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Next-Gen PIM: The Foundational Element for Increasing ROI of Other Tech Investments

By Abnesh Raina

As consumer taste changes faster than ever and digital distribution channels proliferate, the infrastructures of even the most advanced retailers are being tested. To serve customers better, retailers have been busy turning their legacy infrastructure into a modern enterprise, often making new investments in cloud-based ERP, CRM, order management systems, and more. In many circumstances, these investments alleviate the pressure on legacy systems built to handle simpler processes but put greater demand on the system as a whole to manage connections and workflows between disparate enterprise applications.

Ultimately, large retailers onboarding these new solutions are finding that their investments are not providing as strong a return on investment as they should be. Worse, some may not even realize there are more gains to be had! The good news is that most of the ground to made up can be easily achieved by focusing on improving inefficient workflows and product data feeds.

Today, many of the world’s largest retailers are going back to basics – taking a second look at the foundations of their processes. In doing so, they are realizing that they need next-generation product information management (PIM) to provide automated workflows, robust attribute management and governance for content management. This is now a fundamental requirement for generating significantly faster time to value of these other business investments, at a lower total cost of ownership.

Modern PIM solutions offer automated workflow improvements that feed product information into these systems and reduce the amount of capital – money, time and labor – needed to maintain those systems, with fewer mistakes. They offer a single source of product information that automatically replicates across all applications, so that the customer and various internal teams all have access to complete, accurate and timely information.

This is essential for getting the most ROI from any other system the business leverages – nothing can happen quickly or correctly without being fed the right data. And since products are at the core of most decisions a business makes – from merchandising to marketing to fulfillment or replenishment – there is no substitute for a high functioning next-gen PIM. There is no excuse to settle for “good enough.”

Retailers naturally benefit from collecting the right data from their CPG suppliers and feeding that data to their other tools systematically and efficiently. But integration with a variety of infrastructures can be challenging. Part of the complexity of managing these disparate systems comes from what should be an efficiency driver – automation.

As processes around the organization become increasingly automated, moving information (data) becomes faster and easier, but making sure it maintains its depth and accuracy becomes harder. Without the close watch of human operators, retailers can turn to modern PIM to play middle man and make sure each system plays nice with each other, gets the information it needs to do its job, and creates the ultimate value for the business.

Thus, a properly robust PIM solution needs to provide real-time information to all internal and external systems without interruption. Automated PIM workflows provide the insights and analytics from each disparate part of the business that help the next make better decisions, faster.

Importantly, since PIM is supposed to be saving retailers time, headaches and money, the best PIM platforms are easy to implement and easy to use. Cloud-based platforms are accessible anywhere, any time and on any device – meaning no matter which party or system needs to leverage its power, it’s never left in the dark. By enabling endless access to such a powerful tool with a simple interface, modern PIM platforms offer powerful configurability and value for internal and external users (buyers and suppliers).

As retailers continue to expand the scope of their digital distribution channels, the sophistication of their internal systems increases. To serve the needs of even faster changes in consumer expectations, next-gen PIM offers a new era of organizational efficiency. It is essential, especially for large retailers, to collaborate across the organization in real time without error.

Don’t delay, reach out today to see how the PlumSlice PIM platform can help significantly improve your internal processes, maximize the returns of your other technology investments, and create stronger and more sustainable revenues with minimal to no additional inventory investment.