By Akeneo focused Project Manager Jannel McCullough
The value add of Product Information Management (PIM) software, like Akeneo, gets discussed frequently. Case studies, customer success interviews, and direct product experience support impacts like faster time to market, massive reductions in manual SKU creation, and consolidated high quality product data among others, but how quickly these benefits are realized depends heavily on a successful implementation process.
Sitation has completed hundreds of projects, including dozens of PIM implementations. These projects span platforms, SKU count, complexity, and business goals. Working directly to manage the implementation of Akeneo for dramatically different clients, they all ultimately require the same preparation to encourage expeditious success.
Let’s provide some insight to avoiding bottlenecks when implementing Akeneo PIM/PXM with these four suggestions:
1. Start with the right people in the room.
This seems like an obvious one but it can take a minute to determine who to invite. It’s important to include your Content Management team, Marketing team, and IT team from the beginning to ensure a clear consistent vision of the project and desired outcome. This is crucial in avoiding a stall later in the process. Your day-to-day subject matter experts are talented at what they do and will bring important insight to the PIM implementation. Their participation will help determine the most useful and efficient workflow. Including your IT Solution Architect will define data flow and end points. So, now that we have everyone…. Next up: time to clean up your data.
2. Prepare your data.
Save yourself the headache that is building your airplane while you’re trying to fly it. Take the time to clean up and organize data. High quality data and consistent data hygiene is key! We are not suggesting perfection. Assess and correct duplicate, inaccurate, missing data or data that are no longer necessary. There is more than one way to accomplish this crucial task. Sitation is happy to offer data augmentation services which can be used ahead of an implementation project to ensure your data is ready. Additionally, this can be factored in to the implementation project but should be discussed early in the process to be factored in to the work and the timeline. It can be a lot of work, but you will find the implementation process much easier with clean data.
3. Use your expert resources and tools.
This can be hard work and you’re not in this alone! Constantly adding new customers, and upgrading instances of ongoing clients means that Akeneo users are growing. The Akeneo Help Center (help.akeneo.com) is an ideal resource to refer to straight from the source. Your next best resources for expanding your platform knowledge are internal Akeneo certified experts and your implementation partner. With a nearly 100% re-engagement rate, Sitation is always eager to provide solution based services, including expanding enablement after a completed implementation. Additionally, the Akeneo Marketplace offers several apps and those are forever expanding. The solution you’re looking for, such as a particular connector, might already have been developed.
4. Evangelize. (Really!)
Having internal support of new technology can make all the difference. A sponsor level evangelist will help prepare your teams and ease adoption of your new PIM as you roll it out to the folks that will be using it. Arm this person with detailed information about why Akeneo will be a valuable addition to your tech stack. An evangelist will make sure that the project has visibility and that necessary resources can be allocated to the project. Nothing throws a wrench into a project like nobody available to work on it.
Prepared For Implementation
As my experience managing Akeneo implementation projects grows, I find that clients who have taken the time to work through this brief list have quicker startups and get to project completion, and thus results faster. And isn’t that the goal? Let’s put your new solution to work.
As Gold Partners, Sitation’s team of experienced and certified Akeneo experts are eager to meet your implementation and support needs. Contact us for detail or to get started!