Before you start setting up your PIM, you should consider defining a few basics. Measurable goals, an execution plan, possible challenges and a realistic timeline.
We suggest you define 3 to 5 main goals you want to accomplish and you set up a way to quantify and measure them over time.
- Goal Number #1 => We want to reduce the time it takes on average to find product information from 15 min to 1 minute.
- Goal Number #2 => We want to reduce the average time to Market from 3 weeks to 1 week.
- Goal Number #3 => We want to be selling in 5 new Marketplaces in the next 3 months.
Doing this, you will be able to determine the key features you need to look for and avoid any analysis paralysis when looking at features.
This also helps you decide which department or person should take lead on the PIM project to make sure that whoever takes it up is invested in the project's success.
Most importantly, setting measurable goals will help you look back and assess if you are progressing and successful.
Once you have defined some measurable goals, you need to work on a plan to get that accomplished.
You should try to answer to the following questions:
- Who is going to lead this project?
- Who else will help that project manager with the workload?
- Where are we going to get the initial product data from?
- Do we need to migrate all our data or just some in order to get the ball rolling?
- Where are the images today?
- Who is going to help setting up connections to other systems?
- Who will have access to the system once implemented?
- Who will need training and in what level?
To get these questions defined, start doing a mock planning without them. These and other questions will surely arise once you start to think of the project as a reality.
You will have to plan all that carefully to make sure this becomes smooth sailing and not a "perfect storm". And to avoid storms you need to think about potential challenges and how to deal with them.
Not matter how small a project is, challenges exist. Identify these in advance to make sure you have enough knowledge, resources and help to solve it. There is nothing worse than an unexpected difficulty that could have been planned and avoided.
Try to think about the followings:
- How long will take us to gather all the initial product data?
- Do we have a consistent naming convention for files that include SKU or an identifier in it?
- How are we going to enrich product data? (descriptions, media etc)
- Do we have internal resources for API connections to the systems we use?
- Do we know what information does each Marketplace require?
Once you identify the main challenges you need to overcome, you just need to make sure you get the help to solve them.
Great, now that you have identified the goals and plan accordingly and thought about the challenges, it is time to set a timeline. Here are some tips:
- Try to be realistic: this will be a great project, you will need at least 6 weeks to implement it.
- Add some buffer: things will pop up in the middle, make sure you have some buffer to conclude every step with no rush.
- Fight company procrastination/inertia: the best time to set up a PIM was a year ago, the second best time is today. Don't let the "status quo" eternally post-pone this project.
You are not alone
Let us work with you during this process, we have some experience and have worked with many different companies, we are sure that we can bring some good examples and ideas to the table.