Product Information Management
3 Good Reasons for a Well-Structured Product Data Model
What’s the benefit of analyzing your product data model?
How well do you know your own product? Most if not all manufacturers, retailers, and employees working in Product Management would reply: like the back of my hand! However, how about the technical properties, the relations between different components, as well as the physical constitution of your products? In short: do you know the whole truth about your product? This truth, namely, your product in all its aspects and facets, is best represented in the form of a product data model. Such a model is necessary to bring all relevant information about the respective product into a well-ordered structure wherein you can search and find everything at any given time.
In this blog entry, we let you in on why this is so crucial and how your company can profit from it.
What is a Product Data Model?
A product data model is a structure containing all product-specific information, properties, and variants. It defines what kind of information is to be determined at what point in time in the product life cycle. As such, it constitutes the ideal basis for a fully operational PIM system and enables you to automate processes revolving around product data management. And, ultimately, it culminates in optimized product experience providable to your customers.
1. Optimized Data Quality Begins with the Product Data Modell
In order to create product descriptions which inspire customers, you require high-quality data. This is because only a rich variety of correct and up-to-date product data can function as a basis for expressive and convincing product texts. For example, there is a dramatic difference between a glass being described as ‘glass’ or as ‘a mouth-blown and hand-crafted bordeaux glass – voluminous for the optimal self-unfolding of a flavorful, tannic red wine’s aroma.’ Which of the two descriptions is more likely to evoke a vivid image of the product in your mind’s eye?
Fitting descriptions require a lot of information organized in a product data model. The model provides all relevant information for a given product in a well-structured manner which you can browse and search at the click of a button. This forms the basis of high data quality. After all, if all information were to be dispersed over several different documents, excel tables, or even company departments, drawing from a consistent data pool would be flat out impossible.
2. Product Data Models Bring Order into Your Data World
Think of a product data model like a tree or drawer system. You define individual hierarchy levels and sub-structures of your product together with their attributes, variants, relations, and properties – organized in well-defined classes. This brings order and systematicity into the world of your product data.
Following our bordeaux glass example from earlier, we can classify it as belonging to the group ‘Dishware’ in the class of ‘Glasses’ and sub-class ‘Wine Glasses.’ As a member of this class and sub-class, it inherits attribute and property definitions such as the constitution, size, or diameter of the glass. You can also map variants in your data model, e.g. for offering one and the same glass in different shades.
Within your model, all data and product information has its well-defined place or, visually speaking, it’s dedicated drawer. This way, you can always search, find, and trace all information throughout the entire product life cycle. This minimizes the possibility of errors and accelerates your processes tremendously. Apropos processes…
3. A Well-Organized Product Data Mode Accelerates All Product Data Processes
The modelling of your product data structure is as individual as your entire product assortment. This is because no structure is a shoe that fits all sizes, i.e. a determinate model can’t fulfill the requirements of every single possible assortment. Consequently, there is, unfortunately, no universal standard, cure-all, or cookie-cutter template for creating your very own top model. For a company operating in the industrial sector, where complex products with numerous components are manufactured, the hierarchization and relationality plays a much more significant role than it does for a wholesale retailer specializing in wine glasses. For the latter, the focus does, much rather, lie on a simple product classification.
The great benefit of a product data model is the following: you only have to work through the effort of segmenting your product into its technical specs and define your requirements a single time. On the basis of this, you can model your product data structure.
Granted that this is, at least initially, a big challenge. For companies, the end result will nonetheless pay dividends. After all, this is the perfect foundation for a fully-functional PIM system. And this is your portal into a brave new digital world: automated processes, faster time-to-market, groundbreaking product and sales experiences, consistent data in top quality, and a single source of truth for all your data – all that and much more is what will give your product data management the decisive turbo boost.
Are you ready to develop a concept of your own product data model? If so, then be sure to reach out and contact us. Our experts are always happy to help you out in both theoretical and practical matters. Together, we can design a top model which fits your requirements and product assortment perfectly. Here’s our contact form.