PIM implementation: internal teams vs. external gurus

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Published in PIM on December 15, 2023
Author Jack Bird

Discover the pros & cons of different approaches to implementing your PIM system

Picture a scenario where managing the product data needed to market and sell across various channels is simple, collaboration flows seamlessly, your online sales are soaring and you have time to focus on strategic business growth. Sounds good, right? This is the transformation that using a PIM (Product Information Management) system can unlock for your business.

Once you’ve decided that introducing a PIM solution is right for your company’s evolution, one of the most crucial next steps is deciding how to implement it. In most cases, there are two options:

  1. Develop the system using your in-house team, or
  2. Seek help from external consultants with specialised expertise

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and challenges that each option brings and uncover the reasons why relying on external gurus can be beneficial for the success of your PIM project.

Using internal talent for your PIM implementation

It’s natural to consider managing your PIM project in-house if your company has an internal development team. This approach holds various advantages. However, there are also a number of drawbacks to implementing your PIM system in-house to be mindful of.

The pros

<img draggable= Company specific knowledge. Internal development teams may hold a deep understanding of your company’s operations, processes and specific needs, compared to external consultants who may need time to grasp these intricacies.

<img draggable= Trust & collaboration. If your internal team has built a strong rapport and earned the trust of other departments within the company it facilitates good collaboration during the PIM implementation process, promoting smoother teamwork.

<img draggable= Technical acumen. If your team has previously implemented your chosen PIM system and is well-versed in your company’s tech stack, their technical expertise adds another layer of benefit.

The cons

<img draggable= Limited specialised knowledge. Working on a successful PIM project involves intricate details and specific requirements that may go beyond your team’s skill set. This could result in a learning curve, potential errors and delays in implementation. This is where teaming up with an external PIM consultant proves invaluable. With a wealth of best-practice experience derived from various projects, they can navigate the potential pitfalls, and ensure you’re making an informed decision on the right PIM platform for your specific needs, significantly impacting the success of your project.

<img draggable= Resource constraints. Your internal development team is likely to have existing responsibilities in play. Introducing a PIM implementation to their workload may strain resources and cause conflicts with other critical tasks. This could lead to a slower pace of implementation and potential setbacks, impacting productivity and project timelines.

<img draggable= Risk of tunnel vision. Internal teams may be closely aligned with the company’s existing processes and perspectives. This familiarity could lead to a potential bias or a narrow viewpoint when implementing a PIM system. External consultants often bring fresh insights and industry best practices, which might be lacking if the project is handled entirely in-house. The guidance of PIM experts ensures informed decision-making, paving the way for a successful PIM implementation.

Leveraging the expertise of external consultants for your PIM implementation

It’s important to consider your options when it comes to using 3rd party consultancy to implement your PIM strategy. Here’s just a few of the advantages to teaming up compared to the potential challenges.

The pros

<img draggable= Specialised knowledge. External PIM consultants bring expertise and best practices derived from various projects, assisting you in navigating potential pitfalls and ensuring informed decision-making. At Let’s Drive Digital, this commitment to providing valuable insights is fundamental to our approach, empowering our customers to construct innovative processes and optimise existing ones. It’s not just what we offer; it’s at the core of who we are.

<img draggable= Dedicated resources. External PIM consultants provide dedicated resources, minimising the strain on internal teams and expediting the pace of implementation. This focus ensures that your project progresses efficiently, meeting timelines and freeing up internal resources for other critical tasks.

<img draggable= Fresh perspectives. External PIM consultants bring fresh insights and industry best practices, effectively mitigating the risk of tunnel vision – a challenge often faced by internal teams deeply entrenched in existing processes. Our specialty lies in providing a broader perspective to your PIM project, ensuring that the implementation surpasses a mere technical upgrade. Instead, it turns into an exciting journey shaped by the latest industry trends and approaches.

The cons

<img draggable= Learning curve vs. accelerated onboarding. External PIM consultants may need time to grasp the intricacies of the company’s operations and processes. While this may potentially cause a learning curve at the beginning of the project, this phase presents an opportunity for accelerated onboarding. Rest assured, our experts are quick to grasp intricacies, ensuring a swift transition into project understanding and execution.

<img draggable= Costs vs. strategic investment. Although hiring external PIM consultants may involve additional costs compared to using existing in-house resources, it’s essential to view this as a strategic investment. Drawing from firsthand experience, the expertise and efficiency we bring results in long-term cost savings through streamlined processes, optimised strategies and quicker project delivery.

<img draggable= Dependency vs. collaborative empowerment. Over-reliance on external PIM consultants may create a dependency, and the company may face challenges if the relationship is not managed effectively. Rather than fostering dependency, our approach emphasises collaborative empowerment. We will work closely with your team, sharing knowledge and skills, to ensure a smooth transition. This collaborative model minimises the risk of dependence, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship that promotes self-sufficiency.

Fast track PIM solutions with Let’s Drive Digital

There’s no denying that here at Let’s Drive Digital, we’re big advocates for using external consultants for PIM system implementations. In fact, our enthusiasm for PIM systems is unmistakable.

We thrive on partnering with organisations to create completely bespoke solutions that unlock the true potential of product data for your long-term commercial growth. Our team understands that effective product information management extends its benefits throughout your entire business. By partnering with us, you can ensure a predictable and efficient implementation process that avoids common mistakes and maximises results.

Make my PIM system the best it can be

Jack Bird

Managing Director

Having worked in the SEO industry for over four years and successfully grown sites both as personal projects and for clients, Jack is a seasoned SEO and specialises in producing content at high velocity to drive traffic. Jack is also a classically trained pianist and still plays in his spare time. A leading expert on Plytix PIM, there’s very little Jack doesn’t know about product information and how to manage it!

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