Many have bad experiences with their ERP. All too often, serious problems occurs when updating ERP or the software with which ERP is integrated. Invoices and products are mixed together, and before you know it, the company is completely paralyzed because all operational functions are out of operation.
It says something about the importance of ERP, but it also shows that there are major challenges with custom developments, quick-fixes and general gaps in the system, which can be difficult to predict when replacing or updating. The result is frustrated users, huge expenses in the form of lost efficiency, lost sales, etc.
If you end up in such a situation several times, it is natural for many to think that they need a different ERP system. And this is where many make a fundamental mistake. Because it is not the ERP system that is bad - at least not as default. The problem is that all too often we ask ERP to do things which it was not design to do. It is set to handle long product descriptions, images, colour samples and so much more.
These require custom developments, and often these are the ones that cause major problems when updating either ERP or the integrated systems.
Imagine the following scenario:
Alright! Now that we are not allowed to custom develop ERP, what are we then allowed to do? It's actually not that difficult; it's all about having the right tool for the job. Just as it is about having the right employees for the various work tasks.
The ERP system is 100-meter champion in handling transaction data (invoices, order numbers, prices, discounts, etc.). But when data has to be moved out into different channels (webshops, apps, catalogues, price lists, image bank, etc.), ERP causes problems.
Now that ERP cannot be used for channel data, but only transaction data, then another system must be found to handle product data for the various channels. Fortunately, there are some very skilled people at Perfion, inRiver and DynamicWeb who have developed their version of a Product Information Management system. And these PIM systems, unlike ERP, are 100-meter champions in handling product data.
The two systems complement each other perfectly. And if you succeed in creating a perfect division of transaction and channel data between ERP and PIM, you also create a strong foundation for both the ERP and PIM systems. By transferring all tasks regarding channel data to PIM, we avoid the above problematic scenario. At the same time, we are closer to the original purpose of the ERP system; handling transaction data. In this setup, the PIM system therefore helps ERP with e.g.:
This post has only been about how a PIM solution contributes to a better ERP system. So to understand how PIM otherwise creates value, you should read these posts: