While stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may have introduced a much wider slice of the workforce to working from home, the movement to remote work has been accelerating for years with digital nomads and diverse teams taking the lead. In a study conducted by Condeco Software, 41% of global businesses surveyed say they already offer some degree of remote working, and Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report” predicts that 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.
But supporting the exodus from the office can be a challenge. Established workflows can be disrupted, critical systems can be out of reach, and the natural collaboration that happens when teams are physically together doesn’t easily translate to video conference. Nevertheless, the work must go on.
For companies selling products, product information needs to pass through many hands on its journey to fully enriched, approved, and consumer ready. A distributed team could complicate this process, leading to holes in product data that make products less findable and leave consumers guessing when they should be ‘adding to cart.’
Agility PIM is designed to broaden the universe of stakeholders who can participate in product content development, from wherever they are. From suppliers entering basic product data to offsite translators generating language versions to legal or management providing final review and approval, everyone can contribute during the product lifecycle using the configurable web interface, Agility Modular Interface (AMI).
AMI creates a single environment for authoring and enriching information and assets and can be customized to provide precisely the information required by (and authorized for) individual business users, internally and externally. Users have the ability to preview their product information in web, email, iPad, and print promotions, all through one interface.
Alternately, subsets of product data can be exported to spreadsheet for remote update using Agility’s Excel integration program. For example, approved users can choose relevant product categories and generate an Excel workbook with valid attributes and information on all applicable assets. Once enriched, the information and assets are quarantined in a staging state until approved and uploaded into Agility. Then automated validation routines generate error reports that are routed back to the user.
Agility also supports collaboration and productivity with advanced governance capabilities that provide easy-to-use to-do lists and workflow tools. Automation is built into all aspects of Agility Workflow. Product approval can trigger export of associated product information to a website or any other channel. One workflow can be prompted or triggered by another, and all workflows can be defined to limit user access or functionality.
Users are notified the moment they log in to Agility of pending tasks. At any time, product managers can view the current status of any project, even if they’re away from the office, via a dashboard on their iPad or other device. As each task is completed, the user pushes workflow to the next stage, person or group in line, triggering a notification. Agility ensures a steady, predictable flow in the lifecycles of products, assets and all other objects and can even interact with other systems through workflow so your existing processes don’t need to be adjusted to enable remote work.
Even when COVID-19 is a thing of the past, the lessons learned about the successes of remote work will remain and it will continue to be an attractive option for many companies and their workforces. Marketing applications like Agility, that support collaboration across a distributed workforce, will be one of the enabling technologies that make working from home a team activity.
Want to learn how Agility PIM can support your remote workforce? Let’s connect to define what omnichannel excellence means to you and your organization. Request a Demo