Single source of truth

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. — Buddha

This quote from Buddha might apply to many situations in your life, but have you ever considered that it might also play a crucial role in your organization? Have you ever lost customers or been late when distributing products because someone accidentally misplaced some product data?

If your answer to this last question is: “Yes” or “Maybe”, than you might consider using one single source of truth within your company. The definition of this concept goes as follows: “one source [of data] that everyone in a company agrees is the real, trusted number for some operating data.” The main reason why a large amount of companies did not already invest in such single source of truth is because they are afraid to start and go all the way.

At this moment, your data system is probably very complex and often fragmented, which is where Product Information Management systems might come in handy, as they strive to one single source of truth. Within these applications you can find your one piece of data coming from different applications that can be relied on for providing you and your employees with correct product information.

One of the key advantages is that all of your organization’s employees can work in this system and perform necessary updates. Naturally, you need one administrator in control of all changes, who checks whether all of the product information is correct before it is released. Once the data is considered correct, according to the administrator, it will be distributed over different channels where your customers can buy your products.

So one single source of truth will eventually lead to an absence of confusion about who is doing what, and product data that is being saved in one single application. This will finally put a stop to the endless forwarding of spreadsheets by email, which up until now was called digitalization. A new era has come and it does not involve a fragmented organizational landscape, but one clear view on all the information that you want to provide to your customers.

Now when you consider that quote of Buddha again and apply it to your company, do you not think “Maybe what is being said in this article is true?” One place to store your product information is not only able to enhance the workflow within your organization, but has a gigantic impact on your time-to-market. So, why are you not already considering to start with a PIM-system and going all the way to an optimal single source of truth?

Evelyn Van Roey
Business Consultant

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