Debunking 4 Common Product Information Management Rumors

Product Information Management Rumors

As a leader in the Product information management (PIM) industry, we hear a lot of rumors or preexisting ideas people have about the software. Some product information management rumors or assumptions are true while others are false, or not exactly true and require digging deeper. Our sales team put together a list of popular PIM assumptions they thought it would be beneficial to reveal the truth about. 

It’s Easier to Build In-House

FALSE

Sometimes IT departments see our system, but they’re cautious. They decide to try and develop it in-house, even though their experience working with product information management software might be limited. In fact, they may not have logged into one up before. Needless to say, these ventures rarely end well and cost the companies more money than they would have spent purchasing the pre-existing software.

For more information on this topic read our blog post IT Departments: Why External Applications Aren’t Your Enemy.

More Features = Best Choice

FALSE

An “interesting” decision incorporated in a lot of PIM systems is the addition of features. They spend so much time on features that don’t have any impact on product information management workflows. They might look flashy and impressive on a demo, but the front-line employees soon start looking elsewhere for an application that doesn’t get in the way. 

Print is Dying

NOT ENTIRELY

Print media is a powerful tool for integrated marketing and advertising campaigns. Companies might not be able to thrive on print catalogs and other printed collateral alone, but when brought together with other channels, they really tie everything together. The digital wave is all about critically examining what is best to continue to print and which pieces are better off digital. 

We have a blog post about one company’s reason for keeping print alive because of their industry.

Images are Necessary to Sell Products

TRUE

We’ve saved the best for last. One of our favorite rumors revolves around product photos, or the lack thereof. The in-house solutions can’t handle the volume of media required for modern marketing campaigns. Either they fail to address the need for images at all, they don’t allow external partners to access the pictures, or they can’t be resized. Either way, it’s a core feature that ends up being a complete mess.

Keep Seeking the Truth

Product information management software does require an upfront investment, but the money that you save in productivity over the long term more than balances it out. Before investing years into in-house development, spend some time researching the current solutions on the market. Your business needs a powerful product information management application backing up your advertising and marketing efforts. Make sure that you’re getting everything you need out of it and not falling for these product information management rumors.

Curious About More Product Information Management Rumors?

As a leader in the Product Information Management space we have heard these Product Information Management rumors and many more. Curious to find out answers to your pim questions? Reach out to us for a demo http://catsy.com/contact-us.

IT Departments: Why External Application Implementation Isn’t Your Enemy

External Application Implementation Fear

You may view external apps as the enemy to your IT department. After all, they’re created by someone outside of your organization and you don’t have full control over the application. It’s understandable that you might be worried that external app adoption could cost you or your colleagues their jobs. You might be surprised to hear that it can actually make things easier on your end and not all external application implementation fear is helpful.

Your Time is Valuable

The IT department often times has to manage everything from the company’s data security to helpdesk support. You don’t exactly have the free time available to put together a product information management app, even when that brings significant benefits to your organization.

Your resource allocation problems aren’t an issue when you bring in an external solution. The product is developed and ready to go. You have the advantage of getting on-going vendor support. If the solution is cloud-based, you don’t even need to worry about finding servers to handle a new app.

If something goes wrong or the app needs new features, the vendor provides most or all of the support. They’re responsible for developing and testing any software changes and maintaining an extensive knowledgebase.

Expert Perspective is Key

You have a talented IT department, but your staff often handles broad technology duties. If you didn’t need to bring anyone on with product information management expertise before the business needed this product category, you might not have on-site experts.

An external vendor is dedicated to working with this software category. A product information management supplier keeps up with the best practices in this narrow area. They have experience putting it in place at many types of businesses. Their first-hand expertise with deployment and adoption provides the IT department with the complementary help required to ensure a successful application rollout.

Product information management apps require years worth of builds and research to get right. You’re saving time and resources so you can address the other urgent to-do list items or maybe even the more exciting projects while your company gets the technology it needs. Don’t hold off on bringing a mission-critical solution because there aren’t enough in-house resources to go around. Take a look at external applications.

The Next Logical Step

If your business is researching product information management solutions one of the best ways to ease some of the external application implementation fear is to be included in demos and sales calls. Catsy always encourages the inclusion of decision makers on calls. Enterprise solutions are often times conscious of IT Departments concerns and might have resources to send your way. If you are in IT and your company is considering Catsy reach out to us.

Sources:

http://www.encompassgroupllc.com/articles-case-studies/article-how-to-leverage-cloud-computing-for-maximum-value/

8 Image Management Questions Your Boss Has

Image Management

How many images do you have floating around in your organization? If you’re still trying to handle these manually, your boss may not have enough information about your current image management situation. Here are the eight things you should let them know.

1. Where is my image?

Location is everything, so is everyone still using a file server to organize images? This inefficient process is costing the business a lot of time, money and resources.

2. Not thumbnails again, right?

How can you make lower quality thumbnails? Your boss wants to know whether you can quickly generate these preview pictures without taking up someone’s time.

3. What is up with all these formats?

What’s the best way to store .jpg, .png, .psd and other photo formats? Let your boss know about the image management platforms out there and how they handle storage for your most commonly used file formats.

4. This has got to be possible, right?

Can we store videos in the same place as images? Putting your visual content into one central repository gives the company a good economy of scale. This configuration also speeds up overall image management, since you don’t have to go to multiple platforms to get everything you need.

5. Please say yes

If we use software to store images, can we connect it to our product information management system? Your PIM benefits significantly from having easy access to your photo content. Make sure that any solutions you propose can integrate with your current infrastructure.

6. CTRL

Can you restrict access to files based on user account? You don’t need every department to have access to the full database. User access control gives people the assets they need, without the ones they shouldn’t have permissions to view.

7. How do partners play into this?

Do partners have the right images for their campaigns? The wrong brand image can do a number on your sales. Make sure that you can tell your boss how your current image management solution addresses this problem.

8. Please say no

Do you have to update images manually across all channels? You might have dozens or hundreds of partners displaying your products. Do you have a major update, so you have to send these images out on a one-on-one basis or simply update the files in one place?

What It Comes Down To

If your image management strategy isn’t working for your company, your boss needs to know. The right solution gives your business a powerful tool to improve your sales and revenue. Luckily a good digital asset management system can meet a majority of the points above. Powerful systems like Catsy can solve these questions and give you even more powerful functionality like integrated catalog software, price book automation, the ability to create spec sheets, list your products on online marketplaces like Amazon, and more.

To learn more about Catsy sign up for a demo at http://catsy.com/contact-us.

10 Ways to Learn from Competition in B2B Businesses

Learn from competition in B2B Businesses

Are you looking for new insights about your B2B Businesses? You can find out a lot by turning your attention to the competition. They’re an unexpected source of interesting information about your company, from the way your employees feel about you to the effectiveness of your technology infrastructure. The following hints will help you learn from competition.

  1. Your weak points. The competition is going to capitalize on your most vulnerable areas, whether that’s a problem with your product line or a lack of resources when you’re starting out.
  2. Problems in customer experience.  Your competitors are quick to point out any painful parts of your client experience. If your customers complain about long hold times on the phone, other companies may talk about their responsive customer support.
  3. Strengths and weaknesses in your employee experience. Many industries see the same people going back and forth between companies on their way up the ladder. You can get a valuable perspective from connecting with these workers and it will help you to learn from competition.
  4. The overall impression of your perks and benefits. Once your current employees leave for a different company, you can look at reviews on Glassdoor and similar sites to see what they have to say about your benefits package.
  5. When you’re doing something right. “Imitation is the best form of flattery, ” and you’re going to see it in droves when you’re doing something right.
  6. When you’re doing something wrong. On the flip side of the coin, you’ll find out the instant you’re doing something wrong. Check out the competition’s social media posts and see what their audience is commenting about, or just watch some of their advertisements.
  7. The best ways to engage on social platforms. Another way to use competitor social comments is to figure out what customers expect when you talk with them on these platforms.
  8. The markets you’re missing. Look at your competitors and see which niches they seek out. You might have gaps that skip over these underserved audiences.
  9. Your key differentiators. Other companies are going to let the world know how they’re different from everyone else, and you can use this information to hone your own list.
  10. The way you’re perceived in the industry. Some markets are small enough that everybody knows everyone else, and the rumor mill is happy to let you hear some of the choice bits from your competitors.

The next time you sit down to do some market research, use these tips to get the most out of your competitors’ information.

What to Do About It

Businesses that have a lot of images to manage and/or a large sku count usually benefit from product information management platforms. Having images and data stored in one centralized location streamlines workflow and can help your business get ahead of the competition. Catsy has helped companies pull ahead for over 12 years. Sign up for a demo at www.catsy.com/contact-us to gain valuable insight about the technology that your competitors are utilizing to move digital and reduce friction.