Product Information Management System

I was asked to investigate various open-source platforms to help the business manage and approve products for each yearly catalogue season. After investigation it was decided to create a bespoke platform.

The Brief

An open-source application was prefered due to cost savings but after investigation a bespoke platform was proposed. With the potential to datamerge content into Adobe Indesign and increased productivity with a bespoke workflow the project was approved.

How it was achieved.

I started by speaking to the various teams involved in the product creation process, writing a wish list of features we wanted to include. As a new tool it was key to include all users to find out each individual teams requirements.

The teams involved in product creation were buying, copywriter, customer care and quality approval. The compliance department had final approval but done this on the finished website. A user flow was designed for this process.

Built using PHP with a mySql database which can be imported directly into the e-commerce website following the same bootstrap framework the website uses. It was decided there would need to be 4 different user types, along with a super admin user which had all abilities.

User Create product Edit Raw Approve Raw Create Sales Copy Approve Sales Copy Final Approval
Buying Approval
Quality Control

PIM had the secondary purpose of providing information into customer care for product queries. This included sales copy, dimensions and weights, supplied support phone numbers and returns and warrnty information. Due to the size and constant changing of customer care personal, a read-only user account was created.

To increase productivity in peak times, product reports were implemented with a traffic light system. A product report export would provide an up to date CSV file which can be sorted into departments and product state (rejected, awaiting approval, awaiting copywriter, awaiting raw information).

Following a successful first year the system was updated to include image reports to improve sign-off process. An email alert system was also added in to alert users a product had moved into their department along with any comments if a product had been rejected.

PIM Image report

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