The biggest risk for your product information is shadow repositories. As product information continuously gets created and enriched, is it stored and updated in a central location? We often see companies trying to solve product information issues in different ways across departments. This creates shadow repositories that are not in sync. This is a long-term nightmare and prevents you from linking products that, for example, might be sold together but come from two different suppliers.
Second risk: working in silos. 50,000 SKUS becomes 200,000! Your data may be getting entered three, four, five times. This theoretically transforms 50,000 SKUs into 200,000 SKUs as your people are touching the same product information multiple times in multiple places, increasing the likelihood that it gets out of sync.
Can you handle all of this product information without a modern infrastructure designed for just this purpose? Maybe. Should you? Maybe not.
How do you know if you need a Product Information Management (PIM) solution? Well, if you have:
- a large number of SKUs (+200,000 parts and units/finished products),
- lots of product types,
- many product attribute categories,
- various channels (website, print catalogs, in-store displays, etc.),
- multiple languages,
- product dependencies (fit, compatibility),
- a complex product lifecycle workflow and product lifecycle,
- sales in multiple divisions, locations and marketplaces, and
- multiple brands serving the same or different geographies.
Our suggestion: Consider a comprehensive strategy that encompasses modern technology and human resources. Without modern toolsets and a disciplined governance approach, your product information will not shine very brightly.