InsightsExpert Article

Efficient product data logistics in B2B: strategies for manufacturers

2023-09-16 Jens Plattfaut
Product Data Logistics in B2B

The age of digitization poses major challenges for manufacturing companies. Not only the physical, but also the digital image of the physical product must be developed, manufactured and delivered to customers through a digital logistics chain. From mechanical engineering to consumer goods companies, efficient and powerful data logistics is becoming increasingly essential. The foryouandyourcustomers team helps you shorten time-to-market, increase sales, and improve the customer experience through high-quality, digital product information.

More revenue through performance management and reduced time-to-market

The success of fashion manufacturer ZARA, part of the Spanish Inditex Group, is largely due to one factor. ZARA has developed the ability to bring new fashion collections from the design department to the points of sale within two weeks, thus responding to trends and customer wishes at very short notice. The industry standard was previously four to six months. Time-to-market is playing an increasingly important role not only in fast fashion, but also in other industries. One of our customers, a well-known manufacturer of building electronics, has calculated that every day saved on the path from product development to deployment in the digital sales channels equates to additional sales of one million euros. And that's with a six-month lead time. The revenue potential is enormous, which is why Performance Management was declared a strategic goal and the optimization of the digital supply chain was identified as a core task in the accompanying program.

The availability of the digital product in the channels is a prerequisite for the commercial success of the physical product

Product data logistics in the context of the digital product data supply chain

Product data logistics in the context of the digital product data supply chain

While conventional supply chains have been trimmed for maximum efficiency over the years, the digital variant often remains a neglected area. Yet the availability of high-quality digital product information in the channels ensures the commercial success of the physical product. Product master data, pricing information, media data, marketing information and translations must be delivered to different channels in order to be saleable there. Preferably before the physical product is even available. EDI interfaces play a role in this. But B2B marketplaces, online stores, product configurators or customer purchasing portals are also becoming increasingly important. The variety and speed of change in the channel landscape is growing rapidly and is increasingly oriented towards B2C. However, the automated generation and delivery of classic Excel product lists, PDF leaflets or the provision of industry standards such as ETIM or eCl@ss as BMEcat can not only save time, but also relevant costs. Especially where employees have to manually create and distribute the same information artifacts, the savings potential is enormous. In most companies, you don't have to look far to find them.

The product data logistics center brings together various data sources, ensures efficiency in data provision and safeguards quality

At foryouandyourcustomers, we recommend integrating a product data logistics center based on the powerful Microsoft Azure cloud technology. Azure enjoys many advantages of the Microsoft ecosystem including seamless integration into the existing IT landscape. The excellent technology stack for data logistics is enjoying ever wider acceptance among companies.

Schematic overview of a product data logistics center

Schematic overview of a product data logistics center

The concept is explained in a few sentences. A digital logistics center obtains product information from a wide variety of sources. For example, the CAD, PDM, ERP, MDM, PIM and MAM system (Computer Aided Design, Product Data Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Master Data Management, Product Information Management or Media Asset Management) serve as data sources. The data can be accepted in different formats and quantities, both as full import, delta import and via streaming interface.

Within the product data logistics center, the product information is enriched and consolidated into a golden record for the digital product. The data is stored in a high-performance NoSQL database. Media data is held in a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Sophisticated data governance ensures the quality, traceability, up-to-dateness and correctness of the data.

The data is then distributed to the channels (product data consumers). Business teams, such as marketing or sales, can configure the channel-specific data and deploy it with little effort. Whether it's a new API, an Excel document, or a standardized industry format like a BMEcat. The burden is taken off the core systems by the Product Data Logistics Center and the days of long batch runs are a thing of the past. A fast time-to-market is now a matter of business, not IT.

The product data logistics center "in a nutshell"

  • Provision of high-quality product data for marketing and sales

  • Automated data supply to marketing and sales channels

  • Consolidation of different product data sources (golden record)

  • High scalability for data import and distribution

  • Real-time processing of data possible via streaming technology

  • Support of industry standards such as BMEcat, eCl@ss, GDSN, etc.

  • Support of conventional output formats such as Excel, CSV, XML, etc.

  • Easy integration into any existing system landscape

  • Improved time-to-market, revenue and customer satisfaction

How can we support you?

At foryouandyourcustomers, we place great emphasis on understanding your individual needs as a manufacturing company and jointly developing suitable solutions for product data logistics. You will benefit from our many years of industry experience, enthusiasm for technology, methodological expertise, and pragmatic, cost-efficient approach. We are happy to offer you a free initial assessment of your needs as a company in order to develop an individual offer and procedure proposal.

Please contact us

Are you interested in optimizing your product data logistics? Then please feel free to contact us.