Second PIM workshop of GS1/Squadra: Product data exchange is key challenge to enable companies becoming more data driven

On October 10th, Squadra and GS1 organized the second Product Information Management (PIM) workshop for the Do-It-Yourself, Garden and Pets sector. The most important lesson was: PIM is much more than just a PIM system.

A total of twenty managers of suppliers, wholesalers and retailers form the DIY, Garden and Pets sector participated in the PIM and GS1 data pool workshop, and received the answers to questions like: How do I make a business case?, How do I organize PIM in my organization? And which systems can I best use for this?

Quality product data is the basis for omnichannel

An integrated, omnichannel customer experience is crucial and companies in the DIY sector are often struggling to organize this. Jos Schreurs, partner MDM Practice at Squadra: ‘‘In a world in which data is increasingly important (data driven organizations), it is vital for an organization to have its product information management properly organised. Due to the growing need for qualitative, rich product information, some organizations are facing serious challenges. Our annual PIM research shows that suppliers often battle to cope with the enormous information requests in different formats from their customers. On the other hand, distributors, wholesalers and retailers struggle with gaining qualitative data from their suppliers to be able to enclose this data across all channels towards their customers.  During the workshop, we explained to and discussed with the participants how to address these challenges and the GS1 data pool can contribute. The aim of the workshop is to show that PIM is not only about a system.’’

Customers and new technology drastically change the necessary processes for quality product data. Schreurs: ‘‘With expanding product ranges and increasing amount of data per product, only implementing a PIM system is simply not enough. Alignment with data standards, a clever setup of  PIM business processes, implementing data ownership and the organization of data quality management are just as important. Luckily, there are new technologies that can help supporting the automation of certain procesess. We supporrted many customers with Machine Learning technology, in order to improve the access and standardizing of data, to raise the data quality, and to convert product data to SEO-friendly texts in multiple languages. This seems to really help organizations with taking the next step in becoming a data driven organization.

The business case

During the workshop, we also had a closer look at why companies would want to invest in PIM and how to build a business case. Furthmore it is important that organizations have a clear PIM vision and strategy before choosing a PIM system. The participants of the workshop collaborated to find the answers to questions like: “What is the main reason to use PIM?” and “Do we use PIM for a better customer satisfaction, a shorter time to market, or in order to lower the integral chain costs?”


In short:

  • PIM is not just a system. It’s about the entirety of a data model, data standards, data quality, implementing clever PIM business processes, organisation and governance, and of course also about a system.
  • A business case is not only about numbers. It should be supported by a clear vision on product data in your organization.
  • Due to the different skills needed, differentiate between who is accountable and who is operationally responsible for product data.
  • Setup a proper governance structure to keep the different stakeholders aligned.
  • Start with must have data and enrich this in the next step and then optimize the data for your top products in order to boost the sales.

Do you want to know more? Feel free to contact Squadra.
Send an e-mail to (+31 6 53352945)