6 important questions to ask yourself before launching a new business PIM
Taking on a project PIM doesn't have to be an improvisation, far from it.
To successfully complete your PIM project and reap all the benefits that the platform is ready to offer you, (almost) everything hinges on one crucial stage: preparation. And to do this, you need to ask yourself the right questions to ensure that you and your company have a clear vision and understanding of your needs, expectations and objectives with regard to the PIM platform. There are a number of questions to consider.
What is the quality of our data at present, how is our data model made?
Your future PIM platform will be the receptacle of your data after your ERP (or other software, or any other files). In fact, the data must first be cleansed and cleaned so that it can enrich PIM in the most relevant way possible. Understanding this data model will enable the people who contribute to the data to understand it quickly and easily, and to identify the links between the information. When this data model is correctly designed, it is also easier to maintain and enrich it, and to control the quality of the information subsequently produced.
Once this data model is well defined, its interoperability will be all the more powerful, and it will be easier to connect it to other systems, such as the PIM platform.
What's more, to use the PIM solution properly, you also need a clear structure for your data model, an understanding of how it works and how product information is articulated. Depending on your sector, but also on your business logic, the data model will serve as the basis for "interrogating" your product information later on, and finding the data in question much more quickly. With your own data in your PIM, it will be easier to evolve this data model so that it corresponds to the changing needs of the company, its businesses and its sector of activity. Last but not least, the sustainability of your own data model, integrated into the PIM solution, will also facilitate data analysis and reporting.
What do I want to achieve with PIM, what are my company's needs and what are my objectives?
When you embark on a PIM project, it's because you have one or more needs. These may be to reduce producttime-to-market, to save time searching for product data, to improve the quality of product information, and so on.
Generally speaking, the PIM or PIM/DAM solution is there to solve certain problems present within the company and to meet the short, medium and long-term objectives of the teams. Companies wishing to embark on a PIM project therefore need to ask themselves what they want to achieve with the PIM/DAM solution, what their current and future needs are, and how PIM will meet these needs.
With this in mind, it's a good idea to draw up a set of specifications to identify all the elements involved, to understand the capabilities of PIM, its functionalities and how all this will meet the company's pain points. An entire ebook is devoted to the preparation of specifications.
Subsequently, and depending on these specifications, certain PIM solutions will be more suited to your particular needs and objectives. Whether in terms of mode(SaaS or Open Source), functionalities or any other specificity, the PIM platforms differ from one another and can be compared through this PIM comparison.
What is the project timeline and who will be the PIM project manager/referent?
Embarking on a project such as PIM requires an awareness of its timeline and deadlines. If you decide to embark on a PIM project in order to be ready for a specific sales launch or a highlight of the year such as Christmas, you need to have the timetable for setting up PIM in mind, and see if it fits in with your requirements.
Having clear deadlines in mind for such a project will enable your company and your teams to project themselves and visualize the achievement of objectives following the implementation of PIM. In this way, they'll know what they can do, and when, following deployment of the PIM/DAM solution. Being aware of the chronology of the PIM implementation also means being able to plan the different stages of the project with ease, and to organize everyone's work efficiently. In addition to being able to anticipate and control budgetary aspects, knowing the project timetable PIM means being better able to anticipate risks; by clearly identifying critical deadlines, we are better able to minimize the threats posed by major delays.
A PIM project must be supported internally by a project manager. This person will play a crucial role in coordinating resources between the various parties involved in the PIM project. His or her role is all the more important as he or she must ensure that the project is properly understood, to guarantee its successful implementation and subsequent roll-out. It is therefore essential to assign the role of PIM project manager to someone who will be able to keep a close eye on the PIM project deadlines, so as to be able to detect delays or problems at an early stage and put effective corrective measures in place. In addition to good risk management skills, the PIM project manager must also be an outstanding communicator. Last but not least, this person will also be a vector of change, so he or she must ensure that the change process is properly supported and that PIM remains aligned with the needs and objectives of the company and its teams.
Who will be the users, and for what purpose?
It's important to identify who will benefit from the PIM platform, and why. Whether it's the product, marketing, R&D or e-commerce teams... a PIM solution can only be used to its full potential if it benefits all teams and meets everyone's objectives.
The best thing for a company to do is to get to know its future user teams and their expectations, so that the PIM user experience is as personalized as possible, and precisely meets their requirements. Indeed, needs can differ according to teams, professions and company status. Getting to know future users also means being able to anticipate their training needs. These will vary from one team to another: some business teams will be more at ease than others when it comes to using PIM software, for example, and this will make it possible to provide targeted support according to the nature of the teams themselves.
By correctly identifying future users, it will be easier for a company to identify future developments and usage needs on the part of its teams. It will be easier to anticipate improvements and new functionalities to best meet team needs.
Finally, understanding future user teams means being able to pinpoint their habits when using the PIM platform, and maximizing its use by detecting opportunities for automating andoptimizing workflows with PIM.
How muchwill the PIM solution cost me?
Unsurprisingly, anticipating the cost of the PIM platform will enable your company to ensure that the budget is available, and not be surprised by any financial setbacks. Secondly, considering the financial cost of the PIM solution will enable you to allocate the necessary resources in the right way. This will make it easier to plan human, material and financial resources, and bring the project to a successful conclusion.
An accurate assessment of the cost of the PIM solution will enable you to identify the various PIM platform options available to your company, and choose the one that best suits your budget and objectives. What's more, an accurate and clear understanding of the budget for a PIM solution means that budgetary control mechanisms can be put in place in the event of overruns. Perfect knowledge and control of PIM costs means that you can justify your financial investment to management and your teams, and ensure that this investment is in line with the benefits that PIM brings and the value it will create for the company.
Last but not least, knowing what PIM will cost the company will enable us to know the ROI of the project much more quickly, and to think long-term with PIM, to be able to anticipate ancillary costs such as maintenance or support, for example.
How will we measure the success of PIM ?
It's important to ask yourself this question in order to see whether the objectives you've defined are going to be achieved, and in what timeframe. Afterwards, you'll be able to see the extent to which the resources and time invested have benefited the company and its teams by perceiving the gains and advantages of PIM. These can be many and varied: better conversion rates on your website, reduced time to market, less time spent on product referencing, improved ROI, etc.
By defining the effectiveness of the deployment of the PIM solution, it will subsequently be easier to monitor the performance of the PIM/DAM platform in relation to objectives, and to define adjustments if necessary, to optimize results. In this way, the teams ensure that the PIM project is aligned with the company's business objectives, thereby ensuring that the PIM project contributes to value creation.
Asking the question of how to measure the success of the PIM solution also means ensuring clear communication with the teams involved, and with the business teams who will benefit directly from the advantages of PIM. In this way, they feel valued and responsible for achieving their objectives.
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