6 Reasons Product Information Management is a Must for Manufacturing Brands
Manufacturing companies distribute information and products to more channels than ever before. Being able to deliver the right information and content to the right channels is at best a lot of work. But at worst? A tedious, migraine-inducing, never-ending, juggling act.
No matter the size of the company or industry they work in manufacturers need to manage large product catalogs with an ever-changing volume of product info and assets. With such a high volume of materials involved, organizing information is prone to errors.
If you're part of a manufacturing brand you know how this plays out. When a new product is added, or updates are made to an existing one, a long list of detailed information needs to be created and then compiled somewhere that is organized and available for sharing. Ideally, the location this information lives is available to anyone who needs it, whenever they need it.
If you're currently operating out of spreadsheets, shared drives, and a small collection of different platforms you know this just might not always be the case...
Life without Product Information Management
An Avalanche of Spreadsheets
Often times spreadsheets are a go-to for tracking and sorting information for businesses. And they work just fine. But for product information spreadsheets are lacking some important functions to make them suited to the task. For manufacturing companies that are working with large quantities of SKUs that often need to be updated and shared managing it all in a spreadsheet kicks the door open to errors. Spreadsheets are also often challenging to share with other users and collaborate simultaneously.
Shared Drives Full of Outdated Material
Content entering the market with outdated or inconsistent product information is a common symptom of a manufacturer operating without a PIM. Without a single source of truth to rely on key data is ultimately pulled from wherever it can be found; the marketing team may be relying on a totally different set of records than the sales team. That's problematic when time and money are being poured into growing a brand where consistency is a key element of success.
Relying on Employees as an “Agency of Record”
The most challenging and risky format of them all is when a single employee, usually the one with the most years at the company becomes an "agency of record". Relying on a single person as your source of truth is a bottleneck waiting to happen, or rather it is a bottleneck that is already happening.
The Top 6 Benefits Manufacturers Gain With a PIM
1. A Single Source of Truth
With a PIM, your team has one single source of truth for your full product line and all the related product information and content. By having one universal source for materials and information your team can trust what they’re sourcing and sharing is accurate, current, and ready to share.
Updating information and managing versions becomes simplified with one location as the source of truth. This helps ensure that brand and product information is maintained throughout employee transitions or expanding product lines.
2. Prepare for Omnichannel Delivery
When you create a single source of truth for your brand and products in a PIM, your company is set up for delivering your brand’s assets and product information to every channel in the right way. For manufacturers this becomes especially impactful due to the volume of channels manufacturing companies need to show up in to compete in an ever growing and crowded e-commerce, retailer, and market spaces. A PIM ensures easy management for all product data and digital assets for any platform, team, or partner.
This omnichannel acceleration of brand and product delivery ensures easy management and updates too. Product information management (PIM) removes the need for teams to rely on dozens of spreadsheets. With PIM, product changes can be made in the system and those changes get pushed out everywhere they need to go."
3. Expand Product Offerings
In manufacturing, products need to be added at an accelerated rate to keep up with customer demand and to meet your company’s growth goals. A challenge in both juggling high volumes of product data without mistake, and in employee work hours to oversee and manage the data entry.
A PIM as your centralized source for all data adding or editing your packaging and product information. This turns a cumbersome and outdated process into an easy and accessible solution for all. Reduce confusion and errors as new products are input and distributed and give your teams the confidence to act on the most up-to-date information as they build a roadmap for new product launches and sales.
4. Easier Asset Sharing & Information Distribution
One of the most significant opportunities for manufacturing teams is how your business delivers your brand materials and product information into the right hands. This key step is especially important for collaboration between marketing & sales teams, retailers, and influential partners who are working to sell or set up your products for distribution or sales.
Without a PIM, manufacturing teams are left trying to manage and organize the necessary product information in dozens of custom built spreadsheets to meet every individual retailer's requirements. This process slows down the time to delivery and generates exponential opportunities for misinformation to spread from spreadsheet to spreadsheet. With a PIM, your data is structured automatically to meet the needs of any retailer.
5. Put Product Data in Context
Your team finally sells into a new retailer or lands a new contract and they’ve worked hard to gather all of the information and materials needed to get set up. They press send on the materials needed only to discover weeks later that an outdated asset or number was sent by mistake risking the relationship and costly sales.
It’s a common error that happens when manufacturing businesses are juggling such a high volume of product information, but definitely one that can be prevented. With a PIM in place, it’s easy to deliver the correct versions of product information and assets for the specific channel needed, every time.
6. Improve Your Customer Experience
All of these PIM benefits improve your customers' experience with your brand and products by ensuring a faster time to market, the most current and accurate product information, and a more consistent brand experience at every touchpoint.
For example - an e-commerce buyer sees the right product information and product images on an ecomm site and knows this is the right product to buy. Your competition is showing missing images, limited or conflicting information, and therefore can't be trusted. A PIM helps to give your customers a better user experience by ensuring they have the confidence in your brand and products.
This is also helpful when partnering with retailers who are able to receive all the information they need to sell for you. They don't have to keep coming back with questions or for more content to get your products set up to sell. A PIM ensures a smooth delivery of your product information, and deadlines to meet sales goals are achieved.
A PIM offers clear benefits for centralizing the significant amount of product information for manufacturing teams. However for manufacturing teams to truly accelerate delivery of their brand, requires more than just a PIM.
Deliver Marketing Everywhere: More Than Just a PIM
A PIM offers an essential solution for manufacturing marketing teams by offering a single source of truth that organizes and centralizes the ever growing volume of product information and helps businesses accelerate their time to market. It makes sharing your product and brand materials easier, improves your customer experience, and helps accelerate sales. But, product information management is just one small part of a greater whole, and just having a PIM alone won’t get your business everywhere you want to go.
Here at Image Relay, we’ve seen and experienced the challenges facing marketing teams at manufacturers and built a single unified platform that truly changes how you go to market. We combined the best of product information management, digital asset management (DAM), and creative operation tools all into one holistic and easy-to-use solution.
We call it Marketing Delivery. And it helps get your marketing to market faster than ever before. Instead of tackling an individual challenge, we built Marketing Delivery as a comprehensive solution to address the lifecycle of how you deliver your brand.