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Product Experience Strategy

Sep 27, 2018

Onboarding Product Information from Suppliers

Maintaining accurate and complete product information is critical to running your business. Utilizing a product information management (PIM) solution ...


Supplier Onboarding

Maintaining accurate and complete product information is critical to running your business. Utilizing a product information management (PIM) solution to collect product data and enrich it, while managing the process, helps ensure that you have complete and accurate product information for all of your various channels. However, collecting product information from suppliers is typically a manual process involving meetings, phone calls, emails, and spreadsheets. An improved flow of product data between suppliers and eCommerce managers helps:

  • Speed up time to market
  • Improve product data quality
  • Make it easier to introduce new products
  • Remove the need to transfer information from spreadsheet to spreadsheet
  • Simplify the supplier onboarding process
  • Reduce the time it takes to review product information
  • Increase bandwidth for marketing

Giving suppliers a cloud-based environment to provide authoritative product information makes it easier and faster to get products to market and to add new products to your catalog.

Managing Product Information from Suppliers

There are several options for retailers to collect product data directly from suppliers. They are, after all, the experts in their products and should have the most up to date and reliable information. Here are a few of the ways retailers have to tap suppliers as a valuable resource for gathering product information.

Option 1: Manual Input

Every supplier has different formats and product content and it’s common for product information to be brought together from fragmented sources into cumbersome and confusing spreadsheets. As a result, retailers need to manually collate and organize product data that suppliers manually provide, and load it into their PIM for further enrichment and classification into catalogs.

Manually inputting product information is a tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone task.

Option 2: Supplier Portals

Instead of manual input, some retailers instead rely on supplier portals in an attempt to resolve these issues. However, supplier portals are typically set up by the suppliers with little regard for the information that you need. In this setup, suppliers still have slightly different product information standards and each supplier uses a different portal. With this setup, your team is still left completing manual tasks to get the information you require.

Supplier portals don’t support streamlined collaboration and communication between teams.

Option 3: Supplier Product Onboarder

A supplier product onboarding solution that integrates with your PIM gives you the best of both worlds. This solution enables your suppliers to directly provide their product information in the format that you require. With seamless integration with your PIM, both suppliers and retailers/distributors can improve collaboration, increase productivity, and deliver high-quality product information.

Enable your suppliers to directly provide their product information using the format that you require.

The Akeneo Onboarder

The Akeneo Onboarder is a new product that complements Akeneo PIM Enterprise Edition and allows suppliers to directly provide product information to the retailer for streamlined processing into Akeneo PIM. There is no need for back and forth emailing spreadsheets or files. Instead, retailers/distributors can define required information attributes and catalog structures, and then suppliers input the product information directly into the Onboarder. The retailer can then review and accept the information and enrich the data in Akeneo PIM. This optimized process significantly increases productivity by removing the need to manually reformat or convert product data.

The Akeneo Onboarder makes it easy to:
–   Increase productivity
–   Expand product offerings
–   Ensure security

Suppliers benefit from having more control over the information provided to the retailer, and can also propose new products for the retailer to carry. If the retailer accepts the new products, they are automatically added to the retailer’s catalog. As a result, suppliers and retailers can both recognize the business benefits from an expanded catalog.

The Onboarder also allows your organization to maintain control over product information. You can easily accept or reject product data but still eliminate tedious manual enrichment tasks. Plus, providing suppliers with the ability to directly submit product information increases accuracy which supports better product and customer experiences. These productivity improvements give your team more time to focus on expanding product catalogs and other key enrichment tasks.

Simplified Product Information Enrichment Processes

Setting up the SaaS-based Akeneo Onboarder is simple:

  1. The retailer creates supplier accounts
  2. The retailer defines product information requirements
  3. The retailer sends supplier invitations via email
  4. The supplier accepts the invitation and logs in to Akeneo Onboarder
  5. Products that need to be enriched are displayed on a clear grid
  6. Completely enriched products are automatically sent back to the retailer/distributor for approval and subsequent integration into the retailer’s Akeneo PIM instance


Within the Akeneo Onboarder retailers and distributors can:

  • Define supplier product data requirements
  • Allow suppliers to directly provide product information
  • Enable suppliers to propose new products
  • Streamline product data management approval workflows
  • Easily review and accept or reject product information
  • Mass-approve and accept new products from trusted suppliers
  • Scale to support up to 2,500 different suppliers

Improve Supplier Product Information Management Using Akeneo Onboarder

By having a dedicated UI for your suppliers to input product information, you can be sure that you always have the complete and accurate information you need. The Akeneo Onboarder helps streamline these processes and workflows so you can increase productivity and get products to market faster to drive more sales.

Interested in learning more about the Akeneo Onboarder or want to learn more about Akeneo PIM? Just give us a shout and we would be happy to answer any of your questions.

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