In the Netherlands, GS1 is the most used standard for processing product data. Although the use of GS1 is not obligated, large retailers often refuse to receive product data from suppliers who don’t process data according to GS1 or other standards. When you have decided your organization needs a PIM system, you will need to choose the right PIM-system for your situation. In particular, a PIM-system that is compliant with GS1.
Selecting a PIM-system is similar to the selection process of other business software. However, it still requires time and effort to find the right solution. In this blog, we present the steps you need to take to select the right PIM-system for your organization.
Step 1: Create a team
Because a PIM-system will affect the whole organization, you will need a team and all stakeholders involved. This team will be responsible for the decision making in the selection process for a PIM-system. Make sure both the IT-department is involved -as they can validate the technical quality of a PIM-system- as well as the business for functional specs.
Step 2: Create a feature list before talking to vendors
Make a list of requirements a PIM-system needs to support your processes. Next, you need to prioritize these requirements. The best way to do this is to categorize requirements with the MoSCoW methodology: ‘Must have,’ ‘Should have,’ ‘Could have,’ ‘Would have.’
Please note: if even one ‘Must have’ requirement is not included in a PIM-system, you should not consider it as an option for your organization.
Step 3: Think of other important criteria
When selecting a PIM-system, there are a lot of vendors to choose from. Next to technical/functional features, you will need to consider other criteria that are important in the selection process. Think of the reputation of the vendor. Does it have good references? Is the vendor financially healthy? What are their pricing models and will the investment in PIM result in aan positive business case for your organization?
Step 4: Create a shortlist and ask for a demo
To make the decision process easier, we advise creating a shortlist based on your criteria and MoSCoW list. Ask for a demo from all vendors on your shortlist. This way you can get more insight into the PIM-system, its ease of use, and if it can support all your desired features.
Step 5: Rank all solutions
Each member of the team should give each vendor ratings for all criteria you determined in step 2 and 3. Make sure you keep this simple. For example, give the worst scoring vendor a “1” and the best a “3”. Make sure you filter out vendors that don’t support a key feature and ‘must have’.
Make sure GS1 is a “must have” on your feature list
When you exchange data in the food-, pharmacy-, do it yourself (DIY)-, healthcare- or fashion industry, it is likely you will need to process your product data according to the GS1 standard and publish this data to a GS1 data pool. Thus, when you are in the process of selecting a PIM-system, we advise setting ‘integration with GS1’ as a “must have” on your feature list.
Several PIM-systems help you process your product data according to the requirements set by GS1. However, SRC-PIM is the only PIM-system in the Netherlands that is fully integrated with GS1. SRC-PIM not only supports and maintains the global GS1 standard and subsets for numerous industries, but it also provides users with real-time insight into the quality of your data, so you will know if it is compliant with GS1.
Is GS1 a must-have on your feature list? Publish your data efficiently to GS1. Make an appointment and learn everything SRC-PIM has to offer.
Henk-Peter (HP for intimates) is Development Manager at SRC. HP is a specialist in Product Information Management (PIM) and has been active as an internet entrepreneur for many years. HP has more than fifteen years of e-commerce experience as the owner of a web shop and a number of content websites. HP was a member of the Shopping Tomorrow PIM expert group from 2014 to 2017.