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Maryna Postrelko
Written by
Maryna Postrelko
Marketing Manager at Gepard
CONTENTS

The PI Standard: An Essential For Home Appliance Manufacturers

5 min read
November 15, 2021

The PI Standard, developed by Applia, is an effort to provide a systematized product information standard for home appliance manufacturers across Europe. It enables consumers, retailers, and manufacturers to fully benefit from advancements in electronic communication and data processing.

In today’s digital age, such a standard is what moves the manufacturing industry of electronic home appliances forward. Let’s take a look at all of the ins and outs of the PI standard and its importance.

What Is The PI Standard?

PI Standard, a PI-Certified standard that Applia has introduced, is a true game-changer when it comes to digitally communicate brand values. Additionally, the standard serves as an effective tool in supplying trade partners with information that helps manufacturers, merchants, and consumers alike with data processing. Under one common structure, the PI Standard outlines the information for 118 product groups of home appliances.

What Is Applia?

Applia essentially is an organization that serves home appliance manufacturers on the European market. In 2018, Europe had a 31% market share of all electronic home appliance units traded globally, making it the second-largest market after Asia. In the late 1990s, global internet use was growing rapidly and Applia saw a need for manufacturers to communicate their product information in a common language. This is where the initiative to develop a unique standard came from.

What Is Applia?

Today, extensive amounts of data are processed, maintained, and communicated online. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, data creation globally will reach 463 exabytes per day. With this amount of data creation, it’s a necessity to have a common way to organize and make product information available online. The organization has an impressive list of leading brands as its direct members, with the most noteworthy being:

  • DeLonghi is the world’s leading Italian home appliance manufacturer of small household appliances. Mainly the brand is known for its outstanding coffee machines and other kitchen appliances.
  • Dyson, a British brand with a HQ in Singapore, is among the top home appliance brands worldwide. Dyson mostly manufactures vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and electronic hair care products.
  • Electrolux is a well-established Swedish brand, now mostly known for its quality washing machines and refrigerators. The company’s history dates back to 1919 when it released its first vacuum cleaner.
  • Gorenje has been manufacturing products for over 60 years and is the fourth largest European manufacturer of home appliances.
  • Samsung is a multinational brand that originated in South Korea manufactures a wide range of electric products. The company is a major player in the European market and owns 19% of the market share, a majority of which comes from its smartphone sales.
  • LG is another global leader from South Korea that produces a wide range of products and has 12% of the EU market share.
  • Philips, a Dutch brand that has been operating since 1891 is internationally recognized as a global leader in home appliances, healthcare products, and other electronic items.
  • Panasonic, a Japanese multinational conglomerate has been manufacturing home appliances since 1918. The company has been operating on the European market since 1979 and has 10% of the market share.
  • Whirlpool is an American manufacturer that has been in the industry since 1911. In 2020 the company reported that 22% of its sales came from Europe.
  • DAIKIN is a Japanese multinational brand, with both production and sales operations in Europe dating back to the early 1970s.

The Purpose Of The PI Standard

The estimated number of people that buy online is around 2.14 billion and year by year this number is increasing. With 27% of the global population shopping online, reliable product information implementation in digital format is a must that leads to better-informed buyers and in return higher profits for businesses. A common standard for the home appliance industry ensures a consistent approach to product information that leads to better product choices and increases customer satisfaction.

The first version, V12.2 of the Product Information Standard was released in 2000. With the technological progress of the last two decades, the standard has been reviewed and updated several times. The latest products included in PI Certified PI Standard are combi-steam oven, vacuum robots, and other developments in technical engineering.

Who Uses The PI Standard?

The standard, in particular, is meant for home appliances manufacturers making them PI-certified companies. In addition, the standard applies both to retailers and brands. Product Information Standard is mostly used for two product categories. The first one is small household appliances (e.g. a food processor) and the second one is large household appliances (e.g. an oven).

What’s Included In The Product Information Standard

There are four primary components of the standard:

  • Basic Information – gives users the basic facts about the product. Such as brand name, product name, and code, GTIN(Global Trade Item Number), color, dimensions, and weight.
  • Energy Label Information – informs about the product’s energy consumption requirements, water utilization, and noise emission.
  • Features – contains the product qualities and capabilities such as heating and cooling options, wash options, materials that can be used with the product, etc.
  • Marketing and Communication – criteria listed in the product information standard serves as guidelines for product and brand presentation. It features logo placement, product image requirements, image size requirements, etc.

What's Included In The PI Standard?

Challenges And Advantages Of PI Standard

Complying with any standard is challenging and PI Standard is no exception. Some of the difficulties that companies face are:

  • Following multiple existing standards;
  • Numerous intermediaries offer services for an extra budget;
  • Data handling requires frequent updates and ongoing maintenance;
  • Making compatible product information available in different languages;
  • Product information compatibility in different languages.

Aside from these challenges, there are many advantages of the PI Standard for every user:

For Manufacturers:

  • Control over the use of product information;
  • Access to organized information;
  • Reduced transaction costs;
  • Better-informed customers;
  • Direct bi-lateral contract with retailers;
  • Improved brand value support system.

For Retailers

  • Access to consistent, organized, and unbiased product information;
  • Direct communication with the manufacturer.

For Consumers

  • Quick and easy access to product information;
  • Product features, modifications, or updates are easily communicated;
  • A better understanding of the product.

Challenges And Advantages Of PI Standard

How Gepard PIM Can Help Automate Data Export

As mentioned, the PI Standard comes with many advantages and challenges. As a manufacturer or retailer of home appliances, you can enjoy many benefits by integrating your product data into Applia adhering to product information standards.

Gepard’s data syndication system is an easy and cost-efficient solution that offers product data optimization with the help of data mapping tools. Our solution automatically collects your data, analyzes its source, structure, and optimizes it to be compliant with the PI standard.

Additionally, the optimized data can be shared without any manual effort. With Gepard’s tailor-made solution, you can update your products on schedule, speed up time-to-market that leads to a boost in your sales.

We encourage you to view the success stories of companies that faced challenges and, with Gepard’s help, were able to solve product information issues.

Choose What Gives Your Business An Edge

If you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, state-of-the-art data handling instruments can make you stand out from the crowd. Gepard provides the tool your business needs, connect with our expert to find out what our Data Syndication solution can do for you.

How To Adjust Product Information To Multiple Marketplaces

Maryna Postrelko
Written by Maryna Postrelko
Marketing Manager at Gepard
A passionate professional with solid expertise in Content Marketing, External Communications, Email Marketing, and Social Media. Marketing Manager at Gepard, the product information management & syndication platform, helping to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels.

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