We have implemented a PIM system for music retailer Muztorg

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Client

The Muztorg Group of Companies is the largest retailer and leading distributor of musical instruments and musical equipment in Russia. Online shop muztorg.ru is the most popular in it's segment in RuNet.

Muztorg is an official dealer of 600 global brands, including Yamaha, Fender, Ibanez, Gibson, Marshall, Casio, etc.

The company has been operating in the Russian market for over 20 years and continues to improve services for its customers. For example, thanks to omnichannel, all product information on the site is synchronized with data from retail stores. In total, Muztorg's product range includes over 126,000 products, and their number is constantly growing.

Problem: Poor product data

Until recently, all information about the nomenclature (goods) was stored in an ERP trade management system. Many of the cards were incomplete: there were not enough product characteristics and high-quality photographs. Therefore, it was necessary to check about 120,000 cards that existed at that time and manually correct the errors in them. Or somehow automate the filling out and validation of cards to improve data quality.

In 2022, the client transferred the nomenclature from 1C to a PIM subscription service to solve the problem. However, this solution did not meet all the company's needs. It soon became clear that the company needed its own flexible PIM system.

Previously Muztorg has already worked with KT.team→ to get a business IT transformation plan. So client also decided to develop a new system, customized to the company's requirements, with a trusted contractor.

Objective: improve data quality and facilitate the work of managers

The client came to us with a pre-formulated request: the company needs a product data management system without a subscription fee and with the ability to flexibly manage changes. All information about the nomenclature contained in the old PIM system should be transferred to the new PIM system.

It was important for Muztorg to optimize and automate the process of filling out, approving and publishing product cards. This would improve the quality of data and increase the attractiveness of an online store for customers.

In addition, the client wanted to leave opportunities for future growth in the system: increasing the number of suppliers, expanding the range and adding new functionality.

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Solution: PIM system with the ability to scale and upgrade

The solution is based on the Pimcore PIM system written in PHP. KT.Team experts set it up, developed an information model for displaying the product card in accordance with the customer's requirements, and grouped the attributes in such a way that it was easy and convenient for all company employees from various departments to use them. After that, the KT.Team and Muztorg teams approved the cards and transferred all historical data on the nomenclature to the new system.

The product card management system is one of the four parts of the mechanism in which Muztorg employees keep records of goods, counterparties (suppliers), wholesalers and retail customers. Data exchange between all components of the mechanism takes place via the Datareon bus. Integration with other services is developed by the client's own IT department, so our teams have additionally synchronized to properly integrate the PIM system into the overall circuit. The PIM system is configured to send and receive data in the right format upon request from the bus.

The service scheme of the entire project. KT.Team works only with the PIM system

Nomenclature data is uploaded to PIM from XLS files filled in by managers of various Muztorg divisions. Each file contains a consistent set of 85 attributes, some of which are mandatory.

Product card structure in Pimcore | KT.Team
Product card information model in the PIM system

The system automatically parses XLS into separate fields and validates them: it checks whether all required elements comply with the specified rules. For example, the barcode should contain 13 digits without any extra characters.

After validation, the data is uploaded to the system — a new product card appears. It goes to the content manager, who fills in the remaining fields, adds a description and photos. Then he gives the card to the moderator for approval. If the product card is filled in correctly, the moderator can post it on the site.

The PIM system transfers product cards via a data bus to two company websites: retail and wholesale. The product catalog for both sites is based on data from PIM (specifications) and 1C (prices, availability). The data is updated by trigger — the bus picks up every change.

Result 1: the data in the system has become more complete and better

Automatic validation and manual moderation of data have reduced the number of errors in new product cards. Incorrect data simply does not enter the system: a user cannot create a card if the information in it is not validated. Website users now see more complete information and relevant photos.

The KT.Team took into account that when transferring historical data, incorrect cards will remain in the system. To test them and update them, another mechanism was introduced: the “Journal” tab was added to the cards, which displays the validation result under the new rules, i.e., the PIM system moderator sees which cards require additional filling.

Documentation to cusomized Pimcore | KT.Team
Screen from the instructions for Muztorg employees

Thanks to the simplicity of the data import process, it has become easier for managers to add new products. By autumn 2023, the system had accumulated about 129,000 nomenclature cards, and by the end of the year, the client plans to increase their number to 150,000.

Result 2: new functionality and the ability to improve the system have appeared

By the time the system was tested, it became clear that users were actively offering various improvements. For example, after training employees, there were requests to bulk upload product photos, display preview photos, and the ability to resize images. In the future, the client will be able to add such functionality with the help of their own development team or by contacting a contractor who has expertise in the Pimcore platform — there is no need to connect a vendor, as with some other PIM systems.

One of the features that have already been implemented is managing media content in the card. The manager can mark a photo as active or inactive. This is useful, for example, for limited-time promotional material or for celebrity images. If the permitted use of a photo has expired, you don't need to delete it — it will be hidden on websites automatically.

Result 3: It's easier to make changes to categories and transfer items between them

Information about the product category is also stored in the PIM system. If the category tree has changed in PIM, or if some products have moved from one category to another, the corresponding changes will be reflected in the site's catalog within five minutes. This is important when, for example, an item was first placed in the wrong category and then the bug was fixed.

In addition, each category has additional characteristics in addition to the basic required attributes. This is one set for guitars, another for wind instruments, etc. In PIM, these characteristics are listed in a separate Consumer Properties tab. We have implemented a mechanism that, when defining or changing a category, establishes or changes consumer properties in accordance with the selected category. For example, when you transfer a guitar card from the “six-string” category to the “seven-string” category, the number of strings in the product card will change automatically.

Finally, as the client plans to allow suppliers to download and fill out nomenclature cards themselves, KT.team has implemented the corresponding functionality. To do this, we have built the category tree in such a way that the supplier user has access only to his categories and products, i.e. suppliers do not see in their personal account in the PIM system the products downloaded by Muztorg managers or other suppliers.

Outcome 4: the client can forecast and manage the project budget

Pimcore is a flexible system that is poorly dependent on the vendor and does not require a mandatory subscription. At the same time, the client can independently determine which features need to be implemented in the near future and which ones can be postponed, that is, they can clearly determine the budget, rather than pay both for using the service and for each improvement in it. For example, Muztorg analysts can easily set up the upload of analytical reports from Pimcore without involving either the vendor or their own development team in resolving the issue.

Muztorg was satisfied with the result of KT.team's work, so now our team is launching a second project for the client — a system for managing data on counterparties (suppliers, customers, partners, etc.) based on Pimcore. It will have to solve a similar problem: improve the quality and ensure the completeness of data about all legal entities and individuals with which Muztorg works.

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