Integrated management of mass distribution products information
Agorà Network is a large-scale buyer of the top four mass distribution brands (Tigros, Basko, Poli, and Iperal) with over 200 stores in Northern Italy. They are in the retail and trade business and sell a vast variety of food and nonfood products.
Formerly, every partner of Agorà Network managed the products information using their own CMSs system. Pimcore has replaced all these different systems in a unique and centralized environment. Now there is an integration of all the products data in a single, flexible and easy-to-use platform. Various plugins and workflows based on Pimcore framework were developed to increase efficiency and reusability.
The Agorà Network partners spent a lot of work and resources, implementing various IT systems to manage products information, often duplicating work on the same product in every single partner office. Maintaining these systems required much effort (more than expected) from multiple employees, and often had duplication of entries (scattered and fragmented). The four partner companies could not continue to manage products data this way if they continue to grow. They could not handle any additional data (nor be flexible) and export the same data into various internal systems because it was a complex process that required custom extractions (time-consuming).
The first phase of the project was to identify and connect scattered media assets and product data over the partner’s systems. Interfaces to existing software systems were set up to consolidate data from partner databases to a single Pimcore based system. That included over 10.000 product records for every partner, 10.000 from Agorà Network itself, and additional information for every product:
A new custom search interface based on user role was developed;
Product data and all new additional data is managed within a single system, with different custom workspaces based on user role (customizable for every partner user)
Workflow management was used to develop a leaflet manager plugin
New products can be inserted into a pre-production environment with a workflow approval system
Massive import of images and data via interface permits every partner to manage their products and take advantage of common data from other partners
Integration with BrandBank Immagino services was developed to optimize PIM functionalities and reduce costs of taking products photos.
Product lifecycle management was established. The five companies (Agorà Network and the four partners) can now manage products data and extended custom data in one central system. Now, information can easily be shared and optimized by all.
In the last phase of the project, all data will be delivered to the partner e-commerce websites or exported to other targets (such as in-store advertising, price label, leaflet, etc.) to take advantage of the Pimcore solution fully.
Also, a workflow for Agorà members to collect intentions to purchase certain products was created. Agorà opens documents with products, which are sent to the members asking them if they are interested in the purchase. The portal, through Pimcore, acquires the answers of the members.
All companies involved in the project benefit from the centralization of product information. The costs of coding new products and produce product photos were decreased as expected. The flexible platform has huge potential for data aggregation among all five companies.
Employee satisfaction has increased, reducing their workload and the employee training cost. Marketing got rid of repetitive tasks and can export information much faster now, by combining tools, which were formerly separated, in only one central system.
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