Considering PIM or MDM In 2017? Start With the Right RFI

The year 2016 has come to an end. So, what’s your business resolution for the New Year? If competing with product content is on your list – and experts agree it should be – you’re likely considering when and how to deploy a Product Information Management (PIM) or Master Data Management (MDM) solution to seamlessly manage your numerous content assets. Yes, beginning a PIM initiative can be complex. But getting the right experts on board ASAP can make a world of difference. That’s why starting with the right Request for Information (RFI) is a crucial step.

What is an RFI for PIM/MDM?

An RFI is intended to gather information about potential PIM/MDM vendors and their ability to meet your company’s requirements. Ultimately, the information provided can serve double duty if and when you prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Having a template helps in this process. While you may be able to create your own, there are also pre-designed templates developed by PIM/MDM experts. EnterWorks offers an RFI Guide & Template (download here) with questions your organization can use in its RFI. The guide also includes a chart to help you describe, in detail, the benefits of PIM/MDM to key decision makers in your company.

How to Develop an RFI

To ensure you receive the most relevant responses, you should first describe the specific issues or challenges your organization faces concerning acquiring, managing and publishing product content. This will help vendors best address your requirements. Are you still working on understanding your business challenges? If so, we invite you to download “Preparing for PIM: First Steps to Getting Ready for Your PIM or Product MDM Initiative” for more insights.

In addition to answering questions, you may choose to ask respondents to list major customers using their solution. Also include a due date and a person from your company to contact with questions.

Finally, your RFI should list Focus Areas to correspond with each question or statement. The Focus Areas to include are extensive, but here are a few examples:

  • Data Aggregation and Extraction
  • Data Quality
  • Classification and Hierarchies
  • Product Attributes
  • Merchandising and Promotion
  • Security
  • Digital Asset Management

For a full list and descriptions of relevant Focus Areas, download EnterWorks’ RFI Guide and Template.

Moving Forward

For many companies, 2016 held tremendous challenge – and opportunity – in the realm of product information. This holiday season in particular brought a surge of omnichannel shoppers whose purchases were driven – more than ever before – by compelling content and up-to-date product details, as well as a seamless experience across touchpoints.

So, for companies operating in multiple channels who have not yet moved to a single view of content with a master repository of data, the time has clearly arrived. You can start by contacting us to set up a brief discussion with a PIM consultant. Do you have 30 minutes? That’s all it takes to begin a smooth and successful PIM/MDM implementation in 2017.

Let’s make your business resolutions a reality.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.