Need for a Global PIM

One Size doesn’t fit all – The Complexities of a Global PIM

*Riversand is recognized as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management Solutions, Q4 2016

Organizations that excel in provisioning Rich Product Content, Consistent
Messaging, Optimum Assortment Mix and Accelerated Time to Market
often have mature Processes, Data Management Practices and Technology
at their disposition. Organizations with a Global reach realize the need for a
streamlined set of PIM processes and data – that support the whole of the
enterprise – and not just ‘some’ parts of the business.
Apart from customer-facing benefits of Consistent branding, Streamlined
Customer experience, there are operational benefits of SKU
Nonproliferation, Employee Productivity, and additional benefits ranging
from Consistent Global Reporting, Product Sharing (across Regions) and
readiness towards M&As. Lastly, a Global PIM ensures a more coherent and
connected internal teams.
However, as forward-looking organizations decide to embark on a Global
PIM journey – the projection of the end-state looks blurry due to multiple
Regions* (and thus stakeholders) at play. The definition of the end-state
has both Business, Organizational and Solution (Technology)

*Region is used as the denominator for highlighting the Global PIM concept.
However, the context for a Global PIM can be based on any Entity that forms
an organization – Regions/Divisions/Business Units/Product Lines/Brands

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How different is my Organization today – within itself?
A Current State synthesis has to be a necessary first step that aims at
inventorying the current processes, data structures, Organizational Roles
across the Regions. A comprehensive data analysis often provides insights
that were deemed unlikely – regarding how products are being created
by different SKU IDs (and descriptions) – in spite of being the same exact
product. This is just one example. There are numerous other variables
that uncover the variations – spanning underlying Metadata, Definitions,
Packaging/Handling/Storage Instructions, and other variables spanning
Product groupings (Taxonomies), Product Lifecycle status, etc. The list
goes on.
Key Elements at Play
Organizations need to ask some key questions in support of the end-state.
Following are some key ones:

Are my Products homogeneous in nature?
How variant are the markets that my Products serve?
Do we adopt a single Enterprise-wide process/data structures?
Do we keep a Global Organization, or Regional, or both?
How would the Governance Organization look like?
Who would own the Definitions?
How would the Application Landscape look like?
Would I need multiple PIM instances by Regions?

Variance is the KING
A Global PIM is not a Consolidation exercise. Variance is the reality, and it
has to be supported. Though the core Product information (usually
characteristics) doesn’t have to vary, the operational processes and data
have to. The same applies to Organizational Roles that are Regional vs.
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The current state gives vital insights into what is truly Regional vs. what
can be called Global. Common aspects such as Data Definitions,
Reference Information, Global Roles (if feasible) can be deemed global.
But Regional issues have to stay separate (Regional).

Depending on the Organization’s Vision, Information Management
objectives, Variance of the PIM processes (current vs. future), the Global
PIM end-state may look different for the various organizations. The three
core modes are:
De-Centralized: Control lies at the Region-level. Regions operate
independently with little collaboration. Reference information can be
Centralized: Single Consolidated Processes and Organization Roles span
Regions. Data being managed can be varied by the Region, but the more
the variance – the less plausible this End-State becomes.
Federated: Global vs. Entity level Control can be varied.
I know my end-state, but my Tool-kit is dated
A well laid out plan is half work done. Implementation is the next step. It
needs a robust, flexible Tool-Kit that supports/imbibes the possible Global
PIM end-states intrinsically (as part of the Tool Architecture). Else,
realizing a Global PIM can end up becoming an extensively customized
project – increasing risk and costs. A strong Team who has experience in
dealing with the Global PIM variations is fundamental.
At last, a Business Sponsor who has influence over the whole enterprise
is a must.

©2017 Riversand Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.

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©2017 Riversand Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.