by: Robert Neumann, Tech Editor.
When it comes to Product Inventory Management (PIM), the nature of cases most used will be aligned to “few stops” transactions, meaning that most transactions will have only a single hand-off in the value chain. Think about adding a new product, for example. One would go to a product management platform, such as Pimcore, fill out a form, hit the submit button and be basically done. Every so often, there would be a second QA step in place, making sure that the new product to be added complies with all the policies the company has in place.
In that sense, in the world of PIM, Business Process Management (BPM) seemingly doesn’t have much applicability as it strives to optimize and automate more complex, lengthy and end-to-end processes. Or does it?
Just like a universal blood donor, BPM always applies (when it comes to continuous operational improvements)! It provides significant benefits when it comes to the more complex and often not at once visible processes, underneath the PIM surface. Here, one can truly appreciate the power of business process automation. Critical processes that derive from a typical Product Inventory Management are naturally focusing on:
- Supply Chain Management (specifically in the realm of Procurement-to-Pay),
- Multi-level approval processes (for re-stocking, discount or other product lifecycle management requests) and, lastly
- Direct customer request management. This type of request, in particular, can extend from customer requests that are outside of the confines of the e-commerce solution (special orders), all the way to claim and support management.
The latter scenario would be an event-driven condition where an end-user would claim a specific feature or service for an SKU. For example, as a condition for purchase. While the PIM platform would supply all product relevant information to a given e-commerce UI, the claim itself would become an incident in a business process, channeling the case through all the involved decision instances, integrating the ultimate outcome back into the PIM platform. Combining PIM’s micro- and transactional automation with more complex scenarios of BPM and Adaptive Case Management (ACM), improvements in terms of sheer effectiveness (measured in response times) as well UX, make use of a unified but highly integrated UI. Find out how, HERE.