As we approach the coming Holiday season many people are thinking about family meals, personal reflections on the past year, and purchasing gifts for loved ones. The term “Season’s Greetings, and Many Happy Returns” is a common phrase as we enter the Holidays. For Retailers, Consumer Product, Wholesalers, and Distributors the thought of “Many Happy Returns” can be anything but joyful.

A recent survey of employees and managers responsible for processes in 430 retail and manufacturing companies, with and without Product Information Management (PIM) experience showed some interesting results.

When comparing Retailer and Manufacturers with and without a PIM solution, there are significant improvements in the quota of returns, the completeness of the product data and a reduction in errors documented among PIM users. Companies using PIM tools had 23% less returns. They also had 18% higher completeness of product data and reduced product data errors by 32%.

In addition companies with PIM solutions were much more likely to be able to deliver “buy anywhere, return anywhere” capabilities. A critical multi-channel function. As the Season of Giving nears the prospect of reducing returns and enabling complex multi-channel reverse logistics can be Product Managers and Operations Executives best gift.

MDM for PIM video above clearly demonstrates how Master Data Management (MDM) for PIM balances the requirements to manage product data to acquire, retain, and grow customers with the underlying complexity of product data quality, consistency, and omni-channel information access. Benefits include:

  • Time saving by automatically merging data formats & sources in one step.
  • Ensure holistic Data Governance policy control
  • Cost savings with automation & self-services for suppliers, distributors, and users.
  • Faster product launches across all channels.
  • Improve working processes across departments, & greater productivity in handling of product information.
  • Reduce costs of product returns

MDM and PIM can be crucial to the success of retail and CPG industry businesses. It can also be difficult to know where to start these complex projects. Organizations looking to explore PIM should follow some best practices in: Strategy; Governance; Organization; Application; Infrastructure; and Data. Some good first steps include the following:

  • Understand the scope, definitions, and customizations required for your business
  • Build collaborative assessment discipline workshops
  • Conduct high-level data analysis for targeted master data
  • Conduct data benchmarking and gap analysis

Another great place to start your PIM journey is by reading the The Forrester 2014 PIM Wave Report. The report measures how Master Data Management (MDM) applications from from several technology providers are able to deliver current and complete views of product information and how those solutions are able to consistently manage information across the enterprise. Download the Forrester report