Global PIM set-up
in 88 countries
The PIM solution synchronises with AX and SAP data and is now the core of Abena's business.
5 minute read
Abena's products are sold and marketed in 88 countries around the world.
Abena has 1,800+ employees
Sustainability partnerships with e.g. Dansk Industri and Roskilde Festival.
TWO ERP SYSTEMS IN CONVERSATION
Abena has been given a scalable system that synchronises data from AX and SAP, allowing the two ERP systems to talk to each other. The PIM system has simplified the launch of products in new markets because the products are ‘enriched’ with all relevant data.
Gain insights into successful PIM set-ups from case studies such as Abena, Hay and Fleggaard and hear how they use their product data in order to optimise processes. Read more here.
PREVIOUS PIM WAS NOT VALUE-ADDING OR SCALABLE
Abena’s Danish division had worked with inriver PIM for several years, but due to inefficient implementation, the PIM system failed to add the desired value. It was difficult to deploy the system globally in Abena.
As one of Europe’s largest providers of healthcare consumables with a multitude of products across different markets, Abena needed a PIM set-up that would function smoothly, enabling a frictionless process when setting up new products and selling them in new markets.
DATA FROM SAP AND AX ARE COMBINED IN THE SAME PIM
For Abena, the first part of the project consisted of solving performance issues in the existing system.
The major part of the project involved creating a single cohesive data/process flow across country borders: this aimed to simplify the enrichment process for internal users and give customers a more uniform experience across channels.
WHERE DOES PRODUCT CREATION BEGIN?
The task was complicated by the fact that Abena’s various subsidiaries based themselves on differing ERP systems and ‘master flows’. In the Danish department, product creation started in PIM and was pushed forward to ERP (AX); at external offices on the other hand, it started in ERP (SAP) and from there went into PIM.
This is not a set-up one meets every day; therefore, IMPACT had to engineer a serviceable solution in which both flows could coexist in inriver PIM. The solution was to combine the two data flows in the same PIM system, so that Danish products could be created in PIM and the others in ERP.
This is one of those solutions that makes me fairly proud. We brought PIM to order, removed the flaws created in the past and produced a scalable solution that simultaneously can handle a very complex master flow challenge without confusing the users.
A CLEAR DIALOGUE THROUGHOUT
For Abena, the choice of a partner depended on finding one whose values and approach to cooperation squared with their own; hence the decision to work with IMPACT.
Mutual respect, responsiveness and honest communication were key characteristics for Abena. Consequently, the cooperation was marked by a very forthright dialogue, not only about what was working, but also what could be improved on.
Throughout the entire project, we have enjoyed a very honest dialogue with IMPACT and this has resulted in the creation of a unique platform together, with the right levels of performance and support for users across the entire organisation.
A FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
Before IMPACT was brought into the picture, Abena faced a problem in that some products took a long time to load.
The very first measure IMPACT took was to optimise the PIM solution. The existing data model was examined in fine detail to find ways in which it could be enhanced. As soon as the proposals for a solution were ready, inriver conducted a code review based on best practice, so that together, we could optimise Abena’s set-up as quickly as possible. Two days into the cooperation and the performance problems were reduced by four fifths.
From the start, it had been vital to watch our step when joining up the two ERP systems with the overall PIM system. The focus was on process, flows and user rights. Who inputs the data, what should the individual user permissions be, and how do we synchronise data across the systems? These were just some of the questions that the solution had to take into account.
In order to give Abena a scalable solution, IMPACT designed a set-up that was equal to the task of synchronising data from AX with PIM – and not SAP, since that data already exists in the system. This means that users have to be attentive to the specific system in which they are enriching data.
To this end, the work involved different target groups of users with various permissions to view and amend data in PIM.
All along, the mantra was to make things as simple as possible for the user.
IMPACT approached Abena’s PIM with curiosity and the belief that they would prevail in finding an answer to the company's problems. And what transpired was a quite unique solution, something we have not seen before.
In this solution, Abena’s two ERP systems talk to each other and send data to the PIM system so that users in various agencies can easily enrich products and launch products on new markets.
As a little side-project, IMPACT has implemented a simple PIM model from scratch for Abena’s subsidiary OX-ON. In contrast to the parent company, OX-ON’s solution has been constructed in the inriver Product Marketing Cloud, inriver’s latest undertaking. This gives Abena the opportunity to assess whether they might at some stage like to switch to the inriver Cloud.
PIM IS NOW THE CORE OF THE BUSINESS
For Abena, PIM is no longer simply a marketing tool. Every remote corner of the organisation, in its agencies and distant offices, has adopted the system and uses it to set up and enrich products so that today, PIM is central to the business.
This means that it is easy to launch products in new markets because the products are fully enriched and everything proceeds like clockwork. A mere click suffices to launch a product.
It has also become easier for the company to produce paper catalogues: their catalogue-generation system now has a source that can deliver the correct data from a single location. In the end selecting, grouping and adding products to the catalogue is now, finally, effortless.
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