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How PIM maximizes profitability across the value chain

blog

February 13, 2024

It’s a simple truth – every value chain can boost your bottom line through transparency, sustainability, and efficiency.

Sometimes it can be easy to think of value chains as static, linear entities where products move steadily and predictably from one stage to the next as value is added or extracted. However, the modern value chain is a dynamic entity that changes in response to new technology, product innovations, supply chain disruptions, and more. This dynamic nature can lead to issues like inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and unforeseen costs, which can impact value chain profitability. 

As brands and manufacturers look to avoid these issues, more are turning to tech solutions to help them better track product data across the value chain. With products themselves the most tangible moving element of the value chain, tracking the data that supports these products as they move along the chain can lead to significant value adds for the wider enterprise. Of these tech solutions, an advanced Product Information Management (PIM) solution is becoming increasingly business-critical, providing the bidirectional data connectivity these companies require to avoid value chain pitfalls and keep their profitability ambitions on track. Here’s why: 

Is your value chain ready for circularity?

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1. Sourcing, design, and manufacture 

A strategic priority for businesses looking to increase the profitability of their value chains is enhancing the traceability of materials and maintaining real-time records for production schedules and quality control. This level of detail and organization is invaluable, helping brands and manufacturers navigate the intricate web of sourcing and design decisions that impact the efficiency of value chains daily. An advanced, robust PIM solution creates value at every stage of the product journey

Sourcing 

An advanced PIM enables SKU-level traceability for every raw material, including data on where and how each material was extracted, by whom, and the processes surrounding the extraction. This level of detail enhances the overall resilience of your supply chain sourcing. For example, should unforeseen supply chain disruptions occur, such as an extreme weather event or a blocked shipping channel, companies can pivot to find other suppliers offering similar material products from different locations. Only with an advanced PIM offering complete upstream-downstream connectivity can brands and manufacturers enjoy the supply chain agility that allows them to pivot in this manner. This maximizes the profitability of sourcing practices, which can be felt across the entire value chain. 

Design  

The bidirectional flow of data by PIM provides businesses with a much clearer idea of what their customers like and what they don’t. This is particularly true with a PIM solution with integrated Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA) technology, which provides actionable insights into buyer behavior online. For example, a furniture brand may find that its bamboo products are proving more popular with customers than the same products in beech or oak. Connecting this level of insight with upstream actors allows the brand to diversify its bamboo range, which could have a significant impact on the profitability of its product offering.  

Manufacture 

As regulations surrounding sustainability continue to evolve and strengthen, such as the EU’s Digital Product Passport, the production phase of the product lifecycle becomes an increasingly important phase of the value chain. This is due to the growing need for complete environmental oversight of all production processes, issues like the carbon footprint of all manufacturing facilities, and transit logistics. An advanced PIM enables you to onboard data on these processes into a single centralized source of product data. This data can then be used to meet these evolving regulatory requirements, ensuring SKU-level traceability for every part of the production process. 

car manufacturing plant

2. Sales and marketing 

PIM plays a pivotal role in driving profitability in both sales and marketing. In marketing, PIM facilitates the creation of engaging product stories through AI-powered content creation, seamless syndication of these stories to digital channels, and even the publishing of high-quality print catalogs. It does this by providing marketers with complete, compelling, and compliant data that helps craft compelling stories, boosts brand engagement, and subsequently raises sales and profitability. 

Furthermore, PIM supports customization at scale by providing comprehensive product attribute management that enables configuration at the point of sale. PIM also powers personalized buyer journeys, using automation to ensure the right product story is delivered to the right audience at the right time, boosting conversions and expanding the consumer lifetime value. 

3. After-sales 

The value of PIM extends beyond initial sales. It facilitates after-sales maintenance and refurbishment by centralizing spare parts inventory/information and creating the product-part-attribute relationships that are required for maintenance. Having a single source of product information also helps ensure that all after-sales communication, whether it’s related to warranties, repairs, replacements, or returns, is consistent and accurate. This not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces the risk of costly errors or misunderstandings. 

With an advanced PIM solution that can also integrate with other business tools, users receive insights into customer behavior and product performance. These insights can be used to improve future product development, strategize upselling or cross-selling opportunities, and tailor marketing campaigns more effectively – all of which can boost profitability. By providing comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date product information, a PIM system enables efficient customer support and service. Customers can find answers to their queries quickly, reducing the load on customer service teams and improving customer satisfaction. 

inriver: The solution that gets more from your value chain

Early-generation PIM solutions were designed primarily as systems of record for brands looking to elevate their sales and marketing strategies. However, in today’s market and regulatory environment, that is no longer sufficient. Businesses need a complete solution that supports the transition towards increasingly circular, interconnected product journeys while maximizing the value of their products through operationalizing product data across the value chain. 

The composable, multi-tenant inriver PIM offers the most comprehensive Product Information Management solution on the market. Powered by transparent data onboarded, processed, and distributed across the value chain, you can be sure you have a solid foundation to extract the most from your products on every channel. With built-in syndication and digital shelf analytics technology, advanced data-sharing, and more, inriver offers the complete solution for every business in every market. 

want to see the inriver PIM in action?

Schedule a personalized, guided demo with an inriver expert today to see how the inriver PIM can get more value from your product information.

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Expanding the possibilities of PIM

Product information management software is often seen as a key tool for sales and marketing teams. But as the demands on product information evolve, so too does the scope of what PIM software can offer forward-thinking brands, manufacturers, and retailers. From sourcing and design through to after-sales services and recycling, PIM is the complete solution for the entire product journey.

  • Dave Copeland

    Director of Sales Engineering

    Dave has worked in the software industry for the past 20 years and within e-commerce for the past five, focused on solving the biggest issues facing brands selling on the digital shelf today. With a passion for solving problems, Dave believes that with the right technology, process and people, brands have an amazing opportunity in front of them.

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