Not since the early 1900s, when model T Fords were rolling off the production line has the automotive industry faced such a transformative time with as many new regulations, technologies, and consumer preferences.

The modern automotive industry, although constrained by strict compliance and regulatory requirements has grown into a vast and intricate network of auto manufacturers, aftermarket suppliers, parts distributors, and dealerships. A typical vehicle is made up of around 30,000 parts, each with their unique attributes, requiring precise management within a complex supply chain. 

Add to the mix a rise in global automobile sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs), expanding model inventories, advancing technology, evolving consumer expectations and data management emerges as a key area of concern. 

To succeed companies must be able to manage and process the growing volumes of operational and product information, and address the increasing complexity of data. So, from car makers to aftermarket parts manufacturers, the need for a robust and efficient Master Data Management (MDM) system has become crucial.

Read more: What is Stibo STEP?

Navigating the Complexities of Maintaining Make, Model, and Year Information in Auto Parts

One of the most challenging aspects of data management in the automotive industry is the need to maintain and update make, model, and year information for auto parts, also known as application data. This requirement holds true for both the OEM and aftermarket parts manufacturers, distributors, and retailers all of whom are locating / placing replacement parts.

The challenge is twofold. Firstly, this information must be accurate and up-to-date to avoid selling incompatible or incorrect parts to customers. A slight discrepancy in this information could lead to significant costs due to the fact that most parts are not resalable once they've been attempted to be installed and are thus deemed unusable. 

Secondly, the data comes in various formats and needs to be harmonised and standardised. This is particularly true for the interchange information, which cross-references the part number for an auto part with other part numbers for hundreds of thousands of products/SKUs and vehicle configurations, as well as millions of part-to-vehicle relations and interchange records.

Oftentimes, this data is not in a uniform format, making it challenging to manage and use efficiently. Plus, aftermarket parts manufacturers must determine whether an existing part can be utilised or if they need to produce a new part.

Read more: How B2B Distributors can successfully leverage MDM

The Stibo Systems' STEP MDM solution elegantly navigates these complexities. The solution provides a unified and single source of truth for all the product data, including make, model, and year information for auto parts. This capability is vital as it allows companies to manage data from different sources, in diverse formats, and of varying quality levels. 

The STEP MDM solution also supports the adoption of automotive aftermarket data standards, ensuring that the data meets these requirements.

With Stibo's STEP platform, automotive companies can seamlessly manage and update their product attribute data and digital assets. They can validate, process, and deliver this data into the information supply chain in near real-time. This ensures accurate and timely availability of make, model, and year information for auto parts across all stakeholders.

As a result, the STEP solution not only mitigates the risks of incorrect parts installation and returns, but also boosts efficiency and productivity by ensuring all data is up-to-date, accurate, and compliant with industry standards. Therefore, navigating the complexities of maintaining make, model, and year information becomes much simpler and streamlined with Stibo Systems' STEP MDM solution.

Read more: Use Stibo STEP to accelerate digital transformation in manufacturing


The Need for Standardised Exchange of Product Information

Exchanging product information about car parts in the automotive supply chain is a crucial yet complex process, given the diversity in part types and characteristics.

As industry stakeholders, the consumers and businesses continue to evolve their digital behaviour when it comes to purchasing parts and managing business relationships. The implication is that product information needs therefore to seamlessly feed online product pages with product descriptions and images to ensure stakeholders have access to the correct vehicle make, model, and year data.

Therefore, the need for a standardised framework for data exchange is paramount to ensure smooth, efficient, and error-free communication across the entire supply chain. This is where ACES/PIES in the US and TecDoc in Europe come in.

The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) are systems developed by the Auto Care Association in the US. ACES standardises the communication of vehicle applications (which parts fit which vehicles), while PIES standardises the communication of product attributes (sizes, colours, images, descriptions, prices, etc.). These standards are used by manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and software providers to ensure everyone "speaks the same language" when dealing with product data.

Read more: CEOs should consider MDM to help address their top concerns for the next 10 years.

On the other hand, TecDoc is a Europe-based system that offers one of the world's most comprehensive and current automotive aftermarket databases. It provides standardised data for identification and ordering of parts, supporting the seamless exchange of high-quality data within the automotive industry. It simplifies the process of data transfer between manufacturers and traders, enhancing business transactions and customer service.

Stibo Systems' STEP solution recognises the critical role of these standards in facilitating efficient data exchange within the automotive supply chain. As such, STEP fully supports ACES/PIES and TecDoc standards, helping automotive companies across the supply chain leverage these established benchmarks.

STEP creates a central repository where data is consolidated, standardised, and maintained in line with ACES/PIES and TecDoc requirements. This ensures that all the product data, including make, model, and year information for auto parts, adheres to these standards. 

By leveraging these industry standards, STEP enables automotive companies to improve the accuracy and consistency of their product information, reduce errors, streamline business processes, and enhance overall efficiency across the supply chain. 

In this way, Stibo Systems' STEP is playing an integral role in transforming data management in the automotive industry.

Read more: What is the expected financial impact of investing in your Master Data Management (MDM)?

A Single Source of Truth

The STEP MDM solution by Stibo Systems is designed to help manage all product, vehicle, and equipment information all in one place, integrating with and updating internal business systems with the latest product content. 

This approach ensures the delivery of accurate data, reducing inaccuracies that can lead to negative customer experiences and high product return rates. By consistently providing high-quality, complete content to all receivers in the required data formats, manufacturers can improve their brand value and strengthen relationships with their retailers and distributors by building trust.

And with a single view of the customer based on the data, marketing can execute digital activities with targeted, more effective messaging and product offerings.

Cost Reduction through Efficiency

Stibo's MDM solution allows for a more efficient view of procurement information and facilitates a quicker, more informed response to changes in demand and opportunities to make cost savings. 

Centralised data management also decreases costs related to IT and data administration, while leveraging data insights helps collaboration with suppliers, retailers, distributors, and trading partners - enhancing procurement efficiencies, sourcing capabilities, and overall purchasing power.

Key Business Drivers and Benefits

By adhering to industry standards, reducing operational waste and inefficiency, and engaging with customers with accurate, up to date product data, it powers the growing online world and helps provide a better overall experience for customers.

With streamlined workflows and optimised data management, automotive businesses can identify gaps and bring new products to market more quickly.  

STEP helps organisations maintain data quality, adhere to data protection regulations, and avoid potential fines or penalties associated with non-compliance.

Read more: Tips on how to internally sell Master Data Management in your organisation

Key Features

Stibo's MDM STEP solution offers a single, trusted view for the automotive industry for parts and their unique identifiers, enabling efficient data governance, automating data management processes, and reducing manual efforts. It also provides a systematic approach to share that information consistently across all traditional, retail and digital channels.

In conclusion, Stibo's MDM solution presents a comprehensive approach to data management that addresses the complexities and challenges faced by the automotive industry. It leads to improved operational efficiency, reducing costs, and enabling trusted action based on reliable data, providing the agility and single version of the truth needed to act on customer, product and supply chain information.

What is the maturity level of your data management? Do your own Data Maturity Self-Assessmment test.

How Unit of Measure Empowers Businesses Through Expert STEP Implementation

Unit of Measure is a trusted partner in the implementation of Stibo Systems' STEP solution. Our team is composed of seasoned professionals with an in-depth understanding of STEP's features and capabilities and we guide businesses in leveraging this powerful tool to meet their specific needs. 

Our approach includes a comprehensive analysis of your current data management processes, followed by a customised implementation plan designed to optimise and streamline your operations.

Let us know if you are just starting out on your MDM journey and are interested in Unit of Measure performing a remote audit of your status quo. 

We also provide continuous support post-implementation to ensure that your team is proficient in utilising the STEP solution, helping your business make the most out of your investment. By working closely with your team, we facilitate a seamless transition towards a more efficient, standardised, and data-driven operation.

Are you ready to harness the power of Stibo Systems' STEP solution and overcome your data management challenges? Let Unit of Measure be your guide on this journey. Our team is ready to support your business with expert implementation services, continuous guidance, and industry-specific insights.

Transform your data management processes, enhance efficiency, and drive growth in the competitive automotive industry landscape. 

Get in touch with us today and let us demonstrate how STEP can take your business to the next level. Together, we can make your data work harder for you.

As a sector, B2B distributors play an important role in the supply chain, helping to connect many types of manufacturers to their end customers and supporting businesses with supplies for their daily operations.

They most often have a clear profile based on the industries they serve which could be e.g. electrical components, office supplies, building supplies, tools, protective clothing, laboratory equipment, automotive spare parts etc. 

Looking back in time

Historically B2B distributors have always worked with huge amounts of data, selling their wares via printed catalogues as their primary sales channel, before the age of the Internet. 

The many large distributors in different verticals often compete in having the widest and most extensive selection of products and components across as many categories as possible. Historically, this led to the production of product catalogues of sometimes thousands of pages across multiple volumes.

The current situation

In the current marketplace B2B distributors still compete to offer the “widest and deepest assortment in the industry”. 

Initially B2B customers might have been slower than their B2C counterparts to change their buying behaviour and adopt new digital buying habits. But in later years the bar has been raised for the customer experience across many industries and B2B customers can now also enjoy many improved services from the leading players in their industry such as e.g.: 

But it’s not all rosy. Although some B2B Distributors have demonstrated what new services can be offered with modern technology and sophisticated data management, there are still many that are lagging behind.

As per a Forrester Study, it revealed 87% of shoppers had left a B2B website because the product description and information did not match their needs. According to a report from A.T. Kearney, providing more accurate, and complete product information can increase the conversion rate from 17% to 56%.

Although the manner in which a customer interacts with suppliers in the buying process has changed, the pursuit of offering the largest selection and becoming a one-stop-shop within their respective industry continues as a point of differentiation for distributors.

But of course it’s easier said than done to fully embrace all the options available. To truly enter the digital age as a B2B Distributor is a journey that starts with a full commitment from top management. 

The company must establish a strong master data management (MDM) foundation including streamlined processes for acquiring, processing and sharing information about their products and services. Often in strong partnership with their suppliers and with multiple channels for their customers to consume and interact with their product information.

Read more: Tips on how to internally sell Master Data Management in your organisation

Taking on the label of a “one-stop-shop” within the B2B distributor industry requires a huge product assortment, across many different product categories. This means having to carry products from many different suppliers. Often hundreds and even thousands of suppliers that each deliver data to the distributor. 

This is a complex operation because each supplier has their own way of managing data and may only support specific data formats. Plus, receiving new products from suppliers may require onboarding, having to retrieve and upload data, assets, etc into various systems and customer touch points. 

And as far as the downstream processes are concerned, the B2B Distributor must consider on which channels and platforms their customers want to engage. Maybe a webshop is good enough, but depending on the industry, customers might expect to shop inside product configurators, BIM applications, personalised catalogues and so on. 

How does an MDM system help B2B Distributors?

A Master Data Management (MDM) system can help streamline product data management by providing a centralised repository for product data and tools to manage data quality, consistency, and completeness. 

An MDM approach can help ensure that any data provided is accurate, up-to-date and consistently shared across all channels to the benefit of all  stakeholders. Done effectively, it means you do not have to spend time on manual data entry work, freeing up time to focus on the tasks that create more value.

Some of the benefits that B2B Distributors could achieve from an MDM system are: 

Product Information Management

An MDM solution can help manage and centralise product information, ensuring that accurate and consistent product data is available across sales, marketing, and e-commerce channels.

Operational Efficiency

By eliminating data silos and manual data management processes, MDM can improve operational efficiency and reduce the time and effort required for data-related tasks.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

MDM can break down barriers between departments by providing a common data platform, fostering better communication and collaboration across teams.

Data Quality and Consistency

MDM can help improve the quality and consistency of data across systems by identifying and resolving discrepancies, duplications, and inaccuracies in product, customer, and supplier data.

Data Governance and Compliance

MDM enables better data governance by standardising processes, policies, and data ownership, ensuring that data adheres to regulatory and industry-specific requirements.

Supply Chain Visibility

By consolidating data from multiple sources, MDM can provide better visibility into inventory levels, order statuses, and supplier performance, enabling distributors to optimise supply chain operations.

Customer Relationship Management

MDM helps distributors maintain accurate and up-to-date customer information, enhancing customer segmentation, targeting, and engagement strategies.

Vendor Management

MDM can streamline vendor management by providing a single, unified view of supplier information, improving communication and collaboration with suppliers.

Merger and Acquisition Integration

MDM can help streamline the integration of data and systems following a merger or acquisition, reducing the risk of data discrepancies and ensuring a smoother transition.

Analytics and Reporting

With clean, consistent, and reliable data provided by an MDM solution, distributors can enhance their analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling data-driven decision-making and strategic planning.

STEP by Stibo Systems

As an MDM system, Stibo STEP (Stibo Systems Enterprise Platform) is designed to handle large volumes of data and can meet the needs of B2B distributors looking to in the “shortest time” scale up and automate processes to quicken their “speed to market”, if for example they are launching a new product.

Plus as a tool MDM can help streamline supplier or even interdepartmental collaboration and transparency by providing all stakeholders access to the necessary product information.

But integrating suppliers efficiently can only be done if the distributor has a system in place for gathering and storing the information in a standardised way. A system that can be enriched and used to publish to the various sales and marketing channels of the distributors providing consistent and extensive product information across all channels.

By providing a single source of truth for master data, Stibo STEP can help B2B distributors improve data integration and reduce the time and effort required for data maintenance, synchronisation, and governance. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity for a B2B distributor.  Having access to accurate data reduces the likelihood of making bad or risky decisions, reducing operation and supply chain costs. 

With the STEP MDM platform from Stibo Systems, you can manage your product data efficiently and effectively. This software solution can help you create and maintain product information across all channels, improve data quality and accuracy, and automate data entry and updates. 

Read more: What Is Stibo STEP & How Can It Help Your Business?

At Unit of Measure we have the know-how and experience to successfully implement and develop STEP in your organisation. 

Book a free consultation with us and let’s explore how we can help you get your master data in shape and prepared for the changes waiting to happen.

In a world where buying decisions have increasingly shifted online, customers must be able to access all relevant product information on whatever platform or location they decide to hang out on. 

Improving customer insights for an omnichannel experience

To be truly omnichannel in marketing it means as a retailer, your brand presence exists across multiple channels e.g. in your own physical store, brand website, email, on a reseller’s e-commerce website, in a catalogue, on mobile apps, or maybe used in product configurators. 

To be truly omnichannel as a retail business, it means for sales, marketing and customer support that you’ll seek to deliver to your customers a seamless and unified brand experience, regardless of which channel they use.

Omnichannel is defined in Wikipedia as "seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels”.

It’s important to remember that these channels are not siloed; a customer journey can start online and end up offline (in person at the store) or vice versa. Because today’s customers want to be able to shop (especially post-Covid) in the way that is most convenient for them.

A Harvard Business Review found that based on a survey of 46,000 shoppers, omnichannel retailing was having an great impact on their buying patterns, with around 73% of customers showing a preference of shopping through multiple channels. 

In order for retailers to successfully deliver on an omnichannel customer experience, they need to improve how they manage and utilise their product and customer data. 

Read more: How to use Stibo STEP to unlock value in the CPG sector

Making sure stakeholders can consistently see up-to-date information

Whatever the channel, businesses must be able to supply rich, accurate and up-to-date product information in a supported format and delivered through a supported delivery mechanism. With real-time integration synchronising information and assets across the omnichannel experience.

This can only be done if product data is not stuck inside some application like a content management system (CMS) optimised for a specific format and output.

A business needs to make information and data available in a media- and channel-neutral format, managed in a granular data model, where you can pick and choose which precise elements of the data should be shared with each particular channel and how it should be structured. 

Having such a data foundation in place will not only enable to support the many channels customers use, but it also prepares a business to be ready to support the next channels that will no-doubt pop-up in the not too distant future.

Read more: Is Your MDM Strategy Ready for the Metaverse?

Gaining an omnichannel presence

In today's 24/7 digital age, it's essential to make sure that your product data is available across all the channels that your customers are on, in their various stages of the buying lifecycle. 

By making product information available on all channels, retailers can increase customer engagement, reduce shopping cart abandonment rates, and drive sales growth. 

Providing prospective customers with detailed information about their products such as specifications, features, and customer reviews, can help customers make informed purchase decisions.

Here are some tips on how to achieve all this:

Centralise your product data: To make your product data available on all channels, you need to centralise it in a single repository. This repository should contain all the information about your products, including descriptions, marketing texts, images and supporting documents, technical specifications, certifications and so on.

Integrate where necessary: Establish a view of all the detailed components of your product data that you will need across all channels and identify the sources of these. Ideally all the information should be maintained in a single place, but if this is not possible, ensure that integrations are in place to your central data repository, so all relevant information is gathered in one place.

Optimise per channel, but consolidate first: Each channel is unique and the customer’s experience of your product is very specific to where, when and how the customer is meeting your brand. For that reason you may need to consider having different descriptions, USPs, imagery etc. per channel. In preparation, make sure that your data is first consolidated in a way, where you can re-use as much information as possible from a common pool of product information. Maybe you can even optimise some of the content per channel by following some automated rules that extracts from the consolidated data set.

Leverage data analytics: Use data analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences across the different channels your products are distributed on. This data can help you optimise your product data for each channel and identify new opportunities for growth.

Monitor Performance: Build a feedback loop into your processes that monitors the sales performance and customer engagement with your product content and feeds it back to the product information repository. This includes sales data, customer feedback, and product reviews. By tracking and monitoring these numbers, you can identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to your product data strategies.

All these points may sound daunting (and nobody said it was easy), but if you’re halfway there if you choose the right technology for the job and the right team to help and guide you on your way. 

With the STEP MDM platform from Stibo Systems, you can manage your product data efficiently and effectively. This software solution can help you create and maintain product information across all channels, improve data quality and accuracy, and automate data entry and updates. 

What is the maturity level of your data management? Do your own Data Maturity Self-Assessmment test.

Read more: What Is Stibo STEP & How Can It Help Your Business?

At  Unit of Measure  we have the know-how and experience to successfully implement and develop STEP in your organisation. 

Book a free consultation  with us and let’s explore how we can help you get your master data in shape and prepared for the changes waiting to happen.

One of the questions facing manufacturers in 2023 is how will they be able to fuel smart, digital innovation with high-quality data to realise the full potential of the new technologies typically associated with digital transformation that they have heard so much about.

Digital transformation refers to the process of integrating digital technologies into various aspects of a business to improve operations and create new value for customers. 

Such a transformation involves leveraging digital tools, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Augmented Reality (AR), the concept of a Digital Twin, big data analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to automate processes, optimise operations, and enhance customer experience.

For large manufacturers, digital transformation can have a significant impact on various aspects of how their business operates. 

Read more: CEOs should consider MDM to help address their top concerns for the next 10 years.

Here are a few benefits that large manufacturers can achieve from digital transformation:

Improved operational efficiency - by helping manufacturers automate processes and optimise operations, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced costs for the business.

Enhanced customer experience - by improving the customer experience through personalised products, faster delivery times, and better customer service.

Increased innovation for manufacturers that they can use to create new products and services, explore and expand into new markets, and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Improved supply chain management that will help manufacturers optimise their supply chain by improving visibility, reducing lead times, and reducing the risk of disruptions.

But, before many of these new exciting technologies can be implemented and find their way to the production floor and through-out the value chain, the manufacturer needs a solid master data foundation. 

Manufacturers typically use an MDM tool such as Stibo STEP to centralise and manage their information with a single authoritative view in a structured and consistent manner, thus avoiding the costly inefficiencies caused by silos of data. 

What is the maturity level of your data management? Do your own Data Maturity Self-Assessmment test.

STEP can also be leveraged by manufacturers to integrate information with other enterprise systems to unlock the value of their master data, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Content Management Systems (CMS).

As a foundation for digital transformation, having centralised data ensures manufacturers have the latest product information that can be easily distributed across multiple channels and systems to the various audiences and processes. 

With a Stibo STEP MDM platform, manufacturers can capture and track data from its inception in the design or production processes all the way through to the data that is shared with customers and partners.

With customer expectations to be able to tap into information 24/7, manufacturers must be able to present up to date, consistent information for product research, reviews and evaluation. Having information available pre, during and post the purchasing process.

Read more: How to use Stibo STEP to unlock value in the CPG sector.

STEP is used to create and manage product, supplier, location, customer and asset information, establish business rules for data quality, and manage the workflows associated with creating and publishing product information. 

All of this is done with the goal to improve operational efficiency, become faster, reducing the time-to-market, facilitating manufacturers in their efforts to build a digitally enriched assortment in their product range, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction and loyalty through a better experience.

What is Stibo?

Stibo Systems is a Danish company with a strong focus on innovation and continues to invest in R&D to develop new and improved solutions for its MDM customers, leading to better informed purchasing decisions by end-customers.

What is STEP?

STEP (Stibo Systems Enterprise Platform) is a comprehensive software solution for creating, consolidating, managing, and publishing accurate and consistent master data across an enterprise organisation.

With STEP, companies can take their products to market faster; become more customer focused; start earning revenue sooner from new products; streamline their processes; reduce supply chain costs; gain visibility by expanding operational reach, and ultimately, positively impact the bottom-line profitability.

Read more: Extend your business model with Stibo STEP.

What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

STEP and the set of processes and technologies of MDM provides the data quality and transparency necessary to manage critical business data. MDM enables a business to manage and maintain a single source of truth on information about their products, customers, suppliers, and other key entities.

By centralising and standardising their data through an MDM strategy, businesses can ensure that everyone is working with the same information across the organisation.

100% STEP focused

At Unit of Measure we have more than 20 years of experience in implementing STEP for large global enterprises with complex requirements. We are officially a Stibo Systems partner.

The Stibo STEP MDM platform can help manufacturers achieve their performance goals and at Unit of Measure we have the know-how and experience to successfully implement and develop STEP in your organisation. 

We believe that focus is the key to excellence. We don't offer a range of various IT services or even support for other PIM/MDM applications. By having a single focus for the services we offer, we can serve our core customers best.

In other words, we are specialists in the software application STEP from Stibo Systems.

All our services revolve around helping organisations implement, refine and support this leading software solution for Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM).

Based on our many years of STEP implementation experience, we have developed our own unique methodology for delivering successful implementations that meet or exceed project requirements and customer expectations - on time and within budget.

Book a free consultation with us and let’s explore how we can help you get your master data in shape and prepared for the changes that will be impacting manufacturers now in 2023 and beyond.

Read more: Is Your MDM Strategy Ready for the Metaverse?

Responding to changes in customer behaviour

Looking back at 2022 it has been a year of CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies responding to the changes in how their end-consumer demand has evolved post the COVID pandemic

We have all seen the change in consumer buying behaviour, that continues to see more of us shopping online, a trend that is growing rather than slowing down.

And particularly with consumers within the grocery and the home essentials categories, we see a trend for larger “family pack” or multiple items purchased for stocking up, whether from online or physical stores.

CPGs have therefore had to adapt to a new omnichannel business model, where brands now utilise multiple channels, such as physical stores, e-commerce, and social media, to reach out and engage with their target audience.

Along with the proliferation of digital devices facilitating the increase in online shopping, the change in shopping patterns is fueling not just the usual e-commerce retailers but also segments such as the Direct to Consumer (D2C) sector.

Also, with more of a focus now on health and wellness, consumers have been more concerned about maintaining their physical and mental well-being. The CPG brands have responded with new product development, adding new packaging, sizes and healthy options.

Preparing for new product development

So, as consumers change their traditional buying habits CPG companies must be in a position to be able to respond, developing and launching new products that meet the new preferences of their customers.

The ability for companies to quickly adapt to new market conditions must be built into their organisational structure. They must be primed, ready to react before knowing what those changes may be.

A lot of moving parts go into the launch of a new product - even if it’s just a slight variation of an existing product range. The change must cascade through multiple chains in the organisation, the common denominator is the data about the new product.

So the critical question is: How quickly can an organisation:

It’s all about speed and an organisation having the agility to respond to these changes by being prepared in advance.

How a MDM system like Stibo STEP can make a real difference

Having a single source of truth for your product data available at your fingertips coupled with workflows ensures that all necessary steps in the launch of a new product are taken as fast as possible. It also automates everything that can be automated.

Read more about 7 ways To Advance Your Business with Stibo STEP Workflows.

Being tightly integrated with both back-end / upstream systems ensures that data from ERP, production planning, supply chain systems etc. flows directly to the Stibo STEP system as soon as it’s available.

And as soon as the last step in the workflow is completed, the relevant data is shared with partners, retailers, websites etc.

By streamlining the new product onboarding processes with Stibo STEP, you create a launchpad for your new products that will remove many manual tasks and time waste due to communication gaps between departments and ensure that all necessary processes and procedures are followed.

That’s the kind of agility you need to be able to respond quickly to changes.

What is Stibo STEP?

STEP (Stibo Systems Enterprise Platform) is the most comprehensive software solution for creating, consolidating, managing, and publishing accurate and consistent master data across an enterprise organisation.

It helps companies organise and manage their product, customer, and other types of data.

By enabling CPG companies to gain deeper insights into data they can make more informed decisions to optimise their operations, marketing and sales activities.

CPGs are able with STEP to take their products to market faster; be more customer focused; start earning revenue sooner; streamline processes; reduce supply costs; gain visibility into global operations, and increase profitability.

What are the typical CPG challenges?

CPGs have to manage and analyse a huge amount of product, supplier and customer data, which can be scattered across different systems and channels.

If CPGs are going to launch new products or more effectively manage their supply chain, they are at a competitive disadvantage without a single source of truth of information. STEP has the ability to manage all the data through its lifecycle from creation to publication across different formats for a CPG brand.

Plus, there are a plethora of regulations and standards that must be complied with. Especially as CPG brand owners collect more data on their customers, they need to be aware of their obligations under data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By using an omnichannel business model, CPG companies can use data from online and offline sales to gain a better understanding of customer preferences and their likely behaviour.

Using data insights, CPGs can tailor their marketing and product offerings to better meet the needs of their customers. Additionally, an omnichannel approach can help CPG companies to reach a wider audience, as customers can purchase products through more channels.

Best practices with Stibo STEP

To unlock the value in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, we have provided below our best practices of using STEP to address many of the CPG business challenges:

Improving data quality and insights

With STEP, CPG companies can ensure that the product information they use is accurate, comprehensive and kept up-to-date by centralising and standardising the data across all the brand systems and channels.

STEP makes it easy to create, manage, publish and access the product information that is needed on a timely, accurate and consistent basis.

With greater data accuracy, it should lead to improved customer satisfaction, less product returns and increased sales if prospective customers have all the information they need to make a purchase.

Plus strategically, access to better data insights will improve decision-making, lessen the risk of errors and reduce the costs associated with fragmented data management.

Increase business efficiency and speed to market

By automating data-related tasks and processes, STEP can help CPG companies save time and reduce the likelihood of manual data input errors.

Using STEP’s flexible workflow engine, CPGs can automate repetitive tasks, make rule-based decisions and streamline business processes. It uses a centralised database as well as an extensible set of APIs that can be used to create custom interfaces for any legacy or third-party system.

Streamlining product information can also reduce the time and cost associated with launching new products, improving their time-to-market and increase the competitiveness and agility of a CPG brand owner to respond to market changes.

Enhanced customer and supplier data management

STEP can be used to more effectively manage customer and supplier data, helping CPG companies to build stronger relationships and increase efficiency in how they manage their supply chain.

Improved supplier performance can directly lead to cost savings, increased revenue and a better bottom line.

By integrating data from multiple sources, STEP can provide a more comprehensive view of customer behaviour, market trends, and product performance, helping CPGs identify new opportunities and improve their marketing and sales efforts.

Improved data governance

By providing a single source of truth and ensuring data quality, STEP can improve data governance and compliance, avoiding any financial penalties and protecting a CPG brand from any reputational damage.

Better customer experience - no matter the channel

By having accurate and updated product information across all systems and channels, CPG companies can improve the customer experience by providing the right product information to the right customer at the right time.

STEP also integrates with marketing automation tools, POS and e-commerce applications to ensure consistent messaging and product information on any sales channel on or offline.

Consumers are increasingly demanding products that are tailored to their individual preferences, and CPG brand owners need to be able to offer personalisation and customisation options in order to remain competitive.

STEP product content can be seamlessly exported into any format required for online or mobile channels as well as print catalogues or brochures.

Unit of Measure, experts in STEP

Overall STEP can help CPG companies to improve their data quality and governance, increase efficiency and revenue, and gain valuable insights for decision making.

At Unit of Measure we have more than 20 years of experience in implementing STEP for large global enterprises with complex requirements.

Read more about Unit of Measure becoming a Stibo partner.

To unlock the full value of your master data, you must first address the complexities that are inherent in your organisational setup and business model.

Typical drivers of complexity for large global enterprises are e.g.:

Stibo STEP was designed from the ground up to address all these inherent complexities and to allow organisations to gain control of their own data. At Unit of Measure we can help to realise this potential for your organisation.

Book a free consultation call with us today to learn more about how we can help.