Securing the future of product data governance


August 31, 2023

In his latest blog post, inriver CEO Niels Stenfeldt looks at the role of PIM in the future of product data governance.

Last night we hosted a highly engaging partner meet-up at the inriver headquarters in Malmö, Sweden with our local Nordic partners. I had the opportunity to speak with leaders in the product information management (PIM) space from companies including Diamir, Immeo, Avensia, Nexer as well as alliance partners Optimizely, and Microsoft. Many of these partners have been with inriver since the company’s inception in 2007 and have been significant contributors to our growth story. I’m proud to say that as these relationships evolve, we are jointly driving our customers’ sustainable businesses with our new breed of PIM. 

Together we shared meaningful discussions on the market drivers facing our shared customers across industries including B2B industrial manufacturers, consumer products companies, and more. Given the essential role our partners play in servicing our customers and ensuring their PIM implementations are driving business value, our partners have unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that modern enterprises are facing. 

One consistent need we hear is the ability for a PIM solution to evolve over time alongside our customers’ business changes. Customers like Michelin tell us that the elastic PIM data model that powers the inriver PIM solution uniquely enables their business to meet product information needs of today and in the future.  

We also discussed how the value and necessity of flexibility within a PIM solution increases in importance tenfold in the face of evolving compliance regulations. In fact, it’s hard to see a path forward for businesses to track product data compliance with new regulations without a dynamic and robust PIM system in place.   

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Digital Product Passports are just the beginning

Governing bodies across the globe are introducing new measures and legislation that will directly impact the requirements of a PIM system. The European Union has announced the introduction of the Digital Product Passport (DPP) – a mechanism to create transparency and unlock circularity proposed by requiring manufacturers to share product information across the entire value chain, including data on raw material extraction, production, and recycling. Batteries, textiles, and electronics will be the first industries impacted. 

The DPP is not the only new legislation impacting product data, however. Proposition 65, which first became California state law in 1986 requires companies to disclose when their products contain chemicals that can lead to cancer, reproductive harm, or birth defects should they leak into the water supply. And, in a completely different industry, it will be mandatory for all commercialized wines within the EU to show nutritional information and list ingredients beginning in December. 

The growing need for business-critical data

In the US, inriver client SATCO | NUVO has evolved its PIM strategy in the face of regulatory changes in the lighting industry. SATCO | NUVO Chief Technology Officer Jeff Beyer has shared with me that while environmental sustainability always has been a focus for SATCO, both the regulatory climate and evolving consumer demands elevate its importance year after year. Staying on top of the dynamic federal and state regulations, including performance and reliability certifications such as EnergyStar, has been an increasingly burdensome and often manual process. With inriver, SATCO | NUVO has a system for storing and effectively disseminating regulatory information – making it easier to manage all critical data – and allowing company leaders to focus on product innovation and efficiency that will continue to grow our business.  

More regulations will come into play in the lighting industry in 2023, meaning these ever-changing requirements reinforce that a flexible, elastic data model is business-critical to meet regulatory needs now and in the future.  

While Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions are part of the overall product management equation, they are not the complete answer. PLM software can help organizations develop new products and bring them to market. Then, our implementation and solution partners can work with our composable product data governance platform to combine the great work delivered by the PLMs with upstream data and translate that data downstream. Our unique elastic data modeling capabilities are a prerequisite to delivering on the ever-changing downstream data disclosure needs to consumers. The need to facilitate this data exposure will continue to come as legislators require new information and product attribute information sharing. 

PIM is the foundation of Product Data Governance

PIM is at the center of the product journey and is uniquely positioned to deliver Product Data Governance to meet regulatory needs to inform the consumers. By working together with our partners to configure and implement PIM solutions with a future-proof orientation, we can significantly impact the resilience of our customers and brands around the world.  

Only inriver powers the entire product journey at every touchpoint—including product data governance. Our configurable PIM solution with built-in digital shelf analytics generates a dynamic feedback loop of actionable insights. As a composable multi-tenant SaaS software, the inriver PIM solution has integration capabilities to connect to digital ecosystems with flexibility and ease so it grows as our customers grow. With our partners, we continue to help brands, manufacturers, and retailers turn product information into a strategic asset, maximizing profitability at every touchpoint. 

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inriver CEO Niels Stenfeldt explores the role technology can play in building a better future in his blog series "Powering a Sustainable Future: Notes from our CEO". He shares his thoughts on the PIM industry, its direction, the latest trends and innovations, and most importantly how brands and manufacturers can take advantage of this evolution to position themselves as market leaders.

  • Niels Stenfeldt

    Former Chief Executive Officer & Board Member

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