The influx of data from multiple sources, and in large masses, has been, and continues to be, a blessing in disguise for most organizations. Financial institutions, being one such recipient of these “blessings,” are now placing greater emphasis on using this vast amount of data to generate resonant and actionable insights. The problem, however, lies in scaling up analytics from a sideline practice to an organization-wide initiative. Regardless, companies are striving to overcome that problem because of a few, but very important benefits.
By having a deeper understanding of customers, along with insights on their transactions and trades, financial institutions have the opportunity to create more effective solutions, sometimes even tailor-made, to add value to a customer’s overall experience. With better insights, the cost of acquiring customers goes down as well, which proposes analytics as a win-win for both companies and customers alike.
With better big data management, processes become better too, thus enhancing productivity. An advanced analytics hub can help provide faster responses to customer queries and more accurate information to those posed by regulatory authorities. For example, banks have used predictive analytics to gain an understanding of how much cash is required at each location, and how that cash can be sent through the most optimal route to save money.
One of the major benefits of having an analytics hub in the financial industry is the benefit provided to risk management services. With better information about customers, and well-founded insights into the decisions they may make, financial institutions can gain a better understanding of the returns they may receive from potential investments, allowing such institutions to make more sound investments. Unreliable, and even fraudulent “opportunities” can be weeded out before even uttering a word.
CEOs and CIOs need to have a strategy for organization-wide digital transformation on their agenda. By establishing analytics as a business discipline – the go-to function for decision makers – analytics can be scaled up from an as-needed basis to an organizational growth basic. Investments can be small and steady, but the consistency in use of data analytics can lead to more positive, impactful decisions in the long run. Who’s to say analytics can’t help financial institutions become the center of a consumer ecosystem rather than just a feed into that ecosystem?
Consumers have a plethora of choices on what they wish to buy, where and how they buy, and the control they have over their shopping decisions in today’s ever-changing retail market. Retailers understand that to meet the expectations of the empowered consumer and stay competitive, retailers must proceed towards an omni-channel approach. In this competitive retail environment, informative and complete product information must be provided. Hence, ensuring consistency across all customer touch points and multiple channels becomes increasingly challenging.
Inconsistent or erroneous information not only affects sales but also erodes trust. The creation and management of these product assets is a huge undertaking and an omni-channel environment requires that content is shared across channels to ensure accuracy and consistency.
Prime Business Objectives for Retailers
The overall objective of retail marketing is to create and develop services and products that meet the specific needs of customers, and offer these products at competitive, reasonable prices that will still yield profits.
The following are the strategic business objectives in retail marketing:
Rolling out new products or making updates to existing products can be a lengthy, painstaking process. By implementing processes and/or utilizing technology to expedite those tasks, you can significantly decrease the amount of time spent managing product information – in many instances, by more than 50%.
It’s important to note that because every retailer’s product management challenges are unique, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to building these processes. Furthermore, the processes themselves are the most important consideration, whereas any technologies to support those processes are secondary.
Conceptual Data Model for the Retail Industry
Key Business Challenges
The following are the typical business challenges faced by retail organizations that build a business case for a dedicated PIM system:
Inconsistent Product Information
The big challenge for retailers is to keep their product information consistent across their enterprise and their various sales and marketing channels. Ensuring that new/updated products and promotions are reflected simultaneously across their channels is a big challenge.
Inefficient processes followed to proliferate information across the organization leads to delays while introducing a product in store. This jeopardizes strategic competitive advantage.
Better Handle on the Supply Chain
4% to 5% loss in sales occurs each year due to supply chain information inefficiencies. For new products, it takes an average of four weeks to launch the offering. Big retail stores want to capture the supplier ship point, lane, and ship point-to-item relationship information to help them establish better understanding and control over their overall supply chain, and to drive accurate replenishment calculations, as well as to form a basis for future network optimization and backhaul.
Retailers rely on a plethora of technologies and processes to enable omni-channel approaches. However, often, these systems and processes – including those used to power inventory, call centers, payment processing, ecommerce, POS, ERP, and email – are siloed. As a result, it is impossible to deliver a truly satisfying customer experience.
Integrate people, processes, and technology (Global Data Sync Networks) to present a single storefront to customers and address the customer journey, taking customer convenience into consideration. Achieving this is possible only with complete visibility into inventory, supply chain management, and a solid grasp of customer data.
Supply Chain Management
The following are the factors leading to SCM challenges:
Consolidating data from suppliers and data pools
Managing workflows and data quality, and synchronizing product master data
Viewing all product information in one location to improve quality and easily spot inaccuracies
Manual data processes
Inability to locate products across the supply chain
Managing locations, location hierarchies, and location-specific attributes
Complex operational supply chain to meet customers’ ever-changing needs
Some of the reasons for regulatory compliance failures are:
Adherence to regulatory timelines
Compliance with industry regulations
Secure sharing of product information with partners and customers
Ever-changing regulatory requirements
The Need for Product Information Management (PIM)
Product proliferation and product complexity are the major challenges faced by retail and consumer companies. Today’s world is the age of the customer. This calls for retail organizations’ attention to the following four pillars to augment customer engagement and maximize revenue.
B2B and B2C Management
Product Information Management
The rapidly growing e-commerce industry and its stupendous growth rate has led to an increase in demand for quality product data. International retailers having realized this have started optimizing their business model revenue figures and costs with PIM solutions.
It is important for retail stores to have entire control over workflow processes quickly and lucratively, for which they need to integrate all the data and product-related information more often. There is nothing other than PIM which could significantly help them in doing this and in increasing profit margin
What PIM Does
PIM is a central repository system that collects, authors, rationalizes, and syndicates product information across multiple systems and channels, and gives a single view of the product data to the entire enterprise. A good PIM framework enables retailers and brands to cooperatively deal with their product inventory, and optimize product postings for each sales channel from one focal interface.
PIM Suite Benefits
The importance of effective product information management is monumental for retailers. As retailers across the globe expand their physical offerings to e-commerce, and bring their large number of SKUs to the digital world, PIM is the key to driving quality activity, increasing conversion, and building client loyalty.
The following table illustrates what are the challenges PIM can address and how PIM can translate product data into a competitive advantage.
MDM PIM Solution
MDM PIM offers a robust solution providing retailers with real-time data required to make strategic decisions. It offers data aggregation and syndication, collaborative workflows, auditing, reporting, flexible data modeling and other features. Data is consolidated across all channels including ecommerce, in-store, kiosk, mobile, and print catalogs.
MDM PIM offers intuitive tools to segment, personalize, and derive more from sales. PIM tools transform legacy operations and deliver quality content consistently. MDM PIM ensures the quality and integrity of product data, allowing business users to manage and orchestrate product data with associated content. It also acts as a hub of content management, e-commerce, digital asset management, and other systems.
PIM Solution Highlights
Manage and publish up-to-date product data with less effort
Speed up time-to-market without compromising data quality
Create marketing efficiencies through cross-channel consistency
PIM manages product data across all media, automates data maintenance workflows, repurposes your product information across all challenges, and ensures adherence to industry standards. Retailers are benefited by way of improved sales, increased productivity, improved customer and channel partner service, improved processes, and better SKU on-boarding time.