What is the ROI of PIM and MDM?
Products and the channels through which businesses sell them have become vastly more complex over the past several decades. As commerce has become increasingly digitized, product variations have become increasingly diverse. Companies are constantly churning out new designs, features, and colors. Technology has accelerated the pace of innovation even further with the addition of integration to smartphone apps, Amazon Alexa, and similar platforms.
Sales channels are proliferating as well. They now include direct-to-consumer digital channels, brick-and-mortar retail, traditional ecommerce outlets, as well as dedicated networks of dealers and distributors.
Managing this enormous volume of rapidly changing information can easily become overwhelming. A product information management system (PIM) provides you with a single, coherent view of product data and content across all your channels, which reduces the complexity, cost, and time associated with multiple business initiatives and requirements.
PIM and Multi-Domain MDM
Whereas an effective PIM gives you a single source of truth for all of your product-related information, a master data management system (MDM) extends to data across the enterprise. Multi-domain MDM connects disparate silos to create a centralized hub to manage data across all domains and create linked relationships. PIM and MDM allow you to manage products in the context of other data domains, providing a 360-degree view to surface up deeper insights for better decision-making. Together, they can deliver greater efficiency and consistency across your products and channels.
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The right PIM/MDM solution can be a game changer. If your organization is considering a PIM/MDM solution, it’s important to build a strong business case and lay out the ROI for top management. To learn more about the ROI you can achieve from a product information management system, download our free ebook today.
Imagine, for example, that several of your products require legal disclaimers when offered for sale within the state of California or within EU member countries. A PIM/MDM can provide a centralized mechanism for collecting and maintaining product documentation for multiple markets and channels, offering flexibility and efficiency while still enabling detailed compliance.
PIM systems also allow for families and hierarchies of products, which often share similar attributes. Laptop computers, for example, often come in multiple configurations that include different types of displays, processors, memory, and more. A PIM provides a single repository in which to manage all of those variants without creating and maintaining multiple copies of the same information.
Achieving Measurable ROI with Your PIM/MDM System
A PIM/MDM solution generates a net return on investment in several ways. First, it makes your team more efficient, managing all of your product-related information in one place. That reduces costs, but it also ensures a positive experience for customers and distributors, increasing overall sales volume and brand loyalty. PIM systems can also enhance upsell and cross-sell opportunities by providing information about alternate product choices and complementary products, such as accessories commonly purchased together with a primary purchase.
If you’re responsible for your company’s product information, the decision to purchase and implement a PIM/MDM system may sound like an obvious choice. But it’s important to understand the ROI these systems provide and to be able to articulate that to executive sponsors. As with any key initiative, securing budget and management commitment is critical to a project’s success.
In a recent study by the Yankee Group on the ROI of PIM systems, survey participants reported an average of 25 percent savings from their PIM solutions across 18 business functions, reducing their overall workloads by an average of 2,500 person-days.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that a PIM/MDM system delivers measurable ROI.
Increased efficiency and process improvements
Managing information using a PIM/MDM system provides streamlined operations, eliminating duplication of effort and increasing accuracy. Inventory management can be improved. In the Yankee Group study, 59% of companies reported that they were able to reduce inventory levels through better phasing of promotional, seasonal, or roll-over SKUs.
PIMs create efficiencies in a number of different ways. Product return rates are lower, for example, when consumers have complete and accurate information about their purchases.
A good PIM also reduces time to market. Without a PIM system, product introductions can take an average of four weeks, primarily because of inefficient and error-prone approaches to exchanging and updating item information, syncing product content, attributes, and digital assets.
One business that uses Precisely EnterWorks PIM/MDM was able to cut six months and six figures from the production cycle of its 1,400-page catalog. Another customer shortened its production time for a 2,200-page catalog by 70 percent. With the right PIM/MDM solution, companies can achieve mass customization across multiple products and sales channels, without significantly scaling up their effort.
Expansion to new markets can happen more rapidly with a good PIM/MDM solution. This is especially true for international expansion, where multi-language and multi-jurisdictional support are typically required.
Consumers depend on having accurate and complete product information to make good purchasing decisions. Today’s online shoppers often prefer product stories, images, videos, attributes, reviews, and 3D renderings. According to Forrester, products tied to video see 2.5 times more conversions compared with those that don’t have video. That content must be reliable, consistent, granular, and persuasive. The best PIM platforms offer integrated Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities that link product data to rich media assets.
Complete product information also ensures better rankings in search results. Customers looking for specific product attributes will be more likely to find them when product descriptions are complete, including granular details.
A PIM ensures better, richer product information, with consistency across all points of interaction with the customer. That means a better customer experience and a higher likelihood of repeat sales. It’s also good for channel relationships. According to the Yankee Group survey, 63% of companies implementing a PIM report increased sales resulting from improved relationships with retailers and dealers.
59% of Yankee Group’s survey respondents reported reduced stockouts and lower logistical costs resulting from better replenishment planning. Where stockouts do occur, an effective PIM/MDM solution offers alternate products that can be offered as substitutes, preventing lost sales and customer attrition.
The best PIM/MDM solutions improve your supplier and partner collaboration by integrating with portals that serve those products.
Getting Started with PIM/MDM
The right PIM/MDM solution can be a game changer. If your organization is considering a PIM/MDM solution, it’s important to build a strong business case and lay out the ROI for top management. To learn more about the ROI you can achieve from a product information management system, download our free ebook today, Exploring the ROI of PIM and MDM.