Exchanging product information in the business ecosystems of manufacturers, distributors and retailers cannot work properly by asking all your trading partners to use your version of a spreadsheet – if they don’t get to you first with their version. Nor will self-centered supplier / customer product data portals work as examined in the post PIM Supplier Portals: Are They Good or Bad?
Your company is not an island. You are part of a business ecosystem, where you may be:
- Upstream as the maker of goods and services. For that you need to buy raw materials and indirect goods from the parties being your vendors. In a data driven world you also to need to receive product information for these items. You need to sell your finished products to the midstream and downstream parties being your B2B customers. For that you need to provide product information to those parties.
- Midstream as a distributor (wholesaler) of products. You need to receive product information from upstream parties being your vendors, perhaps enrich and adapt the product information and provide this information to the parties being your downstream B2B customers. As a midstream participant, you need both upstream and downstream capabilities.
- Downstream as a retailer or large end user of product information. You need to receive product information from upstream parties being your vendors and enrich and adapt the product information so you will be the preferred seller to the parties being your B2B customers and/or B2C customers.
You need to provide business benefits for you and your trading partners – make it a win-win situation. There are 5 business benefits for you and 5 for your trading partners. Check out the Product Data Lake 10 Business Benefits.