Product Information Management

Fast PIM Implementation – This Is How It’s Done

Jannis Lambeck
10.02.2022
8 Min

Structure and Acceptance: Your Methodological Approach to a Fast PIM Implementation

“Digital Transformation” is a topic which poses a great challenge to many companies – in particular when it comes to Product Communication. The e-commerce industry is booming. In order to stay afloat in the face of today’s fast-paced competition, online retailers must manage a large quantity of products and corresponding product data in an optimal manner. To this end, an ERP system by itself is no longer sufficient. Products are to be enriched with a great variety of data and digital assets, from text to multimedia – and, eventually, distributed into many target channels in order to address various target groups at the same time. This is what multi-channel is all about. How can you master this challenge? The solution isn’t far to seek: a Product Information Management system. In short, PIM.

A PIM system simplifies the labor you’re required to invest into your product data significantly. This is because you can edit and maintain your product data and information at a central spot, in a department-overarching manner, across your entire company. Through various intersection nodes with other systems, you can enhance your PIM system with further functions such as, for example, automated translations. To put it simply: A PIM provides you with many benefits which will facilitate your daily work life and upgrade your company’s Product Communication to the state of the art.

If this is, indeed, the case, however, how come that not every company and online shop operator is running a PIM system? Since the implementation of a PIM system involves some effort which, in turn, discourages some responsible people in charge.

 

This is How Your PIM Project will Become a Success

If it’s about implementing new software in a company, the expectations are usually pretty high. In particular when it comes to a Product Information Management system, your team may expect quick results thanks to better data transparency, more compact processes, and efficient management tools. At the same time, the executive board is pushing for a quick implementation with a limited project budget. To bring both worlds together, you’ll need a well-mapped-out implementation plan and, on the other hand, you’ll need to generate a high acceptance rate for changes and innovations among your coworkers.

Our experience proves: With a core team of proactive key users and with our battle-tested software training program, eggheads academy, a PIM system can be implemented with minimal service hours and within a short project runtime. To learn about the four essential aspects you’ll need to look out for in order to make your project a success, keep on reading.

 

PIM Means Teamwork: It All Comes Down to the Right Project Team

For the successful implementation of a PIM system, select your taskforce before anything else – your core team. This team forms the foundation and, consequently, the first essential success factor for a quick project implementation. Concerning team size, the rule is: as little as possible, as big as necessary. Once it’s up and running, the PIM software will enable department-overarching collaboration and data management. Which is why you should compose your core team out of different department representatives – bundling the corporate know-how, from Marketing to Product Management. These representatives are experts of your product portfolio and know exactly which product attributes are relevant to your customers. This is where the first Pitfall for a Successful PIM Project is looming. Don’t forget to get your IT involved as early as possible. Often times, companies make the mistake of getting their IT department on board once it’s already much too late, in the middle of the implementation process. This is crucial since it’s your IT that harbors specialized expert knowledge on how to implement digital systems such as PIM. Your IT knows best when it comes to your company’s current software infrastructure. Ideally, you’ve already gotten your IT admins involved before the PIM project even started.

Illustration mit acht runden Portraitbildern | eggheads.net

For the successful introduction of a PIM system, human resources is another big topic. Make sure that your project team can prioritize PIM for the runtime of the project. Without the resources required, your project may run into delays and postponements.

💡 Our Tip: Define weekdays on which your core team can work exclusively on project-related tasks. After all, the project length is usually proportional to the resources provided.

Collaboration with PIM Consultants: Get Pros on Board

A PIM project is as unique as the product world you’re providing to your customer. Yet, there’s one thing that all projects have in common: You’ll have to make a lot of macro-level decisions which may, in turn, lead to uncertainty. Correcting wrong decisions later is not only demoralizing for your team but also a dangerous time devourer. Which is why they should be avoided in the first place by doing things right from the beginning. No worries! You don’t have to walk the path towards the right data model for your products and the right information chain workflow on your own. A good PIM provider has a lot of expertise to show when it comes to the successful implementation of PIM. Never hesitate to get experts on board – this saves time, money, and your team’s nerves.Illustration mit drei professionellen Personenportraits | eggheads.net

We eggheads have been building our success on close collaboration with our customers for decades. Throughout the years, we’ve developed a good eye for the potential pitfalls of PIM projects. The fruits of all our projects can be unified into the following truth: A fast PIM implementation goes hand in hand with a well-structured approach – an implementation with method. Only a project with a complete list of clear-cut milestones can be realized in top speed without unforeseen crises. In the process, our project managers support you with a tool-guided  Phase Plan and help you in keeping the overview of what’s going on when and where.

 

We’re All in the Same Boat: Establish Acceptance for Change

So far, the first steps towards the successful introduction of a PIM system are complete. Your hand-picked project team is ready to go and works in close collaboration with PIM consultants on your project according to a well-defined phase plan. Now, it’s about keeping the ball rolling as far as the initial motivation is concerned. This is because PIM will make foundational changes to processes and workflows – for the better. A high acceptance rate which is open for incoming changes will improve the collaboration of your team and key users, hereby constituting the motor for a fast project realization. Even before beginning your project, all parties should have a transparent overview of what exactly will change. Communicate with your team at regular intervals and explain what the new software will innovate and what kind of benefits the functions and features will provide for individual use cases. Our experience has shown: For the centralized data management in PIM and for a modern work environment with consistent product information without data redundancy, users will be happy to move away from the usual excel tables and lists.

In order to make short work of even the last quantum of doubt towards a new PIM system, we’ve compiled for you a selection of the most important arguments. In this free checklist, you’ll learn why a PIM solution pays dividends for all departments of your company and what hard facts will convince your stakeholders.

 

Practice Makes Perfect: Train Your Core Team

Finally, to unlock the full potential of your team, you should all act in concert and work towards the same vision. By building up qualifications in earlier project phases, your core team will come to develop a common knowledge basis and language. And this is what your project will build on. After the productive rollout of the PIM system into daily business, all users should be familiar and content with their new workspace. Adequate software training is essential to this end and will later pay back tenfold. As part of our training format, eggheads Academy, we provide various, chunk-sized training modules which closely follow the implementation process. Communicate with your project partners and PIM consultants to mobilize their experience on how to equip individual users with the knowledge and skills they truly need. The right training module during just the right project phase will help your team stay focused so that they are on track for the project progress of currently relevant topics.

 
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The Methodological Approach Towards a Smooth PIM Implementation

Essential to a quick PIM implementation is a constant project progression free of uncalculated incidents. Equipped with a well-defined phase plan and a well-trained core team, there’re no more obstacles separating your company form the successful introduction of a new PIM system.

We’re always happy to share the nitty-gritty details of how the perfect method for chaos-free implementations unfolds. Download our whitepaper and the corresponding checklist for free now.