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    Reducing Time to Market: How Jordan Manufacturing Addressed Inefficiency and Inconsistency

    Anthony Carretta, digital shelf director at Jordan Manufacturing, shares how Salsify’s enhanced product information management (PIM) capabilities helps this home goods manufacturer get product content into customer hands faster.

    HubSpot Video

    With over 100,000 possible product variations to serve consumers, getting products on the digital shelf might seem like a daunting task for many manufacturers. But this is no longer the case for Jordan Manufacturing, a manufacturer of custom outdoor cushions, pillows, and patio umbrellas.

    In 2019, before the global pandemic hit and forced brick-and-mortar retailers to temporarily shut their doors, Jordan Manufacturing had the foresight to invest in Salsify’s advanced product information management (PIM) solution to help get their massive catalog of products on the digital shelf more efficiently.

    As a result, Jordan Manufacturing saw a significant return on investment (ROI) — reducing time to market from three to six months down to just 24 hours.

    The family-owned company is now creating higher-quality product copy and richer buying experiences that are exceeding the expectations of consumers and retailers alike. And they expect to see substantial growth in their online revenues over the next two years.

    Anthony Carretta, digital shelf director at Jordan Manufacturing, shares how the manufacturer achieved game-changing results — like optimizing copy for 1,400 product items in under 30 days.

    • Location: North America
    • Industry: Furniture and Home Goods
    • Product Specialty: Custom Pillows, Cushions, and Patio Umbrellas
    • Number of SKUs: Over 100,000
    • Number of Employees: Over 200
    • Customer Since: 2019
    • Salsify Solutions: Activation, PIM, Governance, Digital Catalogs

     

    99%

    Faster Time to Market

    27%

    Higher Product Scores

    1,400

    Product Descriptions in
    30 Days

    About Jordan Manufacturing

    Tell us a bit about Jordan Manufacturing and what you do there as the digital shelf director.

    I'm Anthony Carretta. I’m a digital transformation leader, [and] I help manufacturers sell products online — direct-to-consumer (DTC) and through retail partnerships. I serve as the digital shelf director at Jordan Manufacturing, [and] I’m responsible for online merchandising and marketing.

    Jordan Manufacturing has been an industry leader for over 45 years. We’re a family-owned company that manufactures products in the outdoor and indoor spaces — primarily cushions, pillows, and outdoor patio umbrellas.

    [Our] design team works with our customers to offer guidance and create custom-designed products, which differentiates us from [our] competitors. We work with a variety of retailers — both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce — including Walmart, At Home, Kohl’s, and Big Lots, [as well as] pure play etailers, such as Wayfair and Overstock.

    Anthony Carretta
    Digital Transformation Leader, Jordan Manufacturing

    Achieving Business Goals via the Digital Shelf

    What are your company's business goals, and why is winning on the digital shelf an important part of your strategy?

    Like many manufacturers that focus on home products, Jordan Manufacturing’s business experienced a sales lift in 2020 and 2021. As consumers stayed home during the global pandemic and shifted [from shopping in-store to purchasing online], it became critical for manufacturers like us to have a strong digital presence.

    Winning on the digital shelf and drop-shipping have been a part of our company strategy for several years. We understand the impact that digital has had on both online and [in-store] sales, so we began making investments in this channel back in 2019, [which included] ramping up resources and investing in Salsify.

    Jordan Manufacturing expects our online sales to increase over the next two years, with Salsify helping us achieve that growth.

     

    What were some of the challenges that your company faced when trying to win on the digital shelf without a PIM?

    Because Jordan is primarily a cushion and pillow manufacturer, we offer an extensive assortment of fabric and product styles to our customers and consumers. This translates to a product catalog of over 100,000 items. However, since we are a custom manufacturer, the item count could grow to be nearly infinite, as we can introduce several thousand products annually.

    Without a robust product content management solution, this [immense volume] would be overwhelming. Prior to implementing Salsify, our product content process was very manual. We used Excel spreadsheets and shared images using cloud storage options such as Box. We had six to seven customer service team members [manually] preparing content for their customers, mostly on an ad hoc basis.

    [Our inefficient processes often] resulted in inconsistent product copy, which led to low content quality scores with our retail partners — generally ranging from 50 to 70%. Our previous process was time-consuming and made it difficult to catalog and manage images, which delayed our speed to market for new product launches.

    With Salsify, Jordan Manufacturing now has a single source of truth solution for all product content — including digital assets — which has changed our speed to market from several weeks to just days. In some instances, we use direct connections to our retailers, which enable our product content to go live almost instantly after publishing.

    Why was it critical to invest in a PIM when you did, and what was at risk if you didn’t?

    The consumer shopping journey has significantly changed in the last 10 years — and shifted online even more during the pandemic in 2020. [Today’s] consumers are expecting an Amazon[-like] experience, regardless of which website they visit. And our customers are expecting supplier partners to enable that same experience on their websites. This [experience] includes keyword-rich product names and product descriptions, as well as product bullets that focus on a consumer benefit [rather than] a feature. [Our customers] also expect multiple product images, including inspirational lifestyle images, product videos, and other rich content. 

    The implementation of a PIM was critical [in allowing] Jordan Manufacturing to manage and optimize our premium content to meet — and exceed — the expectations of our retail partners and consumers. Without a PIM, any manufacturer would struggle to remain competitive in an environment that is increasingly digital and online.

    Jordan Manufacturing’s PIM initiative was started by our customer service team. An associate recognized the missed opportunity and brought Salsify to the leadership team’s attention.

    The customer service team created a proof of concept with our largest customer. It proved successful and prompted Jordan Manufacturing to scale the platform beyond that single customer and invest in the digital resources and staff to drive the business, including bringing me on board.

    Are you getting the value you expected from Salsify? What measurable benefits have you seen since implementing the solution?

    Salsify is continuously innovating and driving value for Jordan Manufacturing. We accelerated our speed to market for new item setups from months to days.

    To give you an example, when I first joined Jordan Manufacturing, I was tasked with creating copy for 1,400 items. And you would think that 1,400 items would require a lot of product content, but with Salsify, I was able to accomplish this in under 30 days.

    I only had to write content for 80 colors and 20 styles. [This] was surprisingly easy to do because after I created the copy for each parent style and assigned children to it, the attributes that were common across those parent styles were automatically inherited at the child item level.

    We also increased our content quality scores for key retailers from the 70s to between 86 and 95. Our internal goal is 95, and I anticipate we’ll achieve this as we begin to implement rich content and product video initiatives. 

    Overall, I’m very satisfied with Salsify as a company. They listen to their customers, anticipate their needs, and [communicate their product pipeline to their] customers so they always understand what’s on the horizon. I believe the price undoubtedly justifies the value we receive.

    With Salsify, Jordan Manufacturing now has a single source of truth solution for all product content — including digital assets — which has changed our speed to market from several weeks to just days. In some instances, we use direct connections to our retailers, which enable our product content to go live almost instantly after publishing.

    Jordan Manufacturing’s PIM initiative was started by our customer service team. An associate recognized the missed opportunity and brought Salsify to the leadership team’s attention.

    The customer service team created a proof of concept with our largest customer. It proved successful and prompted Jordan Manufacturing to scale the platform beyond that single customer and invest in the digital resources and staff to drive the business, including bringing me on board.

    Overall, I’m very satisfied with Salsify as a company. They listen to their customers, anticipate their needs, and [communicate their product pipeline to their] customers so they always understand what’s on the horizon. I believe the price undoubtedly justifies the value we receive.

    Gaining Efficiency and Reducing Time to Market

    Who uses Salsify at your company, and how exactly has it improved your team's workflows and efficiency?

    The teams that are primarily using Salsify today are our digital shelf team, customer service team, and our graphic designers. Our graphic designers find it very easy to manage our digital assets in a single place, as opposed to sharing them in an email or via the multiple cloud-based storage systems [that they had to use] before.

    [Salsify] has made [our graphic designers’] work simpler and more efficient when they need to change or update an image — [freeing them up] to work on revenue-driving tasks, rather than on tedious administrative tasks. Frankly, the customer service team was tired of manually cutting and pasting customer setup sheets. 

    With Salsify, you only map the customer requirements a single time. Then, every time you want to syndicate or get new content to a customer, you don't have to rebuild anything. Salsify retains the customer’s requirements and the channel mapping, which saves a tremendous amount of time for new item setups with existing customers. 

    Salsify [makes] sure that our content is 100% accurate and complete based on the checks and balances they have within each channel, so I know the content is approved and ready to be shared with our customers.

    As I mentioned earlier, Salsify enables our team to create parent-child relationships for our products to easily share common attributes with color variations. Prior to utilizing Salsify, the team was manually completing customer templates and [copying and pasting] shared attributes, rather than storing them in a central location. This was very time-consuming.

    With Salsify, we can easily manage parent attributes at a style level and make changes to a single item with full confidence that the assigned child part numbers will inherit those attributes. That's how I was able to create product copy for over 1,400 items in 30 days.

    Salsify also helps streamline communication between our product content team and graphic designers. For example, we use workflows to request images rather than using emails. Workflows allow everyone involved in the content process to have visibility [into] all open tasks.

    Salsify will send system-generated email reminders to complete the task, rather than burdening individuals with reminding their teammates manually. This frees everyone up to focus on value-adding tasks. Another great feature of Salsify’s workflow library is that several common workflows are pre-built. This means we didn’t need to create them from scratch.

    Getting Content Into Customer Hands Quicker

    How does Salsify streamline the process of getting your product content out to your customers and consumers?

    [Through Salsify], we have several direct channels with customers that allow us to easily push our content to them and have it appear online instantly. This [process] ensures our most accurate content is always available to the end-consumer.

    For customers without a direct channel to Salsify, the system produces a custom readiness report. We can then download and upload the template to the customer’s portal or share it with the buyer.

    The built-in checks within Salsify assure us that the content is accurate and complete [before we send] it to the customer. We also use sell sheets within Salsify to create custom assortments, which are sent to customers to introduce new items or fabrics and allow the customer to make selections.

    This [process] makes our sales team’s job easier and has resulted in very positive feedback from our customers. They’ve expressed that the sell sheets have all the information they need to make an assortment decision — and are very professional in appearance.

    Why Salsify

    Why did your company select Salsify as your PIM provider, and what’s unique about their solution compared to others on the market?

    When we were [initially looking at PIM solutions, we found options that forced us] to download and upload everything at once to refresh the database.

    Salsify doesn't require that. If you need to change one or two attributes, you just select and upload changes to [only] those specific attributes. Also, the [digital asset manager (DAM)] makes it extremely easy to load, link, and connect our digital assets to our products. It also gives us the flexibility to effortlessly add new attributes to support unique content requirements — and hide those attributes from our customer channels and internal catalogs where they aren’t needed.

    For me personally, the syndication was the main driver because although there are other solutions that offer a database, Salsify had the direct connections with key retailers that we needed.

    Salsify [provides engineers who can] build custom readiness reports, [and they allow] the business to control their own custom readiness reports. The automation when getting the content to our retail partners was critical to me as a manufacturer. 

    Salsify truly delivers. They listen to their customers and have a product innovation pipeline to anticipate future needs in the digital space.

    A Piece of Peer Advice

    What's your advice for companies who aren’t sure whether to invest in a PIM or don't think it's the right time?

    The global pandemic has permanently changed [consumers’ buying behaviors] and accelerated online sales. But consumers still want to shop in stores, so retailers and manufacturers need to offer a unified consumer experience — [one that] is seamless, frictionless, and connected.

    Salsify allows manufacturers to take a consumer-centric approach and reduce discrepancies between product data with a single source of truth. [That’s why] I believe Salsify will allow manufacturers to remain competitive, so you'll want to make it a priority for your company. 

    Even if you aren't moving, I can guarantee that your competitor is. So, if you haven't made a PIM a priority for your company, you should. It isn't too late.

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