With over 130 product groups, Varo had to manage vast amounts of product data, images, and translations and distribute it across internal and external channels such as company websites, marketplaces, and catalogs. The company relied on its ERP system, WMS system, catalogs, and Excel spreadsheets to store and create product information – which lacked optimal quality and approval checks. Most of the data was stored in catalogs, added to the ERP system, and then enriched in an Excel file.
The effort previously required to maintain Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents has decreased by 70%.
The absence of a centralized repository meant data management was redundant, error-prone, time-consuming, and costly. It also affected translation management, since publishing product data in up to 22 languages was a tedious and extensive process. So, it was impossible to ensure that all data, additional information, and associated digital assets were consistent, transparent, and always up to date – and could be used efficiently for all output channels.
Additionally, teams within the company operated in silos, which meant that requests for product information – often from customers – triggered several rounds of back-and-forth communication, resulting in wasted time and increased frustration. Varo needed to solve the issues around siloed product information storage in different departments, systems, and even local drives. These challenges prompted Varo to seek a product information management system that would automate and standardize processes, enabling them to fully control the quality of product content and make it available to the market without delay.
Varo's primary requirement was to implement a centralized solution to effortlessly access, manage, and enrich product information and digital assets. Preferably, the platform would support multiple languages and Varo's strategy to maintain a consistent brand. Additional requirements included:
- Intuitive workflows to improve collaboration between different departments and locations
- Simple localization of marketing materials in the company's corporate design
- Clear and concise mapping of the structures and relations of complex product groups
- Establish a criteria-based approval process for data output
- Meet the demands of international rules and regulations such as GS1 (DIY, garden, and pet)
- Efficient and flexible data and digital asset enrichment process
- Flexible integration with existing system landscape
- Minimize operational costs by lowering the time spent searching for information and addressing errors
- Increase customer loyalty through uniform product information and high data quality standards
2017 Varo started looking for a new end-to-end solution covering its product and media data management. After narrowing down five PIM solutions as final candidates, Varo chose to implement Contentserv. Initially, the status quo was analyzed, and an overview of the existing system landscape was created. Several challenges, delays, and readjustment of milestones marked the first year of implementation. At this stage, the product information stored in the PIM system could not yet be easily exported, and translations needed to be automated.
Significant progress was made primarily through the intensive collaboration between Varo, Parsionate, and Contentserv. Parsionate set the strategic framework as an end-to-end service provider and promisingly drove the full tech implementation forward. This meant collecting and defining new project requirements. With Parsionate's support, Varo made necessary changes in the live system while the previous version was still being used. Varo developed a reliable data structure after defining best practices to move forward and analyzing the value lists, PIM structure, DAM structure, dashboards, and workflows. A standard DAM structure was implemented, and the PIM and DAM hierarchies were successfully synchronized.
The streamlined PIM system went live in 2021, and since then, Varo has continued to enhance the features of the system. One of the main features is Contentserv's Product Experience Hub. It is used extensively internally and externally to effortlessly manage and implement integrations, simplify dynamic content, easily export data, and sync data in real-time. Another essential part of the implementation encompassed implementing data quality rules. Workflow and rights management were centrally integrated to configure processes and access rights in the system and control all pending actions and tasks, ensuring a significant increase in efficiency.
Results that matter
By using Contentserv, Varo gained access to a single source of truth to meet its content distribution needs. At the same time, Varo maintains data sovereignty over digital assets and product information, ensuring uniform management of corporate product data. With Product Experience Hub's flexible configuration and user-friendly interface, Varo immediately created the necessary endpoints to provide all systems with high-quality data. Overall, the company raised its accuracy and completeness of product information to 85%, compared to 10% before implementing PIM.
The PIM/DAM combination provided Varo with effective product communication, despite complex product groups and hierarchical data, through an intuitive data structure. Varo now easily creates items in Contentserv, documents them fully, and automates and organizes all translation-related tasks. The standardized workflows ensure data quality and a seamless distribution of product information to different channels. Varo has sped up time-to-market and reduced costs by accelerating its product introduction. %. In addition, the sales department has experienced a significant decrease of 70% in the effort previously required to maintain Excel files, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations. These efficiency gains allow sales professionals to devote more time to strategic initiatives, client interactions, and driving revenue growth.
Varo also achieved its goal of providing different departments with quick, secure, and simultaneous access to the central system while ensuring transparent versioning of all documents. Around 25 active users today benefit from a user-friendly interface, smooth workflows, and intuitive features. By automating processes, the amount of manual labor was significantly reduced. Varo is now automating an entire user manual in the PIM system with Word templates in 21 languages to extract information from attributes, images, numbers, etc.
Varo has recently incorporated QR codes into product packaging to respond to evolving consumer demands. This type of 2D barcode allows the company to provide consumers with additional information online. While designing new packaging, Varo decided to leverage the power of advanced product data encoded in 2D barcodes using Contentserv's QR code generator. Now, end consumers can scan a QR code with their smartphone to instantly receive information in various multimedia formats, providing an engaging digital experience. As well as containing the GS1 GTIN, these high-capacity barcodes also include the product batch number, serial number, and more.