How to leverage Excel with a PIM software

Blog PIM Excel

Move away from giant Excel sheets to maintain excellent product information

Are you still managing your product information in giant Excel sheets? You know, the ones that are so large they require a separate tab for each product? If so, it’s time to move on. Maintaining accurate and current product information in Excel can be difficult and time consuming. Luckily, there are better tools available to manage your product data more effectively. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a product information management (PIM) system and what problems it solves.

Excel is a great tool with almost endless possibilities, and combined with Microsoft SharePoint, enterprise collaboration for structured data has become easier. But let’s be honest, Excel is not the right tool to maintain excellent product information: lots of data, different needs per channel. The result, spreadsheets tend to be scattered throughout the company: different departments, network drives, local copies, all per user case. And SharePoint and OneDrive won’t solve this, if anything it makes it worse. Multiple versions of the same data in multiple spreadsheets are inevitably created, and an organization ultimately loses control over where the most up-to-date data is located. Whether you have many similar products and a small number of complex products, there are better ways to manage your product data.

This is a common pain our customers report before implementing a PIM system. So, if you feel like you’re constantly searching for, cleaning up and reorganizing the same information, rather than doing work to increase the value of your products, we are here to help.

As a marketer or product manager, you know that maintaining high-quality product information is essential for your success. When working with mediacockpit, we help you to get the best out of both worlds. Users already know how to get their work done with spreadsheets, the idea is to keep data centrally stored and always up-to-date in mediacockpit, while providing them with familiar interfaces and formats. You can focus on the tasks that matter most, without having to learn new complex tools and keeping productivity in mind.

Using mediacockpit’s mediaspreadsheet module, your users can perform quick changes or even mass edits in familiar layout without having to switch back and forth systems. And for systems that still require Excel, mediacockpit makes it simple to produce spreadsheets for every channel, providing the right data in the correct format.

Blog PIM Excel

Let’s have a look at two common use cases: sending product information to your dealers or requesting missing information from your suppliers. Since this is usually done via Excel, mediacockpit offers simple Import/Export functions, where Excel files for an entire product portfolio or individual product groups can be created and downloaded at the touch of a button. The files can be sent and enriched in Excel, making this an easy way to get additional information from suppliers. Once a file is completed and returned, you can import the file into mediacockpit, quickly adding the missing data. To improve usability, product previews are exported directly in the spreadsheet from our integrated DAM.

Companies selling directly to end customers in today’s IT landscape must keep product feeds up to date, and that often means manually adding new products, updating data and “somehow” integrating this information with current base data from ERP or warehouse management: a daunting task for a normal information worker. It is bad enough when this is in Excel, but some channels require special formats like XML or JSON. Marketers are suddenly confronted with new challenges tasks like data transformations, or “programming” tasks like writing regular expressions, for example to ensure product titles are displayed correctly in product- and price search engines like Google Shopping.

mediacockpit enables you to dynamically create and host files for your performance marketing campaigns, even checking back with your ERP if the article is in stock or not when it is updated. Our mediapublisher module supports multiple file formats (XML, CSV, XLSX, JSON) and includes “handlers” to take care of common adjustments via configuration instead of programming. You decide how often to update the data (we recommend updating at least once a day). Submitting your feed to Google Merchant Center is now as easy as ever, letting you focus on your actual work without any worries.

Blog PIM Excel

There are too many use cases to list them all here, and we understand that every situation is unique. Our goal is to leverage common tools and formats, like Microsoft Excel, when it makes sense, while taking advantage of mediacockpit to keep data centralized and maintain golden records for products instead of dozens of similar copies spread across your network. mediacockpit ensures current product data, less chaos and more focus.

If you have similar issues you are facing, we are here to help you. Contact us and we will help to reduce the pain of “Excel hell” in your organization!

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