When we talk about a company's online presence today, it is rarely just a corporate website or a blog. Most online presences consist of a variety of systems and tools (such as PIM and ERP systems or marketing automation and tracking tools), all of which should blend together as seamlessly as possible to provide a convenient brand experience for the users of the systems. If a new system is added to your repertoire, it is important to integrate it as elegantly as possible into the existing system landscape.
In recent years we have selected a large number of ERP and PIM systems for our customers, and have seamlessly embedded them in the existing project infrastructure.
Inconsistent project vocabulary
At the start of a PIM or ERP project, it is important to define the wording of certain terms for all stakeholders in the project to avoid misunderstandings later on. Often various words for the same entity ("product", "article", "variant", "category") are used internally within companies for different aspects of the project. The definitions of all the systems involved need to be considered and compared with the vocabulary used within the company. To avoid ambiguity, all the terms need to be collected, mapped and defined before the start of the project.
Development of a product model
A product model needs to be developed before a system can be comprehensively set up and configured. The following questions should be clarified:
- Are there several versions of articles, e.g. different sizes of finished articles?
- Is there an unusual diversity of variants?
- Can the customer customise articles (e.g. engraved or printed articles)?
- How does pricing work? Is there general pricing, cross-pricing, customer group pricing or even customer-specific pricing?
Implementation can start once the product model has been developed and defined.
Definition of communication between the individual systems
It needs to be clearly defined in what way and when the interacting systems communicate with each other. This is why it is a good idea to work with communication process chains to clearly identify all touchpoints between the systems. For example, at which point does the PIM pass information to the online store? Is communication automatic via scheduler tasks or on-demand in the event of changes?
This issue is particularly relevant with payment processing in e-commerce: Before starting the project, it is essential to clarify how and when the shop communicates with which payment service providers, and which definitions are in place for factoring and capture processes.