Mastering PIM Project Management

Mastering PIM Project Management


Software introduction projects are generally complicated. They require much more technical input, and people to solve problems. In addition to that, the environment must be conducive to the management of highly complex projects.

PIM implementation projects require the cooperation of colleagues from different departments and the coordination of various project activities to speed up and complete the project on time.

Mandatory participation of teams representing the entire spectrum of your product related operations is the key to successful PIM software integration. It is essential that everyone, from product development to sales, has a common understanding of the goals.

PIM Project Challenges

Understand your project mission

Understanding the mission provides an ideal vision of the company's future and contributes to its growth. By defining the purpose of your work, you can better understand the goals your company should pursue. A summary of objectives and core values is a good reason for employees to think about how their actions will affect future business success.

You must consider the following factors if your PIM solution is to meet the requirements of your business:

Configuration – There are many ways to structure business processes, integrate incoming data, and transfer enriched information through multiple channels.

Modularity: The PIM modular features offer greater flexibility in customizing PIM to suit your needs.

Automation – This reduces manual load and avoidable processing errors. The PIM automated functions can input product data, verify completeness, translate information into different languages, collect and enrich product catalogs, and verify the quality of loaded data assets.

Integration – The new PIM must be fully integrated with your existing technology stack. Failure to do so could lead to recurring problems and failure to meet the organization's requirements and expectations.

All of these factors are central to the assertion that your chosen PIM solution fulfills your business requirements.

Understand your specific objectives and value for your business

The use of the Product Information Management System (PIM) helps create attractive product content on all digital interfaces. The usefulness of PIM is determined only by the degree to which PIM solutions are professionally implemented.They should become a fundamental component of the retailer's digital strategy.

Specific objectives and business values are two imperatives underlying the need for a PIM, they must be clarified and clearly explained.

It is important to establish precisely what objectives prompted the introduction of PIM, namely:

  • How will this impact the company's strategy for the coming years?
  • Is there a strategic goal, for example, to grow the company, enter new markets and expand the range of products?
  • Will thebusiness use capacity, adaptability, and a set of PIM functions to achieve its long-term goals?

Drawing up an implementation plan is a valuable PIM option. All departmental objectives must be clearly articulated by each department involved in the project so that all of those who require it can use the PIM system.

Give enough attention to your business processes and workflows

It is essential to design expandable business processes that will optimize your product data management. PIM helps automate workflows and improve productivity.

Another benefit of a PIM solution is that it provides automation capabilities to speed up workflows and facilitate collaboration across departments.

With a PIM solution, your teams will no longer have to deal with scattered data, different datasets and spreadsheets, as they will have a single source of reliable data to which they can refer at any time.

The introduction of PIM has several operational and strategic advantages, for organizations that want to become truly data-driven. These advantages will enhance business efficiency across the value chain and throughout the life cycle of the organization's product data.

The software must be suitable for use by everyone who has to deal with product information. An intuitive user interface, simplicity of cooperation and access control elements are important to speed up processes and simplify the workflow. The quality of the interface is, therefore, a key requirement both for individual use and for teamwork.

Well-thought-out project team formation

The effectiveness of the project team and the continued participation of all participants in the PIM project means that the outcome of the work depends on each individual involved in each phase of the project. The full effectiveness of a PIM project depends on whether the expert consultants are able to provide the knowledge and experience to meet your needs and goals. A successful PIM project must support specific business requirements and must be implemented by a highly qualified team consisting of colleagues and external experts.

Adaptation of non-technical staff

Because information is distributed across divisions, users who lack knowledge in merchandising, sales and marketing may find it difficult to use PIM without prior user training. This problem can be partly solved if the PIM software is user-friendly and has been adapted for use by such users before.

A strong desire to solve problems that are not PIM relevant

Every company has issues they want to solve and the intention to implement a PIM system may lead to a strong desire by all involved parties to solve all their problems through the project. Of course, the PIM system may solve many issues but PIM software may not be the proper instrument for all of them. You must consider the future development trends and impact of other involved systems, especially ERP. If, for example, you have problems to solve with dynamic price calculations, PIM could be an instrument, but an ERP system is definitely a better fit.

Insufficient implementation partner's industry experience

The introduction of new technologies is a strategic investment aimed at maximizing your business process efficiency. The implementation partner's job is to help you to avoid problems and introduce the system forthe first time. If your implementation partner is not very active or efficient right from the start of the project, they are most likely not a good fit.

When a lot of work and time has been spent going in the wrong direction, it may seem impossible to change your implementation partner and start again. Yet, if you feel that your implementation partner doesn't meet your needs, and you don't try to change the situation, you could waste a lot more time trying to correct the problems.

Here are some signals that indicate that you have the wrong implementation partner:

  • Unsatisfactory communication
  • Poor first intermediate results
  • Incorrect budget estimates with continual adjustments
  • The provider is inert, passive and refuses to cooperate.

Businesses today need a balanced PIM solution. You have to standardize, centralize, and control your core data and give business teams the autonomy they need to manage, enrich, and optimize the process.

If you pay attention to the important indicators of successful implementation, including enough implementation partner's industry experience, your organization will benefit from a PIM solution.

Budget compliance

It is important to establish strict control over the financial status of the project budget, progress and requirements to ensure that the entire project budgetis not exhausted before the project reaches completion.

You need real-time information on the budget status to ensure that implementation is on track, all strategies are adjusted and the best possible implementation decisions are taken.

A good empirical rule in your original plan is to make allowances for an additional 20% over project budget. This will give you the necessary financial flexibility for contingencies and consideration of requirements which were not obvious at the project start. If you don't need the additional funds, it's a plus, but if you find that costs are rising, that extra budget can offer you space to maneuver.

Deadline observance

Timelines, results and key performance indicators vital for the PIM implementation progress measurement. Your team must adhere to the plan to ensure that implementation is on schedule. You should also emphasize the importance and value of implementation to motivate your team to accomplish the objectives.

The above challenges contribute to the effectiveness of the PIM project. It is, therefore, essential to use a consultant partner with a proven track record of successful PIM implementations. Only professionals are able to provide the necessary knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure that your needs and goals are taken into account and that the PIM you use is most effective for your specific requirements.

Selecting the right software vendor

The selection of vendor is very important. In this matter, quality beats cost. The quality of the vendor's products or services will ultimately affect the organization, and poor-quality goods or services may come at significant cost to the business.

It is essential to make sure that the vendor understands your goals, your industry, and the issues and risks that your business faces.

A significant indicator of the professionalism of the vendor lies in what questions about the project and your requirements he asks. Most questions must connect to the business. Technology issues are also essential, but they are useful only if the vendor fully understands the business side.

  • Define selection criteria depending on your needs (costs are also very important, so look out for hidden expenses)
  • Define all important use cases
  • Engage software vendors to describe how the use cases can be implemented (standard solution or customization)
  • Software should be flexible enough for future challenges
  • Consider and weigh the advantages of using Open Source PIM software like AtroPIM

The advantages of Open Source software include:

  • Reduced software licensing costs
  • No supplier attachment
  • Freedom to do what you want with the software
  • Open standards support collaborative development
  • Freedom to update software according to your business needs
  • Full control over all your data

Selecting the right PIM implementation partner

Choosing the right partner is crucial to PIM integration. As soon as you decide to explore the benefits of PIM, you should consult a PIM consultant. This is essential in the initial stages to ensure a smooth, efficient and cost-effective project that delivers long-term results. A PIM consultant may help you to select the proper implementation partner.

The integrator must have relevant PIM experience, must be familiar with the system, and have a partnership with a software vendor. Save valuable time and money - take advantage of the experience of a qualified implementing partner!

PIM Implementation

A successful implementation phase is your guarantee that the PIM system has become a central part of the business infrastructure and contributes to profit. It is during implementation that the foundation is laid, and it is here that one of the main principles is established: the implementation of the PIM system is not an IT project.

This is a business project that should be based on governance. In addition, the participation of all staff with thorough knowledge of the company's processes is an important factor in successful implementation.

When implementing a PIM system, it is always important to consider these factors:

  • Compare data and create a complete overview of the necessary technical integration (for example, between ERP and PIM).
  • The organization of effective cooperation between the business and IT – all in one team working in one direction.
  • The desire to take responsibility for the project. This is a strong management link.
  • It is important to remember that everything takes time. This also applies to PIM integration. It is, therefore, essential to have a realistic timetable.
  • Valuable assets cost money. A good PIM system has great potential, so it is vital that you consider the project as an investment, not an expense.
  • It is crucial to keep the project as simple as possible, universal and cost-effective.
  • Step-by-step implementation - start small and improve the system over time. Don't insist on a final decision, always postponing the launch date.
  • Implementing PIM may seem difficult, but basically it only requires a structured process and a provider that can offer the information for all necessary or desired steps in the process.

It is also important to remember:

  • Implementation can take many months
  • The most important objectives should be achieved by the milestones
  • The appropriate resources should be available when needed and make enough time for the project (there is a risk of not implementing important requirements across department)
  • Ensure that you create an appropriate data model, that can evolve with the changing needs of your business
  • Ensure automatic data synchronization between all engaged systems (PIM, ERP, websites, online stores)
  • Make sure that the system you choose can servean omnichannel strategy

The appropriate data models play a significant role in supporting business processes and PIM strategic planning. Rules and requirements are defined in advance based on feedback from business stakeholders, so they can be included in the design of the new system or adapted by iteration of the existing system.

Data modeling facilitates data developers, data architects, business analysts and other stakeholders to view and understand the relationships between the data in a database or data warehouse. It can be shared with suppliers, partners and/or industry colleagues.


The introduction of PIM systems enables data owners and stakeholders to quickly modernize their product data creation and management processes to realize the benefits of consolidated product content. In addition, PIM is an effective way to build momentum within an organization, demonstrate short-term value and lay the foundation for a future stable solution.

A PIM system offers business users and data managers functionality, reveals data enrichment possibilities and allows prior considerationon how to improve the solution with practical experience.

The Product Information Management System can offer you many advantages, namely a more successful approach to target groups with better product information and maintain a central record of all key product information, to create a solid foundation for the digital transformation for product marketing, bringing new products to the market and positioning it successfully. It also allows for a more professional exchange of information with retailers and partners.

Adhere to all recommendations in this article to master your very next PIM project.

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