Two weeks ago, we were proud to share with you the news about our latest product launch, OMIO PIM. It was so exciting to finally share the details of what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, especially as enabling a brand’s digital footprint is so incredibly important at this moment in time.
We spoke to Stacey Dorrian, retail consultant, who worked with our OMIO PIM development team to hone our product offering and to ensure that it fully met the challenges that retail teams find themselves up against. With over 20 years of retail experience, Stacey specialised in merchandising and data analytics, with her last role as Head of Merchandising.
So, what did Stacey enjoy the best about working with us on OMIO PIM? She said: “It’s been great fun working with Retail Assist on this project. It was something that, when I was first approached to do it, I was really excited because I could see that it was going to add so much value and take away so much frustration for different departments within the head office.”
There are so many benefits to implementing OMIO PIM across modern retail teams, including agile product creation, faster creation of new routes to market and products that are better optimised for digital selling channels. However, Stacey was most impressed with having a single port of entry and how this might impact a brand’s speed to market.
She explained: “I could see with OMIO PIM that a lot of frustrations that I’ve come across could be resolved through a tool like this: being able to have all of the product information in one place for different departments across the head office, in particular, to have access to it at any given one time, being able to then disperse that information out to various channels, without the need for multiple spreadsheets. I think one of the key frustrations that I’ve found has been missing information and not knowing at what stage we’re at in being able to publish a product’s information. So, have we got the right imagery? Have we got the right SEO? Have we got the translations? There’d be more visibility across the teams to see where everybody’s at. A really fantastic part of OMIO PIM is obviously the workflow, which shows the journey of the product and the interaction of all of the teams in head office working in a more collaborative way in order to publish the information about a product out to markets.”
But it’s not just benefits that will empower teams – OMIO PIM also seeks to remove many of the frustrations, too. As a retail-specific PIM, it’s been vital for our teams to work with Stacey and to understand the potential pitfalls that retail teams face, which is why we’re proud that OMIO PIM is built for retail.
Explaining the challenges, Stacey said: “The retail landscape has changed so dramatically over the last few years and I think speed has been something that a lot of retailers have potentially struggled to keep up with. But the customer has so many more opportunities for where they can shop and it’s all about convenience, so quite rightly a lot of retailers are looking to expand the channels which they can offer their products to the customer, which is the right thing to do.
“But, for every new channel that you open, there comes a lot of administration in terms of getting product information ready. One of the biggest things was working across the different departments, so it’s not always the people that have the information about the products that are also the people that are going to need to distribute the information about the product, so you’ve got a time lag between trying to get information from the creative departments through to the digital department or the merchandising department. Then there’s also the fact that it can be quite heavy in terms of administration, so once you’re getting onto your twelfth different channel of repeating the same information about one product, there can be human error, which obviously something like OMIO PIM would reduce.”
As Stacey suggests, OMIO PIM removes the need for a linear workflow, meaning that different people in different teams can work on the same product at the same time, removing the need for tedious spreadsheets. Working concurrently allows the speed to market to improve, with product managers also able to see which product data is missing and from which team member, aiding them in being able to chase the information that’s stalling the process.
Whilst OMIO PIM supports all selling channels, it’s especially useful in exploring new digital channels – something that is crucial to a retailer’s survival in these challenging times for retail.
Stacey added: “It’s been exciting to actually work on something that you could see was going to provide a really good solution to a lot of retailers. I think the way the information is going to be visible to more departments across head office, speed up the process in order to get products live into all of the different channels, has been great.”