There is a tendency when deploying Product Information Management (PIM) solutions, that you may want to add a portal for your trading partners:
- If you are a manufacturer, you could have a customer portal where your downstream re-sellers can fetch the nicely arranged product information that is the result of your PIM implementation.
- If you are a merchant, you could have a supplier portal where your upstream suppliers can deliver their information nicely arranged according to your product information standards in your PIM implementation.
This is a death trap for both manufacturers and merchants, because:
- As a trading manufacturer and merchant, you probably follow different standards, so one must obey to the other. The result is that one side will have a lot of manual and costly work to do to obey the strongest trading partner. Only a few will be the strongest all the time.
- If all manufacturers have a customer portal and all merchants have a supplier portal everyone will be waiting for the other and no product information will flow in the supply chains.
This topic was discussed in the post PIM Supplier Portals: Are They Good or Bad?
The only way a portal can work is if you have a very powerful partner, like WalMart, who forces its use. And makes everyone else in the supply chain even more mad at them 😉
That is true Gino. I have also noticed that early product data syndication services on the market tend to rely on support for exactly feeding these giants. We need something that caters for the needs of the other 99 % of the trading partners around. This is our aim at Product Data Lake.