Get ready for the PIM implementation process
You have finally decided on your new PIM solution and the implementation process is ahead. The main question is how to prepare for it? We give you a few tips that you should consider and put in practice during the process.
1. Locate your product data and channels
Your product data are valuable assets and mapping all sources may set you into the role of a detective to find these data in your company. Of course, the first to look for are the most common sources as the ERP system, Excel sheets, eCommerce CMS, files on local or cloud storage shares. Still, the way of working with them usually differs between involved departments.
Call an appointment with all of them to meet and discuss the needs of each department in terms of product data, digital assets (your images, documents, technical specifications, etc.), data quality and channels.
Another point to discuss together are channels such as your eCommerce websites, feeds to online stores, sheets for customers, printed catalogues, leaflets and other documentation. Each channel demands different data complexity and you don’t want to miss any important piece.
Your detective work should end with a list of sources that can be used further for data reconciliation.
2. Consider data reconciliation
Having multiple sources, you can easily find your product data with different levels of completeness due to the data types or specific needs of each department. Your goal should be to eliminate „garbage“ data and get the most relevant data into the new PIM system. Although it requires a lot of time, it’s important to check all data sources, select the main information in each source and start to think if the source can be unified before migration or it is essential to import them as they are, because of the risk of loss of some important data is high. In such a case, be ready to clean data right after the migration.
Your PIM partner can assist you in terms of best practices coming from past experiences they had implementing such systems, and can make suggestions about the data structure of the new system.
3. Training with your sample data in the new PIM system
The first steps with the new PIM system may not be easy for your users. They may have to adapt to a new user interface and new processes. To help them get familiar with the system, provide your PIM partner with a sample of your data and discuss ways how to get them into the PIM system for the training. Sample data should contain various examples of your products, and it is always welcome to attach comments or short descriptions of the content to help your PIM partner get to know your data easily.
This step ensures you are going to be trained on data coming from your own products and your users will associate the existing product content with the new system.
4. Take your time to get familiar with the PIM system
After the training, it comes the crucial time to test the new PIM system, its features and get familiar with the new ways of working with product data. Due to daily routines, users tend to postpone this important phase. Allocate time for your key users to test the new setup and ask them to look at the system and perform tasks with the products in the new PIM. You can set a small goal such as preparing a new product for eCommerce. There is nothing better for getting real-life experience than creating and maintaining a new product, assigning it to the structure and enriching data such as translations, texts, attributes and pictures.
For sure, many questions and possible problems arise. Let users write them down, make screenshots, screen records and discuss them with your PIM partner. When the topic is more complex, a small workshop for involved users might pay off more than e-mail or phone conversations.