Short for Product Information Management, PIM is the process of acquiring, enhancing, and managing all of your company’s product data into a centralized hub. A PIM platform helps companies deliver accurate, consistent, and compelling product information across channels.
There are a lot of reasons companies rely on PIM. Keep reading to get a better idea of what PIM does and the benefits companies experience.
Why do companies need PIM?
Modern customers interact with your products in a variety of ways and through multiple (often disparate) channels. If your company has a wide array of products, managing product data at scale can be overwhelming — especially with manual processes. PIM makes it easier for companies to manage and enrich vast product data sets, including complex relationships and attributes. PIM also helps companies automate their processes to improve data quality, quickly launch products, and speed up syndication to channels.
What type of data does PIM manage?
The beauty of a PIM platform is that it consolidates all of your product information into a single repository. Instead of siloed systems and locations — like ERPs, CRMs, spreadsheets, etc. — PIM provides a consolidated view of up-to-date information that is accessible across your enterprise. This product information typically consists of:
- Technical Data – SKUs, dimensions, weights, quantities, ingredients, etc.
- Relationships – including taxonomy, categories, and hierarchies
- Marketing Data – SEO information, keywords
- Product Descriptions – including variations based on specific channels
- Sales Data – reviews, customer testimonials, pricing information
- Supplier Data – certifications, sourcing information
- Digital Assets – High-definition images, videos, how-to guides, manuals, PDFs, etc. (Managed through Digital Asset Management)
As you can see, product data is increasingly complex, and PIM helps companies manage it effectively for greater business results.
How do PIM and DAM work together?
DAM stands for Digital Asset Management. As a part of many PIM platforms, DAM helps companies create and syndicate compelling digital content to their sales channels. Going beyond basic product descriptions, these digital assets help customers get a better idea of the look, feel, and usage of products. This is a crucial component to engage today’s consumers and would be extremely difficult (and time-consuming) to manage manually.
What are the benefits of PIM?
Typical benefits of PIM include:
- Reduced/eliminated manual processes – by creating business rules and workflows, organizations use PIM to eliminate or reduce time spent on manual data processes.
- Accurate data – by eliminating many manual processes (and working from a single source of truth), you can reduce the risk of errors and inaccuracies.
- Increased customer satisfaction – when customers have better data from which to make buying decisions, it improves the customer experience and increases satisfaction.
- Lower costs – increased customer satisfaction leads to lower return costs. Also, improved product data management creates lower shipping costs, increased operational efficiencies, and improved sales.
- Better data syndication – by creating a ‘golden record’ for products, companies can more easily syndicate accurate, complete, consistent product data to sales channels, along with moving into new channels faster.
- Improved data governance – with PIM, enterprises can more clearly define their data governance practices, empower data stewards, secure data with authorized access protocols, track changes made to records with audit trails, etc.
- Faster time to market – by making data more accessible across the organization, companies eliminate bottlenecks that slow product manufacturing and hinder the supply chain.
How do I choose a PIM platform?
Once a company understands what PIM entails, the next question often is: how do I choose the right platform?
There are many options on the market. You’ll find that most platforms share common capabilities; however, each platform offers nuances that could make a difference for your business.
Here’s the thing to remember: even more important than platform selection are the efforts you take before and after implementation. Your strategy, preparation, and processes play a huge role in the ultimate success of your PIM program.
No matter where you are in your PIM journey, Amplifi is here to help. We guide businesses through establishing achievable PIM goals, selecting the right platform, preparing your team, creating data governance systems and processes, analyzing results, and refining your program over time.
PIM is becoming more of a necessity with the rise of eCommerce, and it can be a game-changer for many product businesses. To learn more about PIM and determine how it could work for your business, contact us.