In this article, I will tell you how long it takes to implement one of the most popular Product Information Management (PIM) systems.
How long does it take to implement Akeneo?
PIM implementation assumptions
Stages of Akeneo’s PIM implementation
How long do the various stages of Akeneo implementation take?
What will influence Akeneo’s implementation to take longer than 3 months?
Summary – Akeneo implementation time
At the beginning, a simple and concrete answer: it will take about 3 months to implement Akeneo’s PIM.
Please keep reading if you’re interested in expanding on this and learning what assumptions I made in determining this implementation time.
My assumptions are about the Akeneo solution, specifically its free, open-source version – Community Edition.
I assume the implementation with 2 integrations.
As part of the implementation, I only consider basic product types. With this hypothetical implementation, no product sets are created from several different simple products.
Products can include virtual products, such as shopping vouchers and physical products. For example, they could be household appliances, consumer electronics, or clothing.
Akeneo implementation consists of several stages. The goal is to understand how much time each of the different stages of implementation takes.
The first stage of Akeneo implementation is the pre-implementation analysis. First, the company implementing Akeneo needs to understand precisely where product data is stored and how it is managed and expanded.
These elements are crucial to planning the implementation accurately. The data set, system architecture, user stories, and acceptance criteria are created at this stage.
The pre-implementation analysis aims to describe the scope of work to be done as precisely as possible. This allows the e-commerce agency to prepare an accurate estimate of the cost of implementing Akeneo. With an accurately written implementation scope, it will be possible.
Suppose the pre-implementation analysis does not accurately describe the scope of activities. In that case, problems are bound to arise, at least that the final implementation budget will be higher than the estimate.
Without a solid pre-implementation analysis, why would the final budget be higher than the estimate? First, tasks are not accurately described and not broken down into small parts, developers will estimate that the item can be implemented faster. Simply put, the more poorly described the final deliverable is, the more the developer will estimate with “gut feeling” and if that happens he is always too optimistic in his assessments.
The second problem is that if something is not described at the discovery phase, the golden rule is that you, as the client, assume the item will be done, and the agency assumes it will not. In the time&material model, ultimately, you will pay for the element to be done anyway. What’s important, however, is that you must know this before the developers start working and not after the fact.
After installation, Akeneo must be configured as described during the discovery phase, and missing functionality must be added.
The next step is to implement all integrations. Integrations are the most costly part of the project and take the most time, as they often require the cooperation of several different companies.
If, for example, 4 different companies are involved in working on one project, or we need information from 4 different companies, this will always cost money on communication.
The next step is data migration. Once Akeneo is set up and integrated, we fully migrate the most up-to-date data to this system. Since this is a product management system, you wouldn’t guess… the migration is for product descriptions, images, technical parameters, etc.
Next, after completing the previous steps, your team needs to be trained on how to use Akeneo.
The final step is the production launch. That is, simply launch the system so that you can use it in your daily work.
These are the stages of Akeneo implementation that you should be prepared for as a client where Akeneo will be implemented.
Note that you will be heavily involved at the beginning, i.e., the discovery phase, and later in the implementation of integration, data migration, and training.
So be prepared to invest much of your time.
I would like to divide the whole implementation into two big parts.
The first step is the pre-implementation analysis, which usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. This time can be reduced to 2-3 weeks for less complex implementations.
This is followed by the implementation stage, which includes Akeneo configuration, filling in missing functionality, implementation of integration, data migration, training, and production launch. These activities take about 2 months.
This timeline is true for 80% of projects.
There are 3 key reasons for this.
If your offering does not consist of simple products but contains product sets or bundles combining different products, it will always increase Akeneo’s implementation time.
This is because of the more complicated data set and the need to implement more difficult integrations.
The second factor that can increase Akeneo’s implementation time is the higher number of integrations.
For example, you don’t want to connect Akeneo only with an ERP system and an ecommerce system like Magento or Presta, but you also want to connect Akeneo with your suppliers’ databases.
Let’s say you have access to your suppliers’ product data, which can contain hundreds of thousands of products, and you’d like to import this data. In other words, you want to import product information from suppliers, automatically enrich it with your content, and then those products are displayed in your online shop or B2B ecommerce.
If you imagine integrating or connecting up to 5 such suppliers, it will take more time to implement the entire Akeneo.
Another factor that will affect the longer Akeneo implementation is the involvement of more cooperating companies in the whole process.
For example, suppose we have a model where we connect to suppliers. In that case, you have a dedicated company to handle the ERP; it’s your company and an ecommerce agency. Then, in one project, we have 4 different companies. Therefore, you will need more time for communication and alignment between companies.
In that case, PIM implementations may take longer. They won’t be 3 months but may take up to 6-7 months.
You can assume you will implement Akeneo’s open-source PIM in about 3 months. It’s true for 80% of cases.
This refers to a sample implementation. I include 2 integrations in the scope. The first is a ready-made and already-created integration with an ecommerce engine, such as Magento or Presta. The second integration is an automatic integration via CSV files with your ERP system.
I have good information if you are considering a PIM implementation and are wondering how much it costs to implement Akeneo’s PIM. I encourage you to read this article. There, I have provided the exact amount you should assume.