect and map product data sources from any supplier (and there are likely to be several). This includes a capacity to scale up the number of suppliers as new ones are added to the list of approved partners. It also means being able to rapidly onboard new products and variants from many disparate vendors, suppliers or data providers.
• Normalise and centralise product data according to its own standards – this is where product data governance is crucial – quality and standards need to be strictly enforced through adherence to a series of mapping rules. In turn, these rules or protocols should be observed company-wide and should push what may be disorganised incoming data towards perfectly structured and compelling catalog.-ready data.
• Enhance and maintain accuracy through content enrichment. The two phrases ‘golden record’ and ‘single source of truth’ are used about product data for good reasons. Every organisation, be it in the retail market or in industrial distribution, needs that unimpeachably correct version of the truth. Otherwise, when product data is not updated, nor its quality maintained on an ongoing basis, the fallout has an impact not only on the entire organisation, but on the customer as well.
So, having a robust and considered data governance framework ensures that the systems and procedures are in place to guarantee that when that source of truth is accessed by an internal stakeholder, they can trust that it is the latest version and of the highest quality.