IDC Spotlight Report: The Power of a PX Strategy in Omnichannel Commerce



Dec 11, 2023

4 min to read

Perfect Your PIM Selection Process

In the fast-paced world of digital commerce, selecting the right Product Information Management (PIM) solution transcends the realm of technology features. It's an intricate dance between the robustness of the tool, the adaptability to your company's processes, and the ease of adoption for future key users. Contrary to common belief, rushing into platform procurement before a thorough "discovery" or "study" phase can lead to costly missteps.


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PIM Implementation


Embarking on the PIM journey involves a meticulous two-phase discovery process. And to start, we delve into high-level analysis, dissecting user needs to ensure the selection of a platform that aligns seamlessly with team workflow and objectives. The goal? to secure optimal adoption and efficiency in managing product attributes and asset by choosing a solution that adapts to the organization maturity.


Step 1: Categorizing User Needs into 7 Key Groups

Our process begins by analyzing and categorizing user needs into seven distinct groups through intensive sessions. From KPIs and Objectives to Data Model Structure, this exhaustive approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of your requirements. Here are the groups we usually make that are also the different workshop sessions lasting between 30mn-1.5h max:

  • KPIs & Objectives: Create a  list of measurable goals in order to know where you’re starting from. Identify and list major challenges from a business and technical standpoint.
  • Product Lifecycle & User Workflow: Design a process map with gaps between current and future needs and a Business Process Management (BPM) Strategy. This allows listing user roles & permissions roles, enrichment, catalog search, and syndication needs.
  • Data Model Structure: Develop a strategy that cleanses and enriches data efficiently
  • Data Cleansing: Analyze the level of efforts necessary to cleanse your data base from a programmatic standpoint that leverages AI
  • Asset Management: Stay at the strategy level to understand if we’re loading these assets from a DAM or an SFTP, and if there’s a need to rename assets.
  • Supplier Data Onboarding & Initial Import: Depending on whether you’re a manufacturer or a distributor, this might require some great features and processes to format supplier’s data into your own format.
  • Architecture & Connections: Last but not least, connecting your PIM with all your source & destination systems (marketplaces, websites, paper catalogs, POS, etc…).


Step 2: Crafting a Business Case

The outcomes of the analysis should synthesized into a high-level summary—a business case. Here’s our typical agenda:

  • Introducing the major challenges
  • Current client key user & roles
  • A catalog overview
  • KPIs & Objectives
  • Product Catalog Management Gaps
  • Requirements listing for each of the 7 groups above that PIM provider will use to contextualize their demos.

Step 3: PIM Demos with Purpose

Armed with a concise business case, we orchestrate demos with a carefully selected shortlist of 3 PIM technologies. The selection process needs to respect the organization size, users maturity and process complexity. As an example, if your client key user group is between 1-2 with poor technical support, it would be overwhelming to select an ‘Informatica’ type of solution as these kinds of flexible platforms require more customization needs and development, therefore complexifying the adoption if you have a smaller team. 

In these demos, a tailored approach is key; we guide providers to focus on client-specific needs, eschewing generic feature tours. We help providers to kick off these demos by listing all the challenges and we then let the PIM providers contextually demo the features in the same order as the challenges listed. So that clients can really visualize their future way of working with the technology. It’s a whole PXM inception work.

Final tip, spacing out these demos allows clients to digest information without feeling overwhelmed.


Step 4: Contextualized Platform Rating

A platform’s suitability is gauged through a client-specific lens, considering factors like budget and user base. Each PIM technology is evaluated across crucial dimensions, and a weighted rating is assigned based on client priorities. Here’s a list of what we grade with the client:

  • Supplier data onboarding
  • Manual data import & updates
  • Data cleansing
  • Data governance
  • Data model
  • Taxonomy
  • Asset management
  • Product search
  • Enrichment capabilities
  • Product lifecycle & workflows
  • Analytics
  • Translation & Localization management
  • Syndication & export
  • Paper catalog & advertising solution
  • UI & ease of use
  • Product catalog performance
  • Customization
  • System integration
  • Implementation costs
  • License costs

Step 5: Executive Summary and Decision Time

After performing this exhaustive analysis, it’s now time to distill this information into an executive summary, emphasizing major outcomes. The client is empowered to select the platform that resonates most with their needs. With the platform chosen, we seamlessly transition to drafting a Statement of Work (SOW) for implementation.

Benefits Beyond Selection

The strategic PIM selection process offers a plethora of advantages:

  • Tailored Solutions: Clients choose a platform aligned with their unique needs.
  • Efficient Adoption: Accelerated adoption through streamlined workflows.
  • Reduced Customization: Minimized reliance on costly customization.
  • Optimized Design Costs: A meticulous approach minimizes design costs.

Ready, Set, Implement

Embrace the future of effective product catalog management with our proven PIM selection process. With a budget ranging from 20-50k and a timeline spanning from one week (onsite) to 1.5 months (online), let’s empower your team for a seamless implementation journey.

Looking for more PIM implementation support? Check out some of our other Valtech featured articles diving into the people-first approach to product experiences, or how to maximize the ROI of your PXM organization.

This article is a guest post by Akeneo partner, Valtech.

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