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For nearly seven decades, Southwire Company, based in Carrollton, Ga., has made wire and cable. Southwire is now one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers with an expanding product catalog that includes utility products, portable and electronic cords, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wires, contractor equipment, and hand tools.
During the second half of 2020, Southwire acquired three commercial construction companies: Madison Electric, Construction Electrical Products, and American Elite Molding (AEM). This move further expanded the business-to-business (B2B) brand’s product offering to more than 100,000 SKUs.
Southwire products are also listed on Southwire.com, as well as on Fastenal, HD Supply, Grainger, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon, Target, and other retail and distributor ecommerce sites.
And managing the product data for a growing and technical set of construction equipment and supplies is a full-time undertaking.
Video Source: Southwire YouTube
Dusty Gilland, commercialized data coordinator at Southwire, is responsible for coordinating and maintaining Southwire's centralized product information management (PIM) platform. His work helps ensure that consumer marketing and ecommerce teams can get the information they need to get it live on a given site.
In July of 2016, Southwire began using Salsify to manage product information for its tools department with its product experience management platform (PXM). By 2019, Southwire set the goal to use Salsify as its singular system of record for commercial product data.
Like many brands, each product Southwire manages has upwards of 300 attributes and unique data fields based on the various product categories that need to be stored and maintained. As Southwire acquired new companies, however, the additional challenge became introducing new data that required clean-up and standardization across the data points.
"We've grown so much, so fast. As we took on completely different product lines, we needed to find a way to scale our data model and account for new attributes and requirements quickly," Gilland said.
Gilland attributes Southwire's ultimate success in part to Salsify's ease of use. Salsify enables the team to have semi-automated data transfers so that they do not need to manually filter, download, and send information to a customer over email.
"Salsify is more agile and adaptable to our needs compared to our previous platform. I've been impressed. There's always a way we can get what we're trying to accomplish with the data in the system," Gilland said.
"In the last six months or so, we have made a drastic amount of progress," Gilland said. "Our marketing team — which is about 20 to 25 people — and the vast majority of our sales groups and sales agents have access to the information they need to provide our channel partners to sell."
Southwire is on track to update and validate the product information for recently acquired products over the next three months.
"From a channel standpoint, with COVID-19 interfering with regular business in brick-and-mortar, Southwire has been able to support our customers as they quickly update their ecommerce systems in order to provide value to their customers in a shifting commerce environment," said Breanna Roller, digital marketing manager at Southwire.
"It's important for Southwire to be agile, and Salsify has provided us that capability," Roller said.
Watch the on-demand webinar, “Moving at the Speed of Commerce: Introduction of Salsify Commerce Experience Management,” to learn more about your own brand’s evolution with CommerceXM.
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