23 Mar 2020
Automating manual daily tasks with Unbxd PIM workflows
Joel Layton
Joel Layton
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In a world where everything is moving online, moving online has its challenges, more so for ecommerce enterprises. The PIM workflow shortens the lengthy, tedious, and complex manual exercise of taking products live on the ecommerce website and in front of shoppers.

The ecommerce platforms have to ensure that the store product catalog format matches their format requirements. It also has to ensure that brand individuality is maintained in the process. Similarly, a retailer or an aggregator has to manage the data sent from different vendors and distributors and normalize the catalog content to be fed into their ecommerce system.

Challenges of manually managing the product catalog

Looking closely at the roles of a category manager, we see that it is not as easy as it sounds. Upon receiving the catalog data from various vendors, the manager needs to filter all the products from different sources to their assigned categories. This has to be done regularly post-import of the vendor data into the PIM system.

It becomes more complex if the category manager needs to filter the catalog content by missing values and assign tasks for these products to different team members to fill in the missing property values.

Another challenge is the bulk editing of all the products to make the brand or retailer-specific content, issue warning triggers, or use guidelines. And all of this has to be done daily.

The most challenging job in an ecommerce store manager is synchronizing the catalog content like price, inventory, and other product information at periodic intervals or based on changes in the PIM system to all other systems. Imagine the inventory needs to be updated on different systems every 15 mins to update messaging about low inventory products or derive the discounted price of the products based on the other product properties dynamically.

Use PIM workflow to upload the product catalog to ecommerce stores

However, all these challenges make the process of taking the product to market challenging and cumbersome. It needs an automated set of procedures that makes cross-team collaboration, editing, and fixing the feed and catalog upload easier and faster.

To elucidate this, we have enlisted all the steps, from uploading the catalog to getting the products live on the ecommerce store.

pim workflow.avif

How to use Unbxd PIM workflows module?

The Workflow module of Unbxd PIM allows users to define workflows based on time intervals as low as 15 minutes duration up to a month duration. PIM workflow also will enable actions to be defined over system events such as import completion, task completion, or other predefined event listeners.

The user must configure the steps required per the business requirements and verify them by manually triggering them. Each node in the workflow is dynamically decided based on the previous workflow step. This allows a streamlined step of actions to be taken, which would make sense in the real world.

PIM workflow allows configuring parallel paths after any node. This enables users to have multiple actions to be automated post-import process or task nodes. The user can perform product filtering based on missing values or a specific category or vendor attribute and take necessary actions like bulk editing and assigning a task for a particular user role group.

The PIM Workflow module lets you track the activity logs of all previous successful and failed workflows. The PIM workflow can run for a specific number of iterations or till a specific date to automate particular tasks during sales periods or for different campaigns.

configure workflow2.avif Configure Workflows

configure workflow.3.avif

Create tasks process for 2 category managers of an ecommerce store and set up the workflow for each of them.

filter products.4.avif

Filter products based on a brand or category or vendor-based collection.

Import products from vendors’ SFTP locations.5.avif

Import products from vendors’ SFTP locations over periodic intervals.

How are our customers using the PIM workflow to make their lives hassle-free?

These workflows (as depicted above) have enabled one of our Customers to automate the process of picking different vendor catalogs and inventory files. They used the system to pick product information from the SFTP location every 15 minutes. Importing the data using predefined adapters does necessary data clean-up and deduplicates the products based on SKU, MPN, and UPC and creates a new SKU value if the product is new.

Once the products are imported, the workflow certifies the products to the network. Then, it sends a signal to the Search PIM App to pull the latest products updated in the last 15 minutes based on a reference ID and further upload them to the Unbxd Search system. Thus avoiding any manual intervention for automating the vendor inventory sync between Unbxd PIM and Oracle platform (OIC and OCC) and handling the business rules related to the new products coming into the system.

Similarly, the entire workflow setup enables our customers to automate the daily mundane tasks with little to zero effort (and Zero manual intervention). The business guidelines must be followed for new product arrivals or any missing attributes can be automated using workflows. A one-time effort can automate the end-to-end product import and export from multiple vendor systems to different customer sites. For any unforeseen scenarios during this workflow execution, the system will notify the user of the failure of a node or upon completion via emails.

What else is there in store for you?

We are making Digital Asset Management a seamless experience for all ecommerce customers (across all verticals). We add more event listeners to the list and the ability to perform more curated actions and property transformations to make this process super simple and super-fast for ecommerce sites.

Unbxd PIM empowers your digital shelf with the easy import of product information, manage, optimize and enrich product content at scale. Reach out to us for a free demo!

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