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The role of PIM consulting in digital transformation

The endgame of any digital transformation strategy is to equip the business with the tools needed for the fast-evolving world of digital commerce –strengthen its business performance and enhance customer experience (external and internal business users). Companies can find this multifaceted challenge a daunting prospect, hence the need for consultancy services. Product information management is a foundational element of digital transformation and this article will tell you why. We’ll look at the goals of digital transformation, the pitfalls to avoid, and exactly how a PIM consultancy adds value to your digital transformation journey.

What is digital transformation consulting?

Help with technology is one part of digital transformation but consultancies also address the underlying culture of the organisation and how its dynamic impacts on working practices. Digital transformation consulting is a socio-technical discipline, so any move from old, manual, and time-consuming ‘analogue’ practices must be backed up with a change management process – ensuring that digitising product data management is genuinely transformative, not simply layering new tech tools onto old-school practices and mindsets.

What is the goal of digital transformation consulting?

We measure success by how effectively a company aligns people, processes, and technology to desired business outcomes. A holistic approach ensures that businesses arm their teams with the competence and mindsets to master digitised processes and handle rapidly changing market demands.

This results in:

  •       More efficient onboarding of product data from suppliers
  •       Faster time to market for new products
  •       Improvements in processes and workflow organisation
  •       Cost reduction – staff are deployed for more revenue-generating tasks like developing high-quality product information content
  •       Enhanced customer experience
  •       Fewer product returns
  •       Greater sales revenue

A transformation is done with an organisation, not to it. It’s driven by and committed executive sponsorship, buy-in from a coalition of stakeholder interests, and third-party guidance and support.

So, why do companies engage PIM consultancy services? Because they:

  •       bring breadth and depth of experience to the implementation of digital transformation across sectors and business types
  •       provide a ‘counterbalance’ partnership for diverse stakeholder interests in the digital transformation outcomes
  •       address product data governance, by setting a framework under which accountability, ownership and responsibility for data has the            organisational status required for a high-value, managed asset

As you travel towards genuine competitiveness in digitally driven commerce, these fundamental changes require organisational recalibration in terms of delivering on business aims. The mission and practices behind full-scale digital transformation can only be embedded and acted on by analysing and finding the pain points in the organisational culture – this means entrenched attitudes, assumptions, and activities. Our expert business consultants, with extensive experience with brands, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are perfectly equipped to work with you to create a digital transformation roadmap to approach this seismic change with confidence.  

Common pitfalls of ‘DIY’ digital transformation

Reasons why in-house projects fail to succeed include:

New Technology welded onto legacy systems: ‘bolting on’ a modern technology solution to unfit-for use legacy systems and practices creates more problems than it solves. Continuing with inefficient, siloed processes and workflows, where teams are also resistant to change, will mean poor ROI.

Inadequate communication: this causes a mismatch between business needs and the solutions to fulfil those needs. Project goals must be unambiguous, precise, and communicated among all stakeholders, not just sponsors and C-suite, to avoid misalignment regarding purpose and end goal.

Lack Of buy-in: commitment to change is fundamental. From top to bottom, resistance arises out of lack of ‘change culture’ mindset. Getting that buy-in can be a challenge too far, or simply isn’t given due attention. It’s a people issue, which is where the best digital transformation specialists can bring experience and skills from the many cases they have advised and partnered on.

Business case development: the roadmap across your product data processes, and required technology need supporting arguments to secure sponsorship, buy-in and funding. It is not enough to list beneficial outcomes of technology tools for product data management (the ‘what’). You need evidence to back up how you will reach the goals to make a convincing case. PIM consultancies devise an implementation roadmap with partners to hit KPIs and emphasise the big picture regarding targeted, measurable added value.

Download our Benefits of a PIM consultant guide

How do PIM consultancies add value to a digital transformation process?

A value-added PIM consultancy like ours helps to combine a purposeful product information management strategy with the organisational will needed to deliver it – such a strategy combines:

  •       Initial discovery and auditing of current data management
  •       Development of a roadmap to the desired outcome
  •       Design of the solution aligned with your needs
  •       Implementation and performance monitoring of the PIM solution
  •       Partnering for user training, product content enrichment, taxonomy optimisation, and other managed services.

Any PIM consultancy worthy of the name knows that the journey to digital transformation does not end once the implementation process is complete.

Digital maturity assessment

Most organisations are not starting from scratch on their transformation. Digital maturity measures to what extent an organisation is making the best use of its digital technology, its associated culture, and networks in its core operations.

Being digitally mature is not solely the digitisation of systems, processes, products, and activities. The Digital Maturity Assessment* tool measures the average maturity of a sample of organisations, based on how digital impacts on:

  •       Attitudes and underlying behaviours
  •       People, skills, and processes
  •       Systems and information
  •       Outputs and experience

Data governance

This should underpin key processes, responsibilities, authority, permissions, and ultimately, accountability for data. For example, one element is clarity of roles – who can take which action concerning which data in which situations using which methods. A consultancy offers the insight and actionable advice to ensure your governance framework is robust and fit for purpose.

Start with Data and your digital transformation - goal-oriented consultancy

At Start with Data, our implementation services are a core component of a digital transformation. Our discovery dives deep into current state, desired state, and how to bridge the gap between the two. 

Transformation needs an integrated goal-driven strategy, where organisational change processes are built into the thinking behind choice of technology solution. That’s why Start with Data offers bespoke consultancy services to a range of client types, including manufacturers, brands, distributors, and retailers.

Our goal is always to work in partnership with you to ensure your digital transformation is successful.  Get in touch with us and we can have a detailed conversation about your needs and how we support you towards your strategic goals.

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