Some new capabilities have been included in the Product Data Lake service.
As a manufacturer you can now utilize Product Data Lake even more as a cloud based lightweight Product Information Management (PIM) system. We have added better views of uploaded product information and better means of managing product data within the service. This will be of benefit for manufacturers who already handles product data in ERP and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions and needs a cost-effective solution to share these data with trading partners. Learn more about this option here.
Also, independent providers of hubs of product information within a given industry and/or geography can now self-register as a reservoir inside Product Data Lake and thus ad a modern and generic way of collecting and distributing product information to existing specialized product data pools.
But we do not stop there. The next version 1.4 will be live just before our far east development team takes some time off for the Lunar New Year. This version adds new possibilities for pushing product information through Product Data Lake. We already support file drops via FTP domains, traditional interactive upload from network drives and direct data entry. Next option is APIs.
Further versions during the coming months covers deeper integration of popular product information standards such as ETIM, eClass and UNSPSC. Learn more about these standards in the post Five Product Classification Standards.
The importance of having a viable Product Information Management (PIM) solution has become well understood for companies who participates in supply chains.
The next step towards excellence in PIM is to handle product information in close collaboration with your trading partners. Product Data Lake is the solution for that. Here upstream providers of product information (manufacturers and upstream distributors) and downstream receivers of product information (downstream distributors and retailers) connect their choice of in-house PIM solution or other product master data solution as PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) or ERP.
The PIM-2-PIM solution resembles a social network where you request and accept partnerships with your trading partners from the real world.
After connecting the next to set up is how your product attributes and digital asset types links with the one used by your trading partner. In Product Data Lake we encompass the use of these different scenarios (in prioritized order):
- You and your trading partner uses the same standard in the same version
- You and your trading partners uses the same standard in different versions
- You and your trading partner uses different standards
- You and/or your trading partners don’t use a public standard
Read more about that and the needed data governance in the post Approaches to Sharing Product Information in Business Ecosystems.
Then it is time to link your common products. This can be done automatically if you both use a GTIN (or the older implementations as EAN number or UPC) as explained in the post Connecting Product Information. Alternatively, model numbers can be used for matching or, as a last option, the linking can be done in the interactive user interface.
Now you and your trading partner are set to start automating the process of sharing product information. In Product Data Lake upstream providers of product information can push new products, attribute values and digital assets from the in-house PIM solution to a hot folder, where from the information is uploaded by Product Data Lake. Downstream receivers can set up pull requests, where the linked product information is downloaded, so it is ready to be consumed by the in-house PIM solution.
This process can now be repeated with all your other trading partners, where you reuse the elements that are common between trading partners and build new linking where required.