Many companies have invested in IT solutions in the area of PIM/DAM in recent years. The increasing digitization, especially the immense growth in online retailing, which has long since been limited to more than just the company’s own web store, have made this step virtually mandatory. In addition to the need to reduce time-to-market and cut costs.
The solution scenarios range from in-house developments (often in the environment of the merchandise management system or the web store) to simple PIM approaches in the e-commerce tool to standard software products from manufacturers who have focused on this area.
When developing or selecting the respective solution, many companies focused – and still focus – on functional aspects. Is mass data maintenance possible? Which interfaces to ERP and store are there? Can image derivatives be generated automatically? Or also (with decreasing importance): How can print advertising material be created?
Our consultants recommend placing more emphasis on the strategic aspects – both in terms of technological developments and with regard to the future viability of the solution and the manufacturer. Both must fit in with the company’s own corporate strategy as well as its IT strategy.
Of course, functional requirements are still important. New requirements are being added, such as automated improvement of data quality, supplier (data) onboarding, simple connection to and use of marketplaces, or automated texting (natural language generation).
In addition to these criteria, more focus should be placed on the strategic view of the supplier market. Analysts such as our strategic partner The Group of Analysts (TGOA) offer valuable methodological support here. With the Market Performance Wheel (MPW), TGOA offers companies an initial orientation before they enter into an evaluation project or subject their existing solution to a maturity check, i.e. benchmark their own system against the current state of the market (see also https://www.meyle-mueller.de/portfolio/sport-thieme/).
For evaluation or maturity review projects, M+M consultants use assessment matrices that are even more deeply specified, but are structured very similarly to the Market Perfromance Wheel, which creates maximum objective and comprehensible transparency (of course, our assessment system also deals with the functional level).
The Market Performance Wheel provides detailed insights into four strategic categories, each with four subcategories:
- Ability to perform
- Market performance
- Future viability
Each of the 16 subcategories is scored on an ascending scale from 0 to a maximum of 25 points.
Ability to perform considers, for example, how long the provider has been on the market, how many employees are employed, how many licenses have been sold. But also aspects such as the company organization and the system infrastructure and availability (including monitoring and reporting).
Market performance evaluates above all the network of customers and technology as well as integration and sales partners. How large is the customer base, what is the experience with different (customer) industries and regions, how are they informed, taken into account and possibly integrated into the development roadmap?
Future viability includes questions such as: Does the manufacturer have a clear strategy and market positioning? Is this actively promoted? Does it deal with innovations, is it a thought leader? How quickly and proactively does the manufacturer adapt to market changes? Are clear growth targets being pursued? How are existing employees developed and new ones found?
Market Performance Wheels are now available for all common PIM solutions. In addition to clear graphics, all criteria are described in detail and comprehensibly in the MPW documents. All MPWs are available for download free of charge at www.tgoa.com.
If you are interested in further details on the Market Performance Wheel or our approach to maturity testing and PIM evaluation, please contact Peter Schellhorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.