A sustainable future within reach for everyone

Nouryon, the former chemical branch of AkzoNobel, had just implemented a new Product Information Management (PIM) system. The system aimed to ensure that product information on their own website and all external channels was consistent. By doing so, the organisation could ensure brand experience consistency and improve product discoverability and comparability, which ultimately benefits the customer the most. With 3600 different products across 21 industries, we took on the challenge together with Nouryon.




A recognisable, consistent brand experience and accurate product information that’s easy to find


Content management, PIM integration & data cleansing


Nouryon emerged in October 2018, shortly after separating from AkzoNobel, but represents 150 years of activity in the Netherlands. The organisation is a market leader in providing essential chemical solutions for the production of everyday products like paper, plastics, construction materials, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. 

The project in numbers


optimised product data sheets


records cleaned


branches aligned


consistent brand experience

Product data sheets

Over the years, each of the 21 branches within the company had developed their own way of collecting, recording, and storing product information. To fully leverage the benefits of a PIM system, this needs to be done in a uniform way. By the time we joined the project, this had already been achieved for basic information (product name, description, image). 

However, our help was needed for the next step. In the chemical industry, products are compared based on specifications in product data sheets. These technical documents are essential because customers make purchasing decisions based on the information that the documents provide. 


One fixed format, automatically generated

After collecting all 3,600 product data sheets, the first major challenge was getting all 21 branches aligned and determining one template for each and every sheet. The challenge was not only to come up with a fixed design and format, but also to automatically generate the product data sheets in PDF format in different languages through the PIM system. This way, employees only had to enter the right information in the right fields and the system would take care of the rest. 

Together with Nouryon, we put a lot of effort into this alignment process. We demonstrated how efficient the organisation would be when the PIM system automatically generates product data sheets. Our advice was that choices had to be made to achieve this.

"You can't add everything to a template like this. That’s why we asked three questions for each request: 1) How often does this occur? 2) What does it cost to comply with this request? 3) What is the business impact if we include this information in the product data sheet? In other words: does this information contribute to the sale of the product? Based on those answers, we made certain decisions."

Jeroen Kaak

Jeroen Kaak, Business Engineer at iO

Cleaning up data for consistency

Determining the template is not the end of the process. After linking the raw data to the new template, it’s time for another important step: data cleansing. This involves cleaning up all the information. Is the information complete? Is it correct? Are there any spelling mistakes? This stage is crucial for data consistency

Once we have cleaned up the data, we could prepare it for migration to the system and validate it after loading. This is where the importance of a data model comes into play. After all, a large content migration project like this depends on a good data model.

Products and specifications, information and relations

A data model describes how products and specifications relate to each other. It represents the structure of your product information and all parameters that have been agreed per element, like the colour of a chemical product. A good data model is scalable and robust but flexible in terms of data. It ensures that data has a unique place in the system, the so-called Single-Source-Of-Truth.

The data model is continuously evolving during the project. When new fields are added to the data model, it always affects the template in the PIM system.

"This is one of the coolest projects I have ever done. Aligning and negotiating with all those branches, cleaning up 57,000 records. The energy required, the complexity of the data models you're dealing with, the need to keep a constant overview... I'm very proud of what we have achieved together with Nouryon."

Jeroen Kaak

Jeroen Kaak, Business Engineer at iO

A consistent brand experience & significant cost savings

All 3,600 products, including their specifications, are now stored in the PIM system. The product data sheets are automatically generated in various languages, with the appropriate Nouryon branding and a uniform wording for colours, sizes, and standard terms. This results in a recognisable and consistent brand experience. A strong brand like Nouryon deserves an intense brand experience, and this experience is best achieved when people can easily find the information they need. 

The simplified process, automated PDF generation, and elimination of the need for a translation agency for individual product data sheets have already led to significant cost savings. All employees need to do now is enter the correct data into the PIM system. The system takes care of everything else. 

"Working with iO was the right decision for many reasons. From clear communication and a pragmatic attitude, a can-do mentality, and the important aftercare and support. Always informal but straightforward. A no-nonsense collaboration – just what we wanted."

Jouke Eijssen, Director Digital at Nouryon

Products that are easy to find for (end) users

Today, Nouryon's products can be discovered and compared more easily on the website. After all, the PIM system is also the engine behind the website's search module. This is sometimes forgotten when we dive this deep into the matter, but ultimately that’s what it's all about: helping and serving the end user as well as we can

If new divisions or products are added, the implementation of those products takes place much faster than before. Thanks to built-in reporting, management can see exactly where a new product is in the implementation process and what information is still missing. 

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