End-to-end collaboration is essential for successful go-anywhere, sell-everywhere commerce. Agility® PIM’s unique, award-winning Agility Modular Interface (we like to call it AMI) gives every stakeholder an integral role in authoring, enriching and approving data, delivering content to every channel and bringing products to life.
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The integration of vendor and supplier data is key to a coalesced Product Management for Commerce process that can dramatically help reduce time to market, rework, and cost while improving data quality.
Agility is configured to give suppliers the best possible on-boarding experience, with a flexible approach that can be tailored for every company. One option is to give vendors and suppliers secure logins for accessing customized AMI workspaces where they can enter information and upload assets directly. Each supplier can be granted different access rights and privileges, dependent on process stage – for example, read-and-write rights early on; read-only later. Another approach is to use AMI in conjunction with MS Excel and Agility DI, demonstrated in the example below.
Sample Workflow for Vendor Portal
Approved vendors log in and choose relevant product categories. An MS Excel workbook can be generated with valid attributes and information on all applicable assets.
Once populated, 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 vendor.
When everything meets acceptance criteria, workflow advances file upload into Agility for further build-out and enrichment, and our Agility Modular Interface (AMI) presents the vendor with a live view of all content and assets and the ability to add comments.
Merchants and Product Managers
The Agility Modular Interface (AMI) is a powerful tool for merchants and product managers in the process of maximizing sales and margins on every product they’re responsible for.
Through a customizable AMI dashboard and/or to-do list, merchants and product managers can view all of their products’ realtime status in the build-out and enrichment process. They can also search across the company’s entire product range to find histories of where and when each one has been promoted. AMI can provide a view of financial or any other relevant data for any set of products, so that end users can easily pull up product performance figures and other analytics for selected channels and defined periods.
Merchants and product managers can link and view associated items, such as cross-sells, up-sells, substitutes and competitors’ products. In authoring and approval stages, they can preview, in context, just how the product or offer will look in each channel – main website, branded website, marketplace, circular, etc. These previews are fully editable to ensure, before committing it to market, that each product promotion has the optimal type and depth of content, and the best look for maximum sales appeal. Once approved, workflow triggers automate the syndication of individual products or whole ranges, right then or on a pre-determined schedule, to individual channels or internal users.
Content Managers & Copywriters
The Agility Modular Interface (AMI) is an extremely productive instrument for optimizing the value of all product information, whether it’s destined for internal users or for the marketplace.
For content managers and copywriters, AMI instills unparalleled functionality and efficiency in the process of integrating basic factual data, with direct benefits to sales and margins in every channel and touchpoint.
With AMI, all end-users can log in to find their own personal dashboards and/or to-do lists, through which they can manage all of the products they’re responsible for, with realtime views of build-out and enrichment status. They can search across the company’s entire range to find promotional and re-use histories and other key product information.
Content managers can run data governance routines on newly imported/added data to quickly highlight possible issues, generate quality reports and resolve data problems automatically and in a fraction of the time it would take manually. This means effort is focused on the product build-out and value-added enrichment much earlier in the process.
Attributes can also be assigned to product categories with automatic inheritance of those definitions. In conjunction with built-in validation rules, this ensures not only a process that is exquisitely simple for the end user but data that is reliably accurate and flawlessly consistent.
Realtime, Real-World Enrichment
AMI offers copywriters rich text editing features and the ability to tag content with styling information that can later be interpreted and applied within the appropriate channel context, i.e., print, web, tablet, etc. Spellchecking and a fraction generator are also included. The text editor allows the user to embed references to other factual information – for instance, to other attributes within Agility or to data held and maintained in external systems – which can be viewed and updated in real time.
Other tools that will quickly become indispensable to your content team include Excel-style editing; side-by-side comparisons of products, attributes and copy; the ability to amend the master version and flag dependent attributes in tributary versions (other sites, channels, languages); lightboxes for viewing and linking images and videos; PDFs on demand; the ability to simply generate indexes and catalogs, and the power to build out unlimited numbers of relationships to dramatically increase cross-sells and up-sells.
AMI gives content managers and copywriters channel-specific previews to see how each promotion will appear on the main website, a branded website, a marketplace, flyer, tablet, etc. These previews are fully editable, giving users the assurance, before committing to market, that optimization will maximize sales appeal everywhere customers view each product.
Agility has been designed not just for powerful performance but for simplicity and ease of use, key considerations when you’re working with translators who may be in-house or in remote locations far away.
AMI can be configured to provide translators with simple workspaces with highly focused functionality and tight access controls. Like all end users, translators will log in to find their own personal dashboards and/or to-do lists, where they can view and manage the products they’re responsible for, with realtime access to build-out and enrichment status. They can search across the company’s entire range to find detailed product histories and see side-by-side presentations of both the base language and the language they’re translating to, with changes to relevant attributes and copy flagged for their attention.
Agility permits a “language tree” to be defined, whereby a logical hierarchy of languages is created. For example, English may be the top or master language, with other languages created as dependents to the master. This tree can be multi-level to accommodate similar languages and ensure that the most relevant is available as a starting point for translation. For example, Canadian French can be created as a child of French. An approval process can then be defined to trigger translations within dependent languages.
Our approach has several advantages:
- Translations are triggered after the master is approved
- Subsequent changes to the master will flag the content for review, or re-translating
- Rich product content is fully managed across all languages
- Common words, colors, etc., can be set up and input as special tags that will auto-translate to ensure consistency
- Later in the cycle, PDFs of promotions can be routed automatically to translators for annotations, final changes and approval
- Agility workflow lets you lock down specified fields, such as prices, specifications, legal content, images and trademarks
- Detailed audit trails ensure accountability and governance of the highest standard
- Files can be automatically exported and reimported by translation agencies to use with Trados and other translation memory systems
In their AMI workspaces translators can preview translations in channel-specific context, prior to publishing, giving them a realistic, real-world environment that is sure to elicit their best work.
On its own, our Agility Modular Interface (AMI) is a powerful tool for optimizing all of your product content across the enterprise. Combined with Agility Syndication, it becomes an irresistible force that lets your ecommerce department deliver, at full speed, flawlessly consistent product catalogs to all of your departments and channels — your main website, micro sites, customer sites, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and everywhere else.
Agility’s data structure is completely flexible. The sky’s the limit for your SEO.
In AMI, your team can view and edit all content required for ecommerce syndication, or add new products. They can break down product data to its granular components. Our unique Publishing Block scripting and automation capabilities let them create intelligent groupings of granular elements and syndicate combined attributes. They’ll be able to define categories based on the unique ways that your customers look for your products online or set up multiple varieties of categories to meet the widest possible range of market requirements. With Agility, organic search results will skyrocket.
Agility works in the real world
In their AMI workspaces, users can preview content in channel-specific context – as it will appear on the main website, branded websites, marketplaces, circulars, tablet, etc. – for authoring and approval based on reality. When information is changed and approved, it’s updated everywhere, automatically. At the precise time you’ve determined, Agility Syndication delivers optimized content to each of your channels, on a batch or incremental basis, flowing swiftly to any ecommerce system, even if it’s homegrown, eliminating the need for custom – and costly – programming. Via an AMI workspace gadget, all of your relevant analytics are presented as graphical visualizations.