Ventana Research today released The Next-Generation of Product Information Management benchmark research. Product Information Management (PIM) provides organizations a way to automatically produce a complete, reliable definition and view of all products including any type of attribute without forcing every department and business unit to use the same application or format. The research assessed challenges associated with PIM deployment, including how trends such as online channel development, global supply chains, B2B and supplier integration, electronic commerce and customer experience, operational process integration and XML standards have impacted PIM implementations.
The research underscores the repeated finding that this topic touches all segments with which companies do business. Substantial percentages of participants said that the activities important to their organization’s PIM efforts are business-to-business interactions (77%), electronic commerce of products and services (62%), consumer access to product information on the Web and mobile devices (55%) and sharing of product-related information with suppliers (46%). About one-third of organizations said it is very important for service fulfillment specialists, suppliers, retail customers, distributors and channel resellers to participate in their product information management processes. Despite the evidence of a widespread need for product information, the research finds unease about it. Most participants said they largely trust their product information processes, but far fewer said they completely trust them –internally (16%), for B2B purposes (18%) and for business-to-consumer (B2C) product information management processes (23%).
“Many organizations still rely on manual efforts, spreadsheets, database-related software, ERP applications, or custom-coded solutions to manage product information” said Mark Smith, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Ventana Research. “As we have found numerous times in other research and in this benchmark, when organizations use an eclectic mix of software or spreadsheets to manage data, performance and reliability suffer.
“Product Information Management impacts stakeholders beyond the enterprise, including customers, partners, suppliers and distributors. Within the organization, it affects an array of functions: marketing, sales, customer service, operations, the supply chain and finance. Thus, its importance to business is undeniable. As the types of product data, including unstructured ones, increase along with the sheer volume of data about sales, purchasing habits and customer sentiment and satisfaction, effective PIM is certain to remain a challenge.”
Those interested in learning more about this benchmark research can download the executive summary at https://www.ventanaresearch.com/benchmark/product-information-management/executive-summary. This research was sponsored by Agility Multichannel and StiboSystems. Ventana Research, a leading business technology research and advisory services firm, provides qualified research participants with an incentive and complementary report, which includes both key insights and best practices from the benchmark research. Those interested in learning how to apply this benchmark in their business can see a full listing of services available at www.ventanaresearch.com/services. Ventana Research advisory clients have premium access to insights and education on benchmark research.
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