Today’s business world is more complicated than it’s ever been. Digital businesses have more moving parts than a BMW’s V6. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed as we can see from the fact that 72% of small business owners report feeling overwhelmed with running their businesses.
Luckily, we have better and stronger tools for flourishing in the digital economy. Product inventory management (PIM) is a godsend for ecommerce businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular PIM solutions and learn how they can help you thrive in today’s economy.
Your Guide To PIM Solutions
Let’s start by defining our terminology. We’ll take a look at PIM and then turn to how product information management systems will help your business thrive.
What Are Product Information Systems?
The eCommerce Wiki defines product information management as “Product information management or PIM refers to processes and technologies focused on centrally managing information about products, with a focus on the data required to market and sell the products through one or more distribution channels.”
Product information management systems are software suites that streamline this process. They bring together a staggering array of different disciplines into one convenient dashboard.
Product Information Management Systems incorporate:
- Data pools
- Vendor Fees
- Customer relations management (CRM)
- Warehouse management
- Direct print
To illustrate, think about the last time you were browsing on Amazon. Remember the snappy descriptions beneath the pictures? What about the technical information and specs?
Information Typically Contained Within PIM Systems Includes:
- Item numbers
- Reference numbers
- Physical location
PIM systems deliver that information to each product page. It saves you the trouble of having to re-enter that information for each and every digital presence your company possesses. They also prevent oversights and things slipping between the cracks, which helps with user experience and customer satisfaction.
The Benefits Of PIM Systems
We’ve already discussed some of the time-saving benefits of using PIM systems. Let’s learn a little bit more about some additional benefits of PIM systems.
Gets Everyone On The Same Page
Almost every company on the planet is involved with multichannel messaging and marketing, at this point. Not only does this make it difficult to get all of your software on the same page, it also makes it difficult to get all of your employees on the same page.
A PIM system is invaluable as a collaborative tool. You’ll be able to tell who’s working on what and what each employee’s responsibilities are.
PIM systems are also integral in creating empathy between different sectors of your business. The enmity between marketing and sales is the classic example of this. Sales teams feel that marketers don’t give them useful leads while marketers feel that the sales department overlooks their metrics.
PIM systems act as a Rosetta Stone, helping different components of a company to communicate effectively.
Reduces Custom Applications
Sure, the information-sorting algorithm that guy from marketing created is impressive. It might even be genius. It doesn’t matter if its output is a string on nonsensical figures in an endless CSV file.
For marketing to be useful, it needs to follow the MASDA principle.
MASDA stands for:
This is as much for inter-company communication as towards your bottom line. Your shareholders may be willing to fund a new program and just see what happens. They won’t likely fund it for long, however, without understanding its benefits or seeing an increase in profits.
Improves Data Quality
A staggering amount of data is created every day by even modest-sized organizations. This goes from being helpful to overwhelming very quickly.
To illustrate the difference, think of the usefulness of a firehose when you need a sip of water.
With data more than most things, quality is much better than quantity. For data to be actionable by anyone other than data scientists, it needs to be easily translated and shareable between different departments.
Reasons To Use PIM Systems
We’ll close out with a few reasons why you should really consider incorporating a PIM system into your eCommerce business if you haven’t already.
PIM systems are the RNA of product recommendations and cross-selling. Cross-selling requires a complex database incorporating numerous levels of metadata. Cross-promotions and up-selling regularly accounts for 10 – 30% of a company’s retail revenue. Companies regularly see up to a 20% increase in eCommerce revenue when they incorporate a PIM system.
Reduces Supply Chain Interference
A PIM system acts as a window into every single layer of how your company operates. You’re able to easily monitor your current inventory levels as well as see historical trends. Together, this can help you prevent product shortages and predict possibly unexpected trends.
Incorporating a PIM system can reduce the amount of time of a new product hitting the market by up to 80!
Eliminates Invoice Error
Approximately 60% of invoices contain errors of some kind. Finding and fixing an invoice error costs an average of $400. That’s not to mention the damage those errors and oversights can do for your company’s reputation.
Product information management systems are also an essential component of many 3rd party business configurations like drop-shipping. This lets you set up an eCommerce business before even owning any physical inventory, letting you get started in business more quickly and easily.
Want To Know More About Product Inventory Management Systems?
Making the most of the digital tools at our disposal gives you the opportunity to work smart and hard at the same time. PIM solutions let you focus on what you love most, building and growing your business. Contact us with any questions today!