So, you’ve decided you want to unlock growth through better product experiences. How do you start? We’ve got just the thing. Welcome to our series about developing the profession of PXM at your company. Last week, we took a closer look at KPIs to measure PXM success. This week? We’re offering 4 Tips for building a best-in-class PXM practice from the experts.
Here at Akeneo, we’re obsessed with helping distributors, manufacturers, merchants, and brands create compelling product experiences using top-notch product information management (PIM) solutions.
That’s why we employ an elite entourage of product experience experts in the form of our team of functional and technical consultants. These dedicated professionals spend their days helping Akeneo customers on nearly every continent implement their PIM solution and build best-in-class PXM practices.
Now, in our effort to help spread the gospel of Product Experience Management (or PXM), we’re bringing insights from this team of experts to the public. We’ve tapped into their years of experience building great experiences and have come out with four of their most crucial keys to PXM success.
So what do the experts have to say?
Understand where you’re starting from
According to our team of experts, the biggest thing to get right when it comes to getting your PXM practice off the ground is understanding the current state of your product data. That includes the existing problems with your product data and your product information management processes, along with the goals for the project. As you begin to think about your PIM solution and your new PXM practice, make sure you have a clear understanding of the leading business objectives you need to accomplish and the KPIs you’ll use to measure the impact of your new solution.
You should also consider your project’s scope, including what processes will be affected by PIM. This is an essential step to set expectations and define how you’ll measure success. With your objectives and scope clearly understood, you can structure your PXM practice to support your commerce strategy.
Get everyone on board
A critical component to understanding the scope of your new PXM practice is understanding the human resources you will need to make the project a success. Constructing a top-notch team is a vital part of building a good PXM practice. So, be sure you spend time considering the key players on your PIM team early in the process of setting up your PXM practice.
These individuals should have a comprehensive knowledge of your products, data governance processes, desired catalog structure, current channels, and locales, along with the goals and objectives we discussed above. Your PIM team should also include those responsible for impacted systems, such as your ERP, eCommerce store, or DAM. Remember that PIM is a business application designed to serve your teams, not the other way around, so be sure to spend time identifying the parts of your organization that could benefit the most from it.
That last point is an important one. Your PXM practice should fit snugly into your organization and serve to make your team’s lives easier and help them unlock new levels of growth — and that is also true of the technology that PIM works with and supports. That’s why it’s crucial to analyze your functional needs and structure your product catalog and make sure the PIM solution you choose is well suited to those needs.
That’s not to say that a good PXM practice isn’t always looking for ways to make your existing product enrichment ecosystem and processes better, of course. Ultimately, however, your PIM should be agnostic and able to work with a wide range of different data management solutions, including your ERP, PLM, and more. It’s important to remember that the PIM is designed to fill a gap that your other systems cannot fulfill; it must stand on its own two feet without being constricted by other applications.
Your PIM is only as good as your data
Last but not least, remember that it’s all about the data. A new tool may dazzle your customers with how it presents your products. But without putting an effective data governance policy in place, your customers will still see the same inaccurate or missing information that could impact their purchase decision.
What does that mean for you and your team? It means that they must set your project up for success before you implement a new solution by ensuring that data is cleaned, standardized, and ready for public consumption. This can be time-consuming, but it’s ultimately the entire purpose of a PIM and is what drives ROI for the system.
Then, once your PIM is live, they’ll need to work toward instituting straightforward and easy to follow data governance policies, a vital part of data standardization. They’ll also need to progressively work toward improving product data by assigning your product team small side projects around certain attributes or parts of your product catalog.