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Collaboration and PIM [2/2] : How to set up an efficient Workflow for product data enrichment.


14 May 2018

Company wide collaboration : wishful thinking or tangible reality ?

Either way, it’s a subject which fits perfectly with the theme of corporate digital transformation. New technology increases agility but collaboration draws on employees’ solidly established methods of working together and this is what allows you to take full advantage of it within your company.

The recent study Fabernovel/Bap* showed that 80% of those surveyed consider collaboration to be « a good thing ».
But it is not always easy to instore it…

54% of employees in large companies would like to « collaborate more often » but only 27% think that it is « easy to collaborate in their company ».

Indeed, the largest corporations often need to cultivate ‘working together’ as a practice. What’s the objective? To unite human skills and motivation around tools and processes that structure things without boxing them off.

In this context, the term « contributor » refers to an employee who work is directly embedded in that of other colleagues’ and shares the same goal.

The concept of Workflow emerges to encompass :

  • The role and access rights of each contributor
  • The order in which contributions should be made
  • The desired criteria for contribution validation
  • Strategic contributions that have to be validated to move on to the next step
  • Contribution steps which can be automated and those which necessitate manual intervention

Fruitful collaboration is based on Workflow. It brings teams together, streamlines and accelerates shared work, and creates the necessary conditions for collective success.

The Workflow key words are : speed, creativity, productivity.


How do you build a made-to-measure Workflow around product data ?

Product data enrichment is a good example of a way that thinking through collaboration can bring advantages to the table. It is fundamental to Product Information Management, a tool which provides the catalyst for the digital and omni channel strategies of e-merchants, distributors and suppliers across all sectors.

To do this, the PIM provides all those making contributions to any of this product data with a unique dedicated space.

Collaboration with Quable’s PIM solution is based on a customizable Workflow principle.


Here are the questions you need to ask yourself to build a workflow :

  • How many people contribute to a product’s data enrichment – from the moment the product arrives in stock to when it’s put on sale ?
  • Which contributors have validation rights ? Which only have suggestion rights (to be put forward for validation after) ?
  • What chronological order should product data enrichment follow ?
  • Which fields are required for the publication of my product sheet to be accepted?

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Does your Workflow need to evolve ? The PIM makes it possible !

Whether you are starting out with collaboration practices, or carrying out full digital transformation, you will come across and make use of workflow.

It is best to start simple to make sure your different contributors can assimilate the solution.

To begin with, the solution needs to be installed at the heart of the product data enrichment strategy, then teams need to be helped to get to grips with it.

After these steps have been carried out, you will of course be able to fine tune your workflow and adapt it to your company’s growing requirements.

Choosing to rely on a solution which offers a modular workflow like Quable PIM is critical. It will reinforce your long term vision and allow you to develop your collaboration practices simply. You add, modify and delete steps in your product data enrichment process as and when you see fit.

What does a product data enrichment workflow look like ?

First and foremost, a workflow for product data is designed specifically for and with a particular company.

Here is a concrete example:

Step 1  : Votre produit est enregistré dans votre ERP avec son code EAN ce qui génère automatiquement la création d’une nouvelle fiche dans votre PIM

Step 2  : Paul from marketing does a first round filling out fields on:

– Basic product information
– Marketing descriptions
– Technical product descriptions

Step 3  : Helen from e-commerce checks and completes the same fields if necessary and submits them for validation.

Step 4 :  Camilla, the digital manager, checks and validates these fields or sends them back for modification.

If the entries are incorrect, Helen is sent an alert and takes care of completing and submitting the product information to Camilla again, until validation is obtained.

Step 5  : The « basic product information », « marketing description » and « technical description » fields are validated and put in the hands of the translation team.

Step 6  : Once the fields have been translated, the product sheet is enriched with photos

Step 7  : Once all of the Workflow steps have been completed, the product page is published on all channels

Collaboration is a major vector of digitalization in companies and widely acclaimed by employees who are keen to make it an integral part of their daily working life.

On the scale of large corporations, it brings teams together. Synergy arises around collaborative tools and drives a new way of thinking about job roles and daily tasks within a department .

Quable PIM offers stakeholders of product data enrichment the ultimate collaborative tool in line with this philosophy.

The Workflow embodies the structure and organization of collaboration, for organizations of any dimension.

(* Study carried out on a sample of employees working in 50 French and International companies. The study was carried out between February and March 2018 and covers 8 sectors (transport, luxury, consumer products, banks and insurance, consulting, advertising, retail, telecommunications). The sample was constituted by 37 % large corporations, 32 % SMEs, 17 % start-ups and 8 % public organizations.)


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