Digital Readiness Virtual Summit: Best practices and strategies for your successful digital transformation

Review Digital Readiness Virtual Summit

Premiere for Contentserv: 3 days, 4 languages and over 700 participants at the first online event. The theme of the event was Digital Readiness and in over 20 sessions, lectures and demos every day, strategies were presented on how to accelerate digital transformation in companies.

Manufacturers, brands and retailers as well as communication, marketing or product teams were invited to exhibit and speak. Managing directors and employees at decision-making level took part in order to benefit from a concrete exchange of experience. The virtual event consisted of lectures and presentations on the one hand and offered companies the opportunity to present themselves in a virtual exhibition on the other. This virtual exhibition functions quasi as a digital substitute for traditional exhibition stands: a chat is available for direct exchange and information is presented via videos or documents are made available for download.

After the Summit, all registered persons will receive on-demand access to the sessions for one year. This means that participation can be made up for or content can be consumed again later. In addition, we have summarized what we consider to be the most exciting lectures and would like to share this with you.

Lecture "Creating Superior Brand Experiences Through Centralized Product Data".

Speakers: Michael Matheij, Dorel Juvenile Europe and Koen Van den Bossche, GM Contentserv Western Europe

Dorel Juvenile combines 11 markets in three segments and is therefore active in over 100 countries. The product range includes sporting goods, furniture and furnishings as well as baby and children's equipment. 

The presentation will provide insight into the internal restructuring through the introduction of a new PIM/MAM and how this will enable a better and faster response to the requirements of the dealers. Changes had become necessary because the company had a high manual effort for data management and information was isolated and available in different areas of the company. This meant that a lot of time was lost in searching for or preparing, standardizing and updating the relevant product data in order to obtain valid information for internal and external use. Lost time is the same as lost money: The time-consuming process of searching, checking, updating and passing on product data slows down the time-to-market and thus delays the time from which the product is sold. In order to optimize internal processes and to make a successful entry into e-commerce, the Contentserv PIM was introduced. This step creates a central database in which product data is maintained and made available. Especially the updating of articles with a long product life cycle and the management of the corresponding spare part generations can be simplified and multiple versions can be avoided. This also enables Dorel Juvenile to prepare its own product range centrally in several languages and make it available for the respective markets. The PIM integrates easily into the existing system architecture and offers simplified workflows, such as structured approval processes or semi-automated catalogue creation. Internal coordination is improved by giving different company departments access to the software. The PIM thus functions as a central source through which consistent data is made available within the company and used for external use - for example, to dealers. 

Dorel Juvenile has thus replaced the previously decentralised organisation with a centralised corporate organisation, optimised internal processes and, above all, saved time. The central source of high-quality product information also creates the basis for implementing future innovations (e.g. mobile first, e-commerce) and thus driving innovation. Due to the possible extensions of the Contentserv PIM, the project is not yet completed: The next goals include automated translations to make product data available to retailers even faster.

Lecture "PIM Time-to-Value: Why the time factor is more important than ever!

Speaker: Manuel Dirnhofer, General Manager Sales DACH at Contentserv

E-commerce is an important driver of the digital transformation: in the DACH region alone, turnover in B2C e-commerce will amount to around 86 billion euros in 2020. For the German B2B sector it is about 53 billion euros. E-commerce has again been significantly boosted by the corona crisis - although not to the same extent for all brands. It also became clear where digital readiness is still lacking: negative aspects include online shops that are unable to deliver or the lack of digital offerings from local providers.

Direct sales (D2C) offers an alternative for manufacturers and dealers to reach customers without detours. According to a study by Walker, the customer experience is becoming an increasingly relevant factor and is developing into the most important differentiating factor for brands in the long term. As a result, brands must become active and place customers at the center of their activities. Through this reorientation and on the basis of data gained through D2C activities, customer-specific problems can be solved with targeted offers.

In this context, the (new) use of websites in scalable sales channels is also advisable. This goes hand in hand with changes and increased requirements - the most important prerequisite is high-quality product data. With the changeover, however, the provider opens up an independent and direct sales channel to the customer. 

Another important point is the targeted design of the customer journey. Here, the relevant information must be offered via the right channel and at the right time right from the start. It is therefore important to stay in contact with the customer over the long term and to cultivate the relationship accordingly. It is important to note that the demands of digital consumers are constantly changing. Brands must increasingly position themselves as problem solvers instead of just offering products for sale - for example by offering digital services such as tutorial videos. A comprehensive focus on the customer and the complementary digital services have a positive effect on the time-to-value and companies benefit from long-term successful customer relationships.

These inputs can help in the development of a corporate digital transformation strategy. At the same time, the status of areas such as technical infrastructure or new work in the company should be critically examined. Based on this snapshot, the company's own digital readiness can be promoted in the future. The general rule is: internal processes must be digitized and - if possible - automated in order to enable agile work, shorten the time-to-market and be prepared for the constantly changing market requirements. Particular attention must be paid to high-quality, digitized product data. The overriding goal is to interact with the customer in a timely and direct manner and to respond to the individual needs of consumers as quickly as possible.

Best Practice "Betty Barclay: Digital Brand Experience in Fashion Industry"

Speakers: Jens Wittemaier, IT project manager Betty Barclay Group and Thorge Oehmsen, PIM consultant hmmh AG

Betty Barclay unites different brands and has set itself the goal of better reaching its customers. In this context it is important to establish automated, scalable and flexible systems and processes in the company - as well as to carry out the relaunch of the online shop in parallel.

In the concept phase a PIM/MAM and an ERP with shop backend were compared. Betty Barclay decided to implement the PIM/MAM to meet the requirements of usability, data model, workflow and duration: The central administration and maintenance of the product data is the prerequisite for further optimization and achievement of objectives. A first important step was the introduction of a flexible, expandable, three-level data model: Currently, the general description is recorded on the product level, the variants are recorded on the colour level and the articles or SKUs are managed on the size level. Another requirement was to increase the quality of the product data, also as a basis for marketing texts or SEO for the different brands and different markets. The new processes for quality inspection have a high degree of automation and save time and costs by reducing the time-to-market. Flexibility was a decisive factor in the general project design: The project is divided into workshops and the so-called Water Scrum Case Model is used, a combination of the waterfall method and agile project management. Likewise, the use of configurable connectors allows for needs-oriented expansion, for example by means of an export interface from PIM to shopware and tradebyte. 

By introducing PIM/MAM and the associated professionalization of structures and high automation of processes, the goal can be achieved: A consistent database forms the basis for an improved customer journey. At the same time, the system offers the necessary flexibility, speed and scalability to enable Betty Barclay to adapt to the requirements of the market, to implement its own requirements and to further increase sales.


We congratulate Contentserv on its first online event and are proud to support the Virtual Summit as a Gold Sponsor. The Virtual Summit is a successful way to deal with the "new normality" and to react to the fact that knowledge exchange and networking increasingly take place in a digital context. The premiere had some start-up difficulties in some cases, but overall it was a successful event. Breaking new ground with innovative partners is particularly important to us at Onedot - we are already looking forward to the next online event.

The various presentations and best practice examples make it clear that digital transformation is necessary for the long-term success of companies: Only through digital readiness, can companies react to the constantly changing market conditions and needs on the dealer or customer side. Digital product information plays a key role in the context of digital transformation of companies: Whether it is successful e-commerce, optimized and automated processes or future innovations - the quality and availability of digital product data is the first step. 

If you missed the Onedot presentation and would like to learn more about taking your product data to the next level, we invite you to watch the video.