Pain points for Manufacturers and gains from PIM
The drive towards technology-enabled industry 4.0 is revolutionising industrial manufacturing sectors. The importance of leveraging data-driven transformation lies in being able to leverage the emerging opportunities to create added value.
Manufacturers ahead of the curve are reimagining their business models to convert themselves into providers of value-added services. Those who aren’t using equivalent power to manage their product information are facing problems. The good news is – they aren’t insurmountable. So, what are the major pain points for manufacturers, and what are the solutions?
Massive product catalogs
Manufacturers face significant challenges when adding new channels. Product catalogs are usually massive in size, meaning extra time and effort is required when updating product information online or expanding the range of channels it is displayed on. Furthermore, due to the highly technical attributes of many of these products, the average catalog is stuffed with large volumes of information requiring more active management than the average.
A PIM solution can leverage its power to drive business rules engines and validation workflows to eliminate tedious, repetitive tasks and guarantee that only accurate, consistent, and contextualised product information reaches customers.
Manufacturers can assume full control over their product data, enabling them to add to, alter and update information as required.
B2B or B2C – varying customer desires
Manufacturers are increasingly moving into B2C markets, which require a very different set of data requirements to a B2B market. Consumers want to know specific information about a product, such as where it’s sourced and whether it’s sustainable.
PIM functionalities enable manufacturers to meet the needs of both audiences – supplier and customer – by gaining greater visibility of products variants and attributes across all categories. Thus, they can deliver trustworthy product information and meet the buying requirements of B2B and B2C customers and respond to their desire for not just accurate but responsive product data.
Time to market
Manufacturers face increasing volatility of demand and need to adapt to evolving market requirements. If a business is incapable of accelerating time to market to meet demand for new and updated products, they lose their competitive edge. Supply chain and business processes are inextricably linked and if they are sluggish in response, the business not only suffers perpetual inefficient practices but is also slow in getting new products to market.
A responsive organisation is in a better position to manage unpredictable customer behaviour and the consequent market reaction. Shortening time to market is key to staying competitive, especially with demanding consumer profiles, global supply chains and fierce competition. To enable that acceleration, a PIM offers quick access to trusted, relevant, consistent and rich product and supplier data.
The Single Source of Truth
Manufacturers deal with raw materials, works-in-progress, finished goods for production and post-sales service. They also onboard supplier data which can be spread across siloed systems, applications and business units. These systems may occupy a specific and complex set of processes in the value chain. Having a trusted, 360-degree view of their product data becomes highly challenging.
A PIM solution project will ensure that governance framework is implemented as well as providing a single, centrally-controlled hub of product information. The ultimate aim is the ‘golden record’ – organisation-wide, only one version of product data, guaranteeing a high-quality source of data for all parties involved.
The emerging trends in industry 4.0 trends (including automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies with cyber-physical systems) are quickly disrupting existing business practices for industrial manufacturers. Add to this the rapid evolution of the Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) and using outdated methods of product data leaves a lot of untapped potential for cost savings and efficiency gains.
Implementing a PIM solution provides a unified platform which enables full product information visibility from start to end of the technology-driven value chain. We can customise your PIM to include functionalities which enhance data quality, providing unique versions of data items to support both process optimisation and user experience.
Start with data uses its three-stage approach to PIM and MDM implementation to provide expert analysis, implementation and support. You can have a further read about how Start with Data helps manufacturers on their product data management journey here.