Success through reliable product information
BY ANJA FAHS
In the digital world, consumers turn to e-commerce sites and internet applications when searching for products, querying product information and, ultimately, making purchase decisions. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they move on. With 1WorldSync, companies can provide relevant product information and top-quality digital content at the right moment in the customer’s decision-making process, while at the same time reducing data-collection costs. This makes consumers less likely to encounter errors during their product search; retailers and manufacturers can also focus on their business and their innovations, rather than waste their time collecting and checking product data. We spoke with Klaus Schmid, Executive Vice President & Managing Director Europe at 1WorldSync GmbH, about how the reliable transfer of product data can offer competitive advantages.
What is the business idea of 1WorldSync?
As a leading provider for product-content solutions, we help brands and their trading partners around the world share correct and reliable content that customers and consumers can use to make well-informed decisions about their purchases, lifestyles and wellness. With our technology platform and our expert services, we provide solutions tailored to the various requirements of industry and the decisive basis for connected commerce.
What challenges do companies with lots of products always face where their product data is concerned?
Unfortunately, data quality is often inaccurate and not very valid. Proper data maintenance and management is a costly and time-consuming process; there are more and more legal requirements to fulfil as well. And don’t forget the increasingly ambitious expectations of consumers who, for example, want brands that are available at all relevant customer touchpoints and hence across all sales channels.
In terms of what is known as ‘product lifecycle management’, at what point does product-data preparation become essential?
Product data is generated along the entire product lifecycle. So, it makes sense to draw up a holistic concept for product information and to structure product data even during product development. This eliminates the need for elaborate preparation in the subsequent lifecycle.
Different kinds of product data arises during the process of product development. It usually varies in complexity. How can you ensure that there will not be any inconsistencies in the end?
Generally speaking, product data can be divided into different categories. These categories are usually basic information, logistics data, listing information, legal requirements, consumer information, marketing information, image data, etc. There are additional categories as well, depending on the product category involved. Inconsistencies can be avoided for the most part through the use of a PIM or PLM. Solid implementation of PIM/PLM, both in the system architecture and in the processes, is important here, too.
Are there any requirements a manufacturer must take into account for their PIM system if they want to ensure simple delivery of their product data to the 1WorldSync data pool?
Some manufacturers of PIM solutions offer certified interfaces to the 1WorldSync system. Pirobase, for example, is one such certified PIM system. The interface is constantly kept up to date. The long-standing partnership between pirobase imperia and 1WorldSync helps here, too.
How does working with 1WorldSync benefit manufacturers?
It makes it easy to publish and provide product information and digital content. The data only needs to be provided once. This will then reach trading partners such as Rewe, Edeka and Metro, along with many other partners in various target markets and countries. Data interchange is performed based on GS1 standards, so enterprises are not required to agree on data profiles with every business partner individually. Another benefit is central control. Manufacturers have control over their product content at all times and can make updates with little effort. Data can be transmitted to all trading partners, or only select ones, such as private labels. This is how partnering with 1WorldSync helps meet industry standards and transform these into a competitive edge.
And how does the retailer benefit by accessing the 1WorldSync data pool?
It receives all data from a single source, which also optimises data quality. Thanks to this process optimisation, over the long term, retailers can eliminate the laborious bilateral transmission of information via Excel files. Ultimately, this also optimises process costs in product data management.
What other services does 1WorldSync provide?
Our Professional Services Team offers advisory, educational, management and implementation services. Under our concept of ‘Advise’, with its broad portfolio, 1Worldync offers you services in the area of data quality, data governance, assessments & best practices, diagnostic & remedy reports on data quality, scorecards, data collection & verification, and data validation – regardless of where you are in terms of your product lifecycle. ‘Educate’ comprises participation in our training programmes. These are available on a wide range of topics and provide our customers the security and expertise they need to exchange master data with trading partners and suppliers, true to the motto: global, correct and reliable.
Getting suppliers to participate in data exchange can be a challenging task. This is where our ‘Manage’ service comes in. If suppliers are to be persuaded to participate, they must be aware of the benefits and added value. 1WorldSync offers many years of experience in connecting suppliers to our product-information cloud (community enablement). Our global and industry-independent onboarding programme includes a communication plan that is tailored to your goals and keeps both your internal stakeholders and your suppliers informed. Finally, there is the service we refer to under the ‘Implement’ heading. Here, 1WorldSync offers a broad and proven range of methods and solutions to simplify processes in your enterprise. Such as your search for a suitable PIM provider, for example.
With more than 20 years of experience in retail, global trade and supply chain management, he is responsible for the strategic development of the European market for 1WorldSync as Executive Vice President and Managing Director Europe. Klaus Schmid works closely with retail companies, brand manufacturers and partner organisations both locally and globally, helping them optimise their business processes and strategies to facilitate the global exchange of product information and digital content.
pirobase imperia GmbH
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q4 2017. Picture credit © John Lund/Getty Images