Implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) system in the electronics component distribution industry, for both suppliers and distributors, poses several challenges due to the complexity of the industry, rapidly changing technologies, and stringent requirements for data management. Lets take a look at those challenges, remind you of the value of PIM, and address how your organization can close the gap between the considerations and the upgraded technology.
Large SKU Count
The high tech distribution industry deals with an extremely large number of electronic component Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), which can be a major challenge. The components vary by make, model, type, size, function, etc., making the catalog very complex to manage.
Data Accuracy and Consistency
Ensuring the accuracy and consistency of high tech component data across various channels is crucial but challenging. The data related to a single component can vary across different platforms, leading to errors and inconsistencies. This directly impacts customer experience and disappointed customers are not repeat customers.
Updating Product Information
The electronics industry is known for rapid changes and innovations. Updating the product information in real-time and keeping track of product lifecycle changes can be a daunting task. High tech functionality is ever changing and improving so this task does not cease. There is an inevitably repeating process.
The PIM system should integrate seamlessly with other systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, etc. The integration might face challenges due to different standards, formats, and protocols used in these systems. Managing these connections without adequate training and expertise makes high tech organizations vulnerable to errors with tremendous downstream issues.
Electronics components data is sourced from various manufacturers, each with their own way of describing and categorizing their products. This often includes inversions or product details and company specific measurement formats. Standardizing this data for the PIM system could be difficult and require specialized consulting expertise.
Data Security and Privacy
Protecting sensitive business data, customer data, and complying with data privacy regulations are incredibly important parts of managing your organization’s information. The responsibility and risk level are high. Prevent failures and breaches by working with a certified PIM implementation team. When the transition is done well, the final result adds security and reduces risks.
Managing Multilingual Data
If your high tech company operates in different regions, managing product information in multiple languages is another challenge and requires careful consideration and configuration for effective channel revenue realization.
Training and Change Management
Change management is a key aspect of platform adoption that needs to be carefully managed to avoid business disruptions. Proper training and enablement is critical to leveraging the tremendous benefits of a PIM platform. While leaders in the space provide excellent user training, it can be hard to digest as it is not specific to your instance. The value of a PIM expertise consulting firm again shows up in small session, organization specific training.
The chosen PIM system vendor’s reliability, customer service, and capacity to provide continuous updates and upgrades are crucial factors that can pose challenges. Selecting a vendor with a solid history of supporting enterprise requirements as part of their roadmap with prompt support is a key requirement for a PIM platform.
Why Implement a PIM System?
In light of all these complexities, you may be wondering why Sitation, experienced consultants in the space, would recommend PIM implementation for high tech distribution players. Transition to a powerful data management software solution leads to data completeness, standardization, a single source or truth, and east information transformation. These things combine to dramatically reduce manual processes, diminish error introduction, identify and correct existing errors, and improve your time to market for new and updated products. The overall efficiency benefits are radical and incomparable to traditional methods. By considering the challenges early in the planning and implementation process, companies can improve the likelihood of realizing a successful PIM selection and implementation.
Bringing in the certified, cross platform consultants from Sitation is an ideal solution for overhauling your product information management methods. If you are starting from scratch with this process, consider engaging in a PIM request for proposal (RFP) and let a dedicated team assess your needs, organize demonstrations, and utilize a numerical metric system to make a supportable recommendation for the most beneficial PIM solution for you.
Additionally, Sitation partners with, implements, trains on, and manages leading platforms in the PIM and MDM space. We can partner with you from start to finish, allowing you to update your entire tech stack.
Sitation High Tech Distribution Industry Expertise
With experts representing over 30 years of high tech distribution industry experience, Sitation understands these challenges from both the industry use case and the solution driven side. Check out this author’s previous installment in this series, 5 Product Information Challenges in the High Tech Distribution Industry and contact us for more on how we can help you achieve your goals.
About the Author
As one of Sitation’s earliest employees, Pramit Rajkrishna brings electronic components experience and knowledge from his previous role as Data Strategy and Operations Manager for the Digital division of Arrow Electronics.
Pramit is the Director of Solution Consulting, specializing in product data management and governance aimed at ecommerce and distribution success for components suppliers and distributors.