Why is a PIM a major building block of your digital transformation?

As the chemical industry is moving to multi-channel sales and marketing, the need for a centralized Product Information Management (PIM) system is greater than ever. A well-designed PIM not only enables modern digital commerce but also enhances customers’ product experience.

The challenge of unorganized product data

While helping customers launch their digital commerce channels, the most common problem we face is ready availability of accurate, up-to-date product data and documentation from suppliers. For most of them product data and documents, like, technical specs, product datasheets, material safety data sheets, application guides, regulatory documentation - are scattered among the sales and marketing teams’ hard drives, on shared drives or locked away in PDF files.

Worse yet, all this essential data, that is required for every sales transaction, is often shared with customers and channel partners via email, with no version control or even visibility into whether they are working with the most up-to-date information.

As the scale and complexity of product information is increasing, and buyers and suppliers are adopting digital channels, the need for organizing product information in a centralized Product Information Management (PIM) is becoming even more urgent. A well organized PIM, addressing the unique needs of chemical buyers and suppliers makes it easy to create, organize, update, enrich and share product information. In fact, digitializing product data via a robust PIM is the foundational step in introducing or supporting digital commerce and digital marketing channels.

PIM is the starting point of your digital commerce journey

The idea of a Product Information Management system is not new, but surprisingly, it’s only now starting to appear on the chemical producers’ and distributors’ radars. Perhaps it’s an indication of growing preference for digital commerce channels or it may be that chemical suppliers are finally recognizing that they cannot support multiple sales channels without a robust centralized PIM acting as a single source of truth.

Product information drives everything - from marketing campaigns to every sales transaction, efficiency of sales teams and ultimately, customer experience. Without a digitized product catalog, it is hard to offer modern digital buying experiences to customers.

And once you have your critical product data digitized, it is easier to feed all sales and marketing channels - traditional as well as digital - with consistent and accurate product data in real time. You can also invite your distributors and business partners to access product data directly from your PIM by setting them as users. You can feed product selection platforms like SpecialChem and UL with a mastered set of data. You can link your PIM to your website to power your online catalogs or launch your eCommerce portal with minimum efforts.

Well designed PIM enables modern digital commerce experience

Naturally, like any software system, a PIM needs to be precisely tuned to the needs of a specific industry in order to be effective. It should support the right workflows, be available and reliable, offer superior document organization and search capabilities, provide an easy-to-use interface, and support effortless document sharing while controlling access and read/edit/download privileges based on role, group, or any other criteria. It must be secure, protect its users’ privacy, and safeguard their information, while being open enough to allow for collaboration between business partners.

Agilis and SpecialChem now offer ionicPIM, a premier PIM solution that is designed specifically for the chemical industry. It helps organize, standardize, digitize, coordinate, and share multiple types of documents using a single source of truth – complete with effective access controls. With ionicPIM, you can import product documentation from multiple sources, edit them within the system’s user-friendly interface, maintain an inventory of different file types, including multimedia formats, connect your PIM with distributors for easy information exchange, and integrate it with your branded commerce portal. ionicPIM is cloud-based and is easy to set up and configure, so you can get up-and-running with your new information system quickly.

To learn more or to request a demo of ionicPIM today.           

Jay Bhatia

Jay Bhatia is the Founder and CEO of Agilis Commerce - a leading digital commerce platform specifically designed for the chemical industry. Jay founded Agilis, the software company, in mid-2018 after 18 years of prominent career with BASF, Shell Chemicals, and Hexion where he held various leadership positions in sales, marketing, and business management. Jay is a Chemical Engineer and MBA.

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