"We had begun with a small number of products and developed an understanding of what kind of content was required by these sites, and how each one needed different information," said Simpli Home Founder Yoram Weinreich in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.
But when the company's previously limited product range "exploded" three years ago, Simpli Home
found that its home-grown data management processes weren't meeting its needs.
"We would need to re-populate multiple spreadsheets, in different formats, as well as adapt our digital images" for the needs of different retail sites, said Weinreich
In 2014, Simpli Home
adopted a cloud-based product content management solution from Salsify
that has cut its product launch times by 75%, and allowed the company to reallocate internal staff to "smarter, higher-level stuff," said Weinreich
The company is now up to offering 400 products, and it projects that figure will double for 2016 - growth that would not have been possible without getting its product data management under control.
Creating A Centralized Font Of Wisdom
The solution does more than manage data outputs to e-Commerce spreadsheets, however.
"We use it as a central hub for all the disparate points of data about our products," said Weinreich
"That includes information for web sites, customer service, assembly instructions, CAD [Computer Aided Design], etc. Before, this data had been all over the place.
But creating a centralized font of wisdom and having ready access to all this information leads to customer satisfaction - and us not spending a lot of time running around."
also is leveraging the Salsify solution to manage its promotional activities more effectively, and it is in the process of creating standardized quote sheets for the factories that supply it with product.
"Overall we have a much more seamless operation, and Salsify
is part of that," said Weinreich
The solution's robustness has increased its value for Simpli Home
"The basic data we'll upload to an e-Commerce site, like the SKU number, bullet points about the product, long and short descriptions and material specs, is relatively easy," he
"But when you're getting to customer service issues, the data requirements are much broader.
If you have to replace a piece of an item, it's not just the size of the ottoman you need to know, but the exact dimensions of each of its legs.
It's much more in-depth."
A strong product data management solution is necessary for a fast-growing company, according to Weinreich
, particularly since e-Commerce retailers often still use very manual processes, with vendor management solutions from as far back as the 1990s.
"This is the online world, at the forefront of technology, but they are using all this 'primitive' stuff," said Weinreich
For its part, Simpli Home
had to get its own data in order before feeding it into the Salsify system, and data cleanliness is a critical ongoing process.
"It takes discipline to keep all the information right," said Weinreich