A new study by Full Degree, an enterprise software and services provider, reveals that Product Information Management was voted 'top priority' for 2002 by manufacturers and retailers, and that it is critical that those systems integrate smoothly with CRM, catalogue content and ERP systems.
Full Degree, which aims to reinvent the way enterprises manage, distribute and publish their product information, has announced the results of a market research survey which was conducted to assess the product information management requirements of manufacturers and retailers. The survey sampled a cross section of IT, brand management, merchandising and creative services executives of manufacturers and retailers, covering the apparel, sporting goods, office products, educational products, consumer goods and other markets.
Achieving information efficiency
Among the findings, the survey highlighted that the efficient management of an enterprise's product information lies in successful e-commerce, multi-channel marketing and retailing. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents voted product information management "a top priority for 2002" for successful marketing and selling.
Jupiter Media Metrix estimates that $1.7 million a year is spent gathering and reassigning information to create and update Web site content, sales brochures, product catalogues and other marketing collateral, and that 35% of IT resources are spent moving data between enterprise applications. When product information is then replicated across all the sales channels (direct sales, catalogue sales, OEM and VAR) and up to 85% of that data needs to be recreated, such inefficiency can seriously harm both productivity and competitiveness.
With multi-channel commerce expected to exceed $830 billion by 2005, manufacturers and retailers are actively investing in solutions that streamline an enterprise's product information management processes. The survey shows that 90% of respondents cited an immediate need to centralise their product information for greater administrative control, to avoid duplication of effort, to eliminate multiple versions of data and to facilitate easier access and use.
Key features for a successful system
Survey participants agreed that a successful product information management system must have certain critical features:
· It must integrate seamlessly with CRM applications, and other enterprise systems (such as catalogue content management and ERP systems);
· It must be easy to use, with minimal training (to encourage rapid adoption);
· It must be able to deal with all product-related assets including specifications, product images, pricing and marketing messages;
· It must support product data across the entire product lifecycle (from product development, marketing and merchandising through to sales and support);
· It must automate product data updates across all online and offline channels, both simultaneously and in real-time.
Contact Full Degree for more information about the survey.