Retail used to be an industry led by gut. Product information management tools weren’t even on our radar just two decades ago. Crucial business decisions –– like the way retailers sourced inventory, which suppliers they partnered with, how they merchandised goods, and more –– were driven by good ole fashioned gut instinct. But gut instinct is fallible and data has long since usurped it in retail decision making.
The process of managing retail inventory brings to mind the old saying, “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” You can’t have almost the right freight shipping budget for your furniture business any more than you can have almost the right dress trends on display in your Michigan Avenue store. It doesn’t work like that. Your product, financial, and communication data needs to be right on target. Let’s take a look at how to make it happen.
What is a PIM Solution?
Speaking of data, businesses lose an average $9.7 million each year as the direct result of poor quality data. And the average worker wastes a whopping 50% of their time hunting for information, correcting errors and confirming sources for uncertain data. That’s a massive hindrance on retailers’ bottom line.
So, what is a PIM solution? A PIM solution, aka a product information management tool, is the central repository for all of your product data. This includes product specifications like color and measurements, as well as financial data like freight cost and MSRP. Any information pertaining to wholesale and product development initiatives is all centralized in your PIM.
What is the purpose of a PIM?
We’ve talked about the issues that the best PIM software can help solve. Now we can talk about the benchmarks that it helps companies achieve. The purpose of a PIM is to house all of a company’s data. This includes product data, tech specs, visual catalogs, sales information, design information, present and historical product communications, inventory data, supplier information, and more.PIM solutions also make it easier to share this data with internal and external stakeholders. Check out this article for a more in depth look at how PIM facilitates the sales process.
There’s a misconception preventing retail teams from making the most of their product data: targeted audiences are not only relevant for front-end marketing initiatives. They inform sourcing decisions, retailer/supplier relations, and merchandising initiatives. Implementing the right product information management tool to inform back-end processes can be a competitive differentiator.
As retail teams continue to navigate the global supply chain shortage, data integrity and shareability are incredibly important. The best PIM software can shave 40% or more time off of your product development process, as well as increase revenue per employee (RPE) by 150% or more. To achieve these success metrics, however, retailers need a fully unified PIM solution. It’s the built-in integrations between PIM, PLM, and CRM solutions that allow retail teams to share data freely with the right people to expedite the process of bringing products to market.
What is the best PIM software?
So, “what is the best PIM?” There isn’t a universal answer. Each product information management tool is unique in the features offered, integrations, price point, and scalability. However, most small to midsize businesses operate in hopes of scaling up down the line. Businesses with a strong growth trajectory will want to look for a unified PIM solution with enterprise capabilities. The best PIM software has built in integrations with the rest of a business’s software suite. It’s the only way to facilitate the real time data sharing with internal and external stakeholders that’s necessary to achieve 10x ROI.
You don’t want your data to be siloed. Your company’s PIM, CRM, and PLM solutions shouldn’t operate in a vacuum, either. Surefront is a Unified Product Collaboration Platform to power growth and ROI. Our patented PIM, CRM, and PLM solutions streamline the omni channel sales, merchandising and product development processes. By combining these essential functionalities, Surefront creates asingle source of truth throughout your product lifecycle, sales and listing processes.