Executive Summary

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Next-Generation Product Information Management:

Maximizing the Potential Value of Products for Customers and Suppliers

Executive Summary

Consistent, accurate and actionable product information is essential to the smooth-running, successful business. To be able to provide this information as needed for consumers, customers and partners as well as throughout the supply chain, organizations must ensure the processes they use to develop and disseminate product information satisfy their needs for efficiency and effectiveness.

Using product information can be a difficult management challenge as industries, companies and even groups within them frequently use different names and attributes for the same products. Disparities often can exist across different functions within the same organization, so that marketing, sales, commerce, the supply chain and finance each stores product data differently. Technological advances also challenge the consistency of product information. For example, many customers expect to be able to carry out product-related searches and transactions on their mobile devices, and e-commerce poses its own set of challenges for referring to a product for a purchase or recommendation. And, of course, product content today includes images and video linked to social ratings and comments. If product information is not managed or used properly, the result may be a bad product experience that ultimately will decrease customer satisfaction.

Overcoming these varied challenges requires unified processes and automated systems. Well-performing organizations embrace product processes that use product information management (PIM) software to handle content and data about products, items or materials across the enterprise and for digital commerce to support supplier networks and business-to-business (B2B) exchanges along with business-to-customer (B2C) commerce.


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