But First: What is PIM?
A PIM (or Product Information Management) solution sits at the heart of your organization. It is fed data from your ERP, from suppliers, from your content teams and purchasing departments and product designers. It can be a single source of the truth for product data, helping you structure and organize your product catalogue, but also the (creation, updating and management) processes surrounding it. Finally, it helps you export all that product data to different internal and external channels, ranging from marketplaces such as Amazon.com and bol.com, to your print catalogue or e-Commerce store:
PIM: centralizing and managing all product data
Using a PIM, you can easily manage all the different data that makes up a product. From product numbers, purchase prices to marketing content such as descriptions and images (even functioning as a DAM, or Digital Asset Management solution). But it excels in managing complex product data, such as combinations (helping car configurators determine which option sets can be sold with which car model) or broad variations (such as a T-shirt in different colours and sizes, who all share the same basic product data).
A PIM solution also helps you communicate this data efficiently and unambiguously, both internally and externally. It is the single source of the truth for all product data in your organization.
More information on PIM? Read our article "What is PIM?" here.
A dedicated PIM can be a solution to many issues you are currently facing or solving manually with tools that were not designed for the task. We've listed a few problems that a PIM can help solve below:
Follow International Standards
One of the powerful tools within a PIM system is the ability to assign classifications to specific products or product groups. This creates a 'rich' product, of which the content is easily shared across multiple products or categories. This not only helps you easily enrich whole categories with specific shared characteristics, but also help you classify your product database following international standards such as GS1 or eClass. We see more and more of these international standards cropping up, in various industries.
Import product content
Using a PIM you can easily import content from suppliers, central content repositories and other sources. The content classification structure makes it possible to easily receive product data from central content repositories especially since they all use the international standards mentioned above. Ultimately, the goal is to show the end customer as much information about the product as possible, which in turn will significantly improve conversion.
Want to start selling across the border? The deployment of e-commerce blurs country boundaries. Many companies are increasingly active on the international market. With a PIM system, the localization of products can be easily tracked in a workflow. This way you can easily manage and implement translations and other regional adaptations such as specific legal requirements.
Linking multimedia objects
Do you want to show video's, images or 3D models with each product? A PIM system is not complete without a Digital Asset Management (DAM) section. This is also supported by workflow within the PIM system. The DAM system manages the multimedia objects such as images in various formats, documents and videos which are associated with catalogs and products. The additional functionality from the DAM system (searching, formatting and automatically converting, cross-referencing, exporting, etc.) is part of a mature PIM system.
Want to learn more about the relationship between PIM and DAM? See our deepdive article on PIM vs DAM!
Facilitating a seamless Omni Channel experience
The PIM has gained an important place in today’s omni-channel environment. It is the single point of truth concerning the product. In many cases, it even takes over the ‘primacy’ from the ERP. In a future article I will explain how a PIM can be positioned within the e-commerce eco-system.
If you have any questions regarding Product Information Management, from PIM Selection to Implementation or how a PIM would fit in your IT landscape? Feel free to browse our data base of articles on everything PIM related. If you want to know which PIM would be the best fit for you (and get a free 1-hour consultation with a PIM Selection consultant with relevant industry expertise): do our Quickscan. In just 30 minutes you will be able to create a profile that we can match to the right PIM system.
Any PIM question that was not covered by our articles or do you have a specific question? You can always reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org!