When do organisations begin thinking about PIM?
When existing ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems or accounts systems or even spreadsheets no longer meet department or organisation needs, users start looking for other ways of resolving their problems.
While Excel™ will remain a keystone of personal database and analysis in organisations it struggles as a trusted resource. PIM software such as Geni-Sys excels at product data content management. Geni-Sys supports CSV and Excel imports quickly becomes a trusted, auditable, data source and an accepted business process where data governance and data quality are key.
Many organisations have legacy systems that were installed in the days when multi-user, client-server was the technology of the day. Office bound client-server software is rapidly giving way to SaaS, software as a service, cloud applications and PIM is a product of the SaaS revolution. Cloud PIM has proved its worth during the COVID pandemic. In the case of Geni-Sys product managers have been able to do their work from home and still publish pages in the office for designers to finish at their homes, regardless of region or country.
Who needs PIM
Marketers, eCommerce managers, merchandisers, product managers, QA managers and IT all have input and all benefit from collaborative tools that come with PIM. Research during the pandemic has shown mail-order to be more effective than other marketing campaigns. PIM that supports high-quality ePublications, PDF catalogues and print catalogues will further benefit organisations.
Key features that provide immediate benefit and often not available in other systems are:
- Product descriptions and attributes, which are crucial to customers when choosing products to purchase.
- Dedicated attention to storing customer-focused product information instead of buyer-focused ERP data
- Storing and linking of images, brand logos and diagrams.
To be accepted by a team, software systems must be intuitive and easy to use and should not require training. Adding new products quickly is so fundamental to those maintaining websites and catalogues that significant emphasis is paid to ease of use and to any way of making the job easier.
It should be available from any connected location. It should be trusted and always available, with no complaints of "the system is slow today".
Cloud is not a buzzword in this context because older systems could not easily integrate with others inside an office network. With Geni-Sys cloud app all that is needed is a browser and permissions.
Almost every implementation involves data transformation. Every one is different - we look at individual needs and provide users with tools to suit.
The way in which products are structured within an organisation seems logical and essential when viewed from the inside. Viewed from the outside every organisation is different so the Geni-Sys uses an adaptable structure to accommodate most ways of doing things.
Remote access crosses borders and languages that are in the DNA of Geni-Sys. Language versioning is a core feature.
Importing of data is a key issue but not a simple one. Geni-Sys has many ways where data can be imported and exported for different purposes including content selection by code to import and export of prices per campaign or DataChannel ™.
Support for an API is important because data needs to be exchanged beween internal and external systems. The API is often used to automate transfer and update of content from existing system so that it can be transformed and enhanced for customer facing presentation. The API is also used for feeding data to existing websites. JSON is suported and is becoming the favoured file transport format for cloud systems.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
A correct knowledge of this is important, as contemporary PLM has been inundated with a variety of PLM methodologies and techniques, largely from the periodical literature and across the internet, often with no clear explication of the underlining product life cycle model used to derive the methodology. There is an important distinction to be made between manufacturing and distribution and the wide spectrum of what constitutes a product. Geni-Sys is concerned with product meta information in relation to their stock age and end of life as a stocked product, alerting marketers when it is likely to be withdrawn from publications, paper and web.
Catalog and eCatalog production, pre-press and print
There is a substantial difference between software products that offer a print solution and those that deliver integrated page production and publishing solution, complete with a pagination system, like Geni-Sys.
PDF publications are produced first using a DTP application like Adobe InDesign™. The path from PIM content to and InDesign DTP page is complex. It is assumed that it is a question of importing. With DTP everything is in a box, which means creating the box, putting it on a page and then importing into it. A picture also has to go in a box and the box has to be positioned next to its content or it makes no sense.
Geni-Sys templates make all the boxes and use templates to put the right content in the appropriate box on the next available page.
The Geni-Sys templates are like mini-AI that gives power to designers to produce the very detail that makes a catalogue stand out.