Central PIM & CMS: A Must-Have for F&B Companies to Scale Business

Most Food & Beverage companies have already jumped on the digital bandwagon and are ready to explore and experiment.

Digital initiatives, like offering a multi-channel presence and implementing some sort of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, are not uncommon today. However, a point missed by many is that digitization need not be just for the sake of it. A multi-channel presence is of no use if these channels are not integrated as the business will fail to collect and analyze insights required to personalize the user experience. Similarly, an ERP without access-based workflow can compromise information sensitivity and security. Businesses should digitize with a purpose in mind.

Digitization should usher in better scalability, speed, efficiency, cost cuts and overall optimization. Otherwise what good is it for?

With integrated product information management and web content management solutions, companies can ensure superior user experience for both customers and employees and improve client patronage. It’s essential that food and beverage companies continuously strive to fulfill ever-evolving customer expectations if they want to scale their presence and operations.

Some of the expectations from the F&B companies

Superb user experience: Much like the seamless shopping experience in the B2C domain, retailers on the B2B space expect personalization and ease of shopping. From receiving real-time product updates and personalized offers based on purchase history to placing an order effortlessly and tracking every order at every stage, these retailers expect a superb user experience. However, if the brands host their data on non-intuitive legacy systems, they lose customer patronage to poor interfaces.

Fast product launches and updates: Going to the market early always gives F&B brands a competitive advantage. An access-based central model keeps data intact without compromising on new updates. This helps companies to introduce both new products and new product updates to the market on time. However, in the absence of a central product information management (PIM) system, product lifecycle management is a tiresome manual process. It’s common to see brands reeling under issues like fragmented product data, poor turnaround time for updating content, and lack of a proper workflow to publish content and product details.

The need of the hour for the F&B industry is to integrate brand and product information. Let’s see how an F&B giant, facing these challenges, gained scalability with the adoption of Pimcore’s WCM and PIM.

The Tale of a Food & Beverage giant

An F&B giant with an annual turnover of over 6.2 billion euros streamlined their operations and raised their efficiency, when they consolidated their scattered product information into a single point of truth

The multi-national company, with over 4000 products and a presence in more than 40 countries, was unable to scale their digital presence. They had multiple websites for different geographies and different product lines – all of which were managed on a proprietary legacy platform. The non-intuitive platform was neither user-friendly nor did it support user-level access to content and workflow approval. On top of that the company had to incur licensing charges.

Different websites for different products created a gap in the product journey, translating to sub-optimal user experience, making the brand unable to deliver a consistent brand message.

The experience of internal users was not good either. Launching a new product on the website required extensive planning and effort. The information had to be updated on all websites, and human error could not be discounted. Multiple sources of product information led to confusion among product, marketing, and legal teams. From displaying localized content to integrating campaign performance, digital marketing initiatives increased manual effort, killing productivity.

In an attempt to solve these issues, the company adopted Pimcore’s open-source WCM and PIM platforms, which helped them to centralize their website content and product data management.

What changed?

The new system helped them ensure consistent brand messaging across channels, scale operations, and improve productivity across departments.

Single source of truth: With the integration of all platforms, there was a single source of product-related information ranging from ingredients and recipes to marketing communication. Approval workflows coupled with role-based access helped the product team to manage and monitor product information with speed. Thus, there was no delay in taking products to market. The system enabled a powerful API integration with the external ERP, which helped the sales team manage product availability on the eCommerce website against the stock availability at the warehouse.

Consistent branding: Creating a brand story that is etched in the minds of consumers and retailers is not an easy task; it requires delivering consistent branding communication across all platforms and products. An integrated web content management system let the F&B giant amp up their branding initiatives. The user-friendly and intuitive platform was also adopted quickly by both external and internal users. The organization could view product updates and track orders with ease. The improved experience also led to higher customer patronage.

Moral of the story

It would no more suffice to create awesome products and exhibit them on websites for display; brands need to invest in classifying products and maintaining a central system. And trust me when I say, this is just the beginning. Seamlessness that data management brings in can do wonders for F&B businesses. The data can be used to derive actionable insights on the preferences of each retailer, product performance, etc. This can help businesses forecast demand, expand categories, collapse non-performing product lines, and more. Instead of treating symptoms like “poor UX”, businesses can focus on revamping the entire digital experience to scale business with the aid of data-driven insights.

Rakesh Kumar
  • Chief Solutions Officer
4 articles by this author

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