PlumSlice Labs : Powering Next Generation Digital Commerce

CIOReview Team

In an environment where e-commerce is experiencing a double digit growth in all major markets year over year, the convergence of cloud, mobility, and globalization is transforming how businesses partner with their extended ecosystem including suppliers. Rapid and unanticipated changes in the complexity of successful business models of companies engaged in digital commerce have also placed extraordinary demands on resources and software infrastructure which was never designed to meet these challenges. Many retailers today find themselves facing increased competition, smaller overhead structures, and a technology architecture cobbled together out of necessity rather than strategic imperative or planning. The result is an almost unprecedented market opportunity: an awareness at the highest levels of the root cause, an overwhelming need to find a solution, and existing technology providers with solutions designed 10 -15 years ago for brick and mortar ecosystems are ill-equipped to provide those in need, an economically viable solution set.

Established by a team of retail, ecommerce, and technology veterans; PlumSlice Labs, headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States with satellite offices in Miami and Ahmedabad, leverages the latest developments in cloud collaboration, big data and mobile business technology to make collaboration easy at all stages of product management via its suite of web and mobile apps to aid retailers manage and sell products more economically, creatively, and efficiently. 

Suite for Entire Product Management Workflow
Good managers regardless of the organization are increasingly aware of the importance of cross-collaboration as in this fast evolving digital world cross-functional cross-geography teams are a norm warranting the need to communicate more broadly, gain alignment more easily. PlumSlice recognizes the importance of cloud collaboration in the businesses and thus makes workflow & collaboration easy at all stages of product management like product research and conceptualization; development and selection; information and digital asset management. PlumSlice accomplishes a successful collaboration by uniting all the players in product management including internal employees, external partners including vendors, as a single highly productive team. 

Enabling clients to ‘collaborate’, ‘socialize’, ‘maximize’ and ‘streamline’ product management process; the Collaboration Suite of PlumSlice imparts powerful tools for optimizing product information workflows, governance and distribution integrated with digital asset management and team collaboration. The suite provides RESEARCH LAB to the clients to discover trends, track social sentiment, and gain inspiration; and for using these insights to identify the perfect products from vendor offerings, PlumSlice caters SELECT module. Further, for managing the product data and insuring data accuracy for all the SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) of all finalized products, whether developed internally or selected from a vendor; PlumSlice brings PIM module to the table. “Our modules are fully integrated with each other but can be implemented individually or in any combination depending on customer needs.” says Abnesh Raina, CEO and Founder of PlumSlice.

Further, to address the gaps between ERP and Ecommerce platforms created due to hyper growth in the Ecommerce space; PlumSlice caters cloud-based SAAS model that allows stakeholders to collaborate in real time on one platform to eliminate the need for data to be in separate silo systems or on shared spreadsheets. The company utilizes alerts and action reminders to give visibility to cross-team workflows providing transparency to the status of the product in all stages.

Integrating key stakeholders with SELECT
In the business world, fast is usually better, and therefore, most businesses agree that streamlining business functions would have a positive impact on revenue, enable them to quickly get their products to market and provide superior service to customers once they are on board. Furnishing all products in client’s pipeline, at a glance in a single screen, by eliminating redundant spreadsheets is PlumSlice’s SELECT that provides dashboards for an overview of the product pipeline, with status warnings, and quick access to items that require attention. The module’s ability to accelerate and improve decision making with complete, current data along with access to data based on individual roles and responsibilities makes it a preferred module for the stake holders. Moreover, SELECT creates a timeline for each product to move through various phases with completion deadlines at each step; and allows tracking of actual performance versus plan to uncover where the development process lags behind. 

Real-time communication for Retailers
Retailers typically view thousands of potential products to bring into their assortment; but coordinating that decision making process (which involves multiple internal stakeholders) can be inefficient and leave a lot of critical decisions to chance. With the PlumSlice SELECT module, retailers are capable of using any mobile device to capture attributes, notes and digital assets in real time giving internal stake holders from around the globe immediate visibility and input into the decision making process. “SELECT’s user friendly GUI makes it easy to do side-by-side comparisons of products from multiple vendors while viewing compiled ratings and discussions that are occurring about the product.” affirms Abnesh.

Moving ahead, the module allows the external stakeholders such as vendors, manufacturers and distributors to be included in the workflows for Quote and Sample Management for streamlining the communication and thus make process seamless for the Retailer. Additional functionalities like approval process, event notifications, history tracking and vendor compliance reporting also give retailers a competitive edge in their product selection process. Moreover, for Retailers the time to market can directly impact their bottom line, so PlumSlice lets them manage deadlines along each incremental step. 

PlumSlice also realizes that concept for a product can essentially come from anywhere and anytime, and thus accommodates it with mobile app and Inspiration Tiles, both designed to give the Retailer extreme flexibility and visual organization. The mobile apps rendered by PlumSlice allow retailers to quickly capture images, create items and add attributes and notes which seamlessly move into workflows that include storyboards, discussion threads and star ratings systems. “Our clients use Inspiration Tiles to create visual mood boards so they can pair concepts side-by-side as they are making decisions on new products.” claims Abnesh.

PlumSlice’s RESEARCH makes it possible for Retailers to identify and refine their keyword searches by precisely tracking which keywords consumers are using for similar products. The PlumSlice RESEARCH module leverages big data to identify linkages between client’s structured and unstructured data, giving them superior insights into their critical business drivers such as sales, margins, cost, inventory, geography, category and gender to make better product decisions.

Full Control of Simple, Role-Based Access
The PlumSlice PIM+ module enables an organization to holistically bring all product data, images and videos and reviews that are typically scattered in various silo systems and spreadsheets, into one collaborative platform powered by robust workflows and data management tools. By using PIM module, organizations leverage features such as rule based validations, role based access and approvals to improve data integrity, advanced mapping tools to improve efficiency and quality of data. Moreover, with an access to the advanced mapping tools of the module, clients are able to conquer ever-changing data, implement limits and rules based on their mapping for consistently flaw-free and high quality data; like setting parameters to limit what items can go on sale and by how much.

Faster Time to Market with Magento
The PlumSlice PIM extension for Magento e-Commerce platforms enables faster time to market with fewer required resources and integrates Magento with PIM+, a fully-configurable and workflow-based SAAS application to enables systemic management of all product information from one central location. The automation, collaboration and workflow management combine to streamline time-to-market for new products, reduce costly product data errors, truncate re-platforming timelines, and drive an exponential improvement in the ability to deliver a relevant customer experience across multiple channels with limited resources. Talking more about Magento, Abnesh tells that PlumSlice PIM+ is designed for touchscreens, and includes desktop, iPad and mobile applications, allowing Magento customers to access, work and collaborate from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

Expanding Partnerships in the E-Commerce Ecosystem
PlumSlice has received several recognitions including the top 100 emerging, innovative companies led by Indian entrepreneurs in the U.S. in 2014, The Top 20 Emerging Technology Companies; and has also been mentioned in several publications including Customer Magazine, RIS News, Chain storeage, etc. Moving forward, the company successfully launched its Product Collaboration Platform earlier this year and also is presently in final stages of launching its Supplier Collaboration Platform The company currently holds partnerships with several ERP and eCommerce platforms, such as Oracle, Magento, Demandware, Market live, and Shopify to allow nearly seamless integration and implementation; and is further working on expanding its partnerships with additional companies in the digital commerce ecosystem to establish PlumSlice as a leader at the global level.