In the last two years, the manufacturing industry has moved from a comfortable, familiar, almost 100% offline management ecosystem to the definite wake up call in an increasingly digital world. Most manufacturers still depended on traditional processes and a bit outdated technologies that were playing their role, but definitely not making companies grow at the desired pace.
For many years manufacturers have been reluctant to incorporate digital solutions, most commonly linked to B2C businesses and retail, to their strategies. The most common fears are investing lots of resources and time in training teams accustomed to processes that have worked all this time, giving up all the knowledge and software network made through the years, and of course spending too much money on new systems.
On one hand these fears are totally understandable, but on the other hand taking the leap is easier than expected, especially with platforms tailored to B2B and manufacturers needs, like a PIM system. PIM (Product Information Management) is the technology that centralises all product information in a single source of truth, aimed to alleviate the work companies spend daily on repetitive, time-consuming tasks like managing thousands of data. And the special role of a PIM system for manufacturing companies is that it doesn’t erase everything that existed before it, but expands and improves it.
A PIM platform is easily and quickly connected to other systems, like an ERP or a CMS, and every channel a manufacturer may use to communicate and send product data to other teams, associates, customers, or third parties. A PIM digest even Excel spreadsheets, so all the previous work can still be useful and the working methods won’t dramatically change overnight for teams.
During the pandemic in 2020, huge international companies went from billions of income to zero. The lack of preparation for digital commerce was really damaging for B2B companies that have been postponing the digital transition for too many years. After two years and a hard lesson learnt, the manufacturers that are leading the race and surviving in this new competitive and omnichannel commercial landscape have one thing in common: putting all their bets on the customer experience.
A neat, highly informative, omnichannel experience is not an exclusive thing for B2C customers. In fact, according to Avionos 90% of B2B buyers would switch suppliers if another one offered a better shopping experience. The key to achieve this level of customer experience is securing easy-to-use interfaces, but above all product content.
B2B clients expect complete and rich product information, and accurate data like prices and stock updated and synchronised in real time. In short, no wrong steps that could lead to spending hours on the phone or sending emails back and forth, trying to find a missing piece of data, or solving the incorrect order.
A PIM system assists manufacturers in these daily problems and prevents them. As all product information is updated in real time in every channel, from B2B marketplaces to private catalogues, manufacturers can have the peace of mind of knowing that their customers are always seeing the correct data.
The number (and severity) of returns decrease, the customer base becomes more loyal, and numbers keep going up as the PIM makes it easier to fulfil orders, launch products and catalogues at the desired pace, and opening business to new commercial horizons, like D2C, and more online marketplaces.