From PIM to PXM! Revising our PIM approach.
- 03 Mar 2023
For several years now, let’s say from the early days of Akeneo, there has been a strong relationship between Akeneo and Smile. Over that time, Smile has implemented over 25 Enterprise Editions and more than 30 Community Editions with our customers. It’s safe to say we have some experience with managing Product Information and implementing PIM’s!
From an IT perspective to a more customer-centric approach
Over the course of these years, we saw our customers’ needs change. Having started as a technical integrator delivering the solution needed, fitting into our customers’ (complex) IT architecture, we gradually began to support our customers with their internal processes.
The main focus of these processes was to get the right product information into the PIM and to enrich Product Information within the application. In the early days, implementing a PIM was a project mainly driven by IT. The IT department led, and business was secondary. Slowly, we saw the lead department change from IT to a more business focus, – let’s call those departments Marketing and Sales. With this new leadership, other requirements also emerged. The focus switched from an IT perspective to a more customer-centric perspective.
“What can we do to deliver an excellent product experience, to convince our customers to buy with us?”
We want to provide our customers (B2B) with as much product information as possible to allow them to sell more” are the requirements nowadays. All projects are way more end-customer driven! Workshops have become more about facilitating internal change and unlocking the potential of product data within the company. Over the past two years, we have seen this shift transform into a landslide, which led us to think: “What can we do to meet the needs of our customers and their customers even better?” Once we’d asked the question, the answer was actually quite straightforward: we have to change our approach. We need to step out of our comfort zone of being a technical integrator and start facilitating the change our customers are experiencing as they change their approach to product data.
It all starts with change management!
What does this mean? It means putting Product eXperience Management (PXM) at the center of our approach. We start by focusing on creating a vision of PXM with our customers and then initiate the change management needed to transform this vision into actions and deliverables. This also means switching our technology focus from exclusively PIM to all types of applications needed to deliver the best-in-class Product Experience for the end consumers. Think about Digital Asset Management solutions, Translation Management Solutions, CPQ, Print etc.
But, before we deep-dive into the realm of the solutions mentioned above, our first step is to initiate change management and enable our customers to work on a vision of PXM.