The Onboarding Portal is a new module targeted at suppliers and vendors to simplify and enhance their experience in onboarding product content into the Contentserv PIM.
The Need for the Onboarding Portal
Contentserv’s Data Flow module does a fantastic job at importing data into the PIM using a completely GUI-driven process. At the same time, it also allows users to use ETL transformations (again configured in the UI itself) to transform data during import. Once imported, these users are also allowed - via a dedicated Supplier Portal - to identify and correct data quality errors immediately.
However, a growing need for data providers is to perform all the same activities before importing data into the PIM, not during or after the import process is complete.
The complexity of the user interface must be as low as possible to enable non-trained business users to upload and post-edit their data.
It should be possible to work through a user interface in the web browser but also to simply down and upload Microsoft Excel templates if preferred.
Therefore, the Onboarding Portal was created to address that specific gap in the import process, while also simplifying and enhancing the onboarding experience itself in the process.
Say hello to Catalogs
Most suppliers and business processes think in simple Microsoft Excel categories when it comes to handing over data. They want to keep away from PIM classes, attributes and tree structures and if you would give them access to the PIM studio you would spend more time in explaining, restricting and configuring your PIM and data models than it would take to import their data just yourself.
That’s why we have invented the “Catalog” as simple, tabular, Microsoft Excel type of data container:
Catalogs can be uploaded and downloaded as Excel files
Catalogs can be edited online in a new, powerful and elegant data grid
Catalogs think in rows and columns with a headline
Catalogs can hold supplier columns as well as PIM template columns
The Catalog Data Grid
The most important component of the supplier onboarding is the new data grid introduced with the Onboarding Portal:
While the supplier columns are free and can be filled as the supplier uploads them, the PIM template columns come with data quality restrictions like
minium character count
number formatting restrictions
dropdowns matching PIM value ranges
images with minimum size or data types
Powerful Mass Editing
When merging the supplier columns to the required template columns data can be transferred with intuitive context menus:
Search and Replace
Fill Column with other Columns
Use AI with Swarm Intelligence
When merging data into columns with closed value ranges the source and target values can be mapped to each other.
When the supplier delivers for example colors in the color system of the supplier each color needs to be mapped to one of the colors of the PIM:
Here the new mapping dialog becomes very helpful, which maps the distinct supplier values to the available PIM values:
The values are proposed using modern and strong AI services with the help of the new Contentserv artificial recommendation assistant Cara.
Cara learns automatically as more and more suppliers are matching their values and propose new input.
You can imagine all suppliers and onboarders of all Contentserv customers as a huge swarm. Each member of the swarm itself does not know most of the answers, but when the intelligence of the complete swarm is aggregated then the answers become really quite intelligent.
This is very much like your Google Maps assistant telling you to leave the highway because hundreds of others ahead are waiting in a traffic jam.
And of course, this works only when they tell you and you tell them. Try it out!
Data Quality is king
Finally when the supplier data is all in shape a data quality report ensures that the data provided complies with all template fields and restrictions:
When all checks are green and no more errors in the data the supplier can mark the catalog as “Ready for Import”, which tells the PIM Onboarding Portal that he can take over:
Catalogs feed Data Flows
The Onboarding Portal has access to all catalogs and can take over the rows from here using the classical Data Flow Import:
Template fields are auto mapped of course as much as possible, while still giving all the power of the data flow to the onboarder to fine-tune which data and how to import into the PIM.
See the Live Videos
For detailed insights recorded as a desk share video please click the following link: