In both of the above examples, the challenge of building and maintaining an infrastructure is on the supplier. Equally as important, the ability to syndicate this information to recipient partners depends on the level of partnership / engagement you may be able to cultivate.
We believe that for a modern PIM to be a successful business solution, it also must be integrated into a syndication network. For example, in the consumer goods space with the rapid growth of eCommerce, a PIM with little to no syndication is not a successful solution. Similarly in healthcare, with the global emergence of UDI requirements, It is likely even more so the case for medical device suppliers.
Consider the third option: Finding a partner that manages the infrastructure and connections, enabling the medical device supplier to focus on its core competencies and affordably scale to increasing demands while meeting functionality, cost, and schedule requirements.
Invest in a partner solution
In some ways investing in a third-party partner solution has the most potential upside; however it is not without some risk. Choosing the wrong partner may lead to implementation delays when setting up new items, or having incomplete or ineffective syndication capabilities could lead to data errors or content not being accepted… a significant risk under UDI regulations.
To invest in a partner solution, you’ll need to do some form of the following:
Vetting partners goes beyond reviewing user interfaces, data collection or and taxonomy capabilities. A key component to a successful PIM is the solution provider’s syndication capabilities. Some tout a “direct plug-in” to their recipients; however, it is important to evaluate the direct plug-in capabilities across multiple recipients with varying data requirements and delivery mechanisms.
Step #4 is sometimes overlooked when choosing a partner but is necessary for success in today’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) world. Fortunately, more and more enterprises are partnering closely with technology vendors to help define both their near and long-term product roadmaps. This ensures better alignment with implementation and product enhancements down the road.
Once you implement a partner approach, all the steps of content input, validation, enrichment, syndication and audit are managed by the solution provider. If there is the likelihood that your PIM system will become integral to how you optimize your ongoing global UDI submissions, you will want to partner with a third party rather than rely on a static in-house solution. Challenges persist with newly emerging UDI and other regulations and as regulators change their requirements. Without full-time monitoring and communication, device submissions that once were accepted and compliant may be rendered invalid without much notice.
Additionally, if speed to market is important, a good solution provider can get up and running fast, with minimal implementation time, incorporating your requirements on an on-going basis. This dramatically simplifies and accelerates new product and market launches.