What is PIM?
PIM is the abbreviation for Product Information Management. The purpose of a PIM system is to ensure the company's ability to manage large quantities of complex product information and data. Additionally, a PIM system can distribute these informations efficiently to all relevant sales channels. Product Information Management (PIM), is about taking complete control over all your product data, including the processes in relation to handling product data.
Examples of product data that can be managed by a PIM system:
- Product specifications
- Images and videos
- Sales- and Marketingtexts (multiple languages)
- Product relations (e.g.: accessories, spareparts, replacements, "this also fits", etc.)
- SEO data
- Channel specific data (special data to be used in a certain channel e.g. e-commerce, catalogues, APPs, etc.)
- Market data (Market specific data, either by law or country)
Examples of product processes which can be managed by a PIM system:
- The process for creating new products
- The process for enriching new products with data
- Controlling the translation processes
- Auto generation of SEO-data
- The process for handling images (from ordering to publication)
- Approval of product data (in an omni-channel-setup)
- The publication of PIM-data in channels (E.g.: web, e-commerce, catalogues, apps, etc.)
- Management of processes related to campaigns: banner ads, commercials, instore, etc.
Manage all product processes with PIM
A PIM system optimizes all processes related to product enrichment, efficiently and centrally. Larger and more complex companies benefit more from PIM than smaller companies. This effect can always be measured on these parameters:
Management of all product processes from "cradle" to "grave"
Management of which data is missing on their respective products
Fast access to user data "Which products needs to be completed?
Time-to-market is greatly reduced, as managing the product data in relation to onboarding, handling, maintenance and distribution is optimized with a PIM system.
Increased conversion rate due to higher data quality (errors in product data grow trust issues to both product and company)
Omni-channel overview (which products/data is used in different channels)
PIM greatly reduce expenses when launching new products, as all demands for data is visibly represented in the system. Both need to have and nice to have.
Product Information Management reduces expenses related to copywriters and translators.
Centralize product data with PIM
With a Product Information Management solution, companies can collect product data to be managed centrally. The central PIM management provides highly rewarding benefits such as:
- Great overview of all data (The PIM system provides an amazingly structured view of all your product data, due to all data being shown across variations (numbers, texts, images, files, etc.)
- Easy access to all products data, for both internal and external users.
- Central overview over data quality (missing data quality can be visually flagged by "traffic lights" within the PIM system)
- Manage corrections through user access and history.
- Overview over products across sales channels (e.g.: E-commerce, catalogues, campaigns, apps, etc.)
Gain Perfect overview across languages with a PIM system
With a PIM-system you are able to get a hold of all the company's language differentiated product- and market data. PIM optimizes your language processes by:
- Generating overview over, which products/data that needs translations
- Supports automated translation through e.g. AI or translation services.
- Auto generate a data feed with "source" and "target" language (translation from "source" to "target")
- Reuse translations across all channels
- Greatly reducing the expense/time consumed on translations
- Translate and standardize multiple definitions once and for all
- Perfect for auto generating language differentiated texts and descriptions: SEO-texts, product lists, product hierarchies, etc.
Beat the competition and support your omni-channel-strategy with PIM
Product Information Management realizes any omni-channel-strategy, by sending targeted channel data to the many channels/touch points of the company. Here's how a PIM system supports your business:
- Overview across channels
- Overview over products in and across channels
- Centralizing channel data
- Distributing targeted channel data
- Dynamic maintenance of channel data
- Overview over channel data processes
- Central management and administration of channel data (Through user access in PIM you ensure that the right employee maintains the right aspects of the data)
Standard PIM results in standard ERP
The data foundation in a company is ERP and PIM. Within the ERP-system all transactional data is centralized. Transactional data is the data you use to complete all internal processes (from offer to delivery). Within PIM, all product data is centralized. Product data is the data needed for selling the product (Technical specifications, descriptions, images, videos, drawings, etc.). PIM "cleanses" ERP for expensive special adaptions. Bringing the ERP platform closer to standard.
PicoPublish have helped companies optimize their ERP through more than 60 PIM implementaions across Europe. This have given us extensive knowledge and a belief that standard ERP and standard PIM is by far the best data foundation. An experience that also gives the following advantages:
- Great reduction in expenses when upgrading ERP
- Minimum expenses when migrating from old ERP system to new
- Great reduction in expenses related to product maintenance
- More dynamic setup, and better time-to-market, when new demands for data emerges
- Fewer integrations between ERP and other systems (CMS, CRM etc)
- Perfect platform when merging with or acquiring a new company where ERP systems and products need to be combined
PIM fuels your growth strategy
The implementation of a PIM solution realizes your growth strategy. PIM liberates, through optimization and structuring product data. The result is more ressources available in the organization, which provides room for executing the growth strategy. Product Information Management contributes especially in these areas:
- Support for new markets and languages, with one click, it is possible to generate data for new markets and languages.
- New products can quickly be tested in a new market (e.g. with a targeted datafeed to: Facebook, Amazon, etc.)
- By sending targeted data to a new dealer or distributor of your products.
- By providing overview and supporting the unique requirements for data across market places
- By speeding up the release of new products through efficient management of product data
- By securing a better customer experience through targeted market data.
- By supporting marketing with targeted data feeds
Contact me, for more information about PIM systems
Lets chat about PIM with no strings attached, and find out what PIM can do for your business.
CEO & Owner - PICOPUBLISH
More about PIM for the diligent reader
If you have invested in a good PIM system, or as some people mistakenly write 'PIMS', then you also know that the result is a "single source of truth". It simply means that you have a central location of your product information, the truth part refers to the fact that you can trust that your data is valid. In the PIM system, all product information must be enriched, collected and distributed. This is done quickly and efficiently, and to all channels. This applies to the digital channels, such as webshop, website, market channels, it can be Amazon. With a PIM system, you can also distribute your product information for use in catalogs, data sheets, price lists, etc.
Often when the level, quantity and complexity of the company's product information increases, the need for a PIM system will also increase. Until now, the way to handle product data has been through the company's ERP system. Often with the result that it becomes slow, rigid and expensive to maintain. At the same time, data is almost hidden in the ERP system, various Excel sheets and databases, this makes it difficult to access the right information ... if they are correct. The result is a sluggish marketing and sales body that can not keep up. You are reacting now, rather than acting.
Product information, and thus PIM, is the focal point of a purchasing decision
Product information, and thus PIM, is the focal point of a purchasing decision
Product information has always been important for a purchasing decision, but the way we acquire it has changed drastically in recent years. In the old days, the seller was asked for product information, now researching consumers and retailers via search engines, websites, catalogs, etc.
It is therefore important to provide as much relevant product information as possible. It makes the buyer more willing to make a purchase decision that falls in your favor.
With a PIM system, it is easy to deliver and maintain all types of product information that today's consumer and retailer demands.
With a PIM solution, sales and marketing achieves a competitive advantage
A PIM system strengthens the sales organization through access to relevant information. Which is done purposefully, quickly and efficiently.
With all the data placed in a PIM system, it's just a matter of how the seller chooses to display your product data. Salespeople can generate compelling brochures, price lists and free up resources in the marketing department to focus on other value-creating activities.
One of the biggest benefits of a PIM system is that you are absolutely sure that it is the latest version of data you are working with. You therefore avoid various translations, incorrect quotes, out dated specifications and incorrect prices. Everything helps to increase your professional expression.
Create coherent user experiences across your sales channels with a PIM system
Consumers and retailers seek information across multiple channels, and therefore it is important to follow customer behavior.
This behavior places demands on the company's ability to be present across channels with a coherent brand and message. To support this strategy, it is important to have a strong data base. With a PIM system, it achieves precisely these benefits and can present professional product data to the customer.
Reduce time-to-market with Product Information Management
Most markets today are a dynamic and agile environment, development and customers are moving faster. And therefore time-to-market is one of the most important competitive parameters. A PIM system reduces time-to-market by streamlining the product's journey through the value chain, from design to sale. In PIM, employees across the company's organization can work and enrich product data - at the same time.
Meanwhile, marketing can begin catalog production or the like, even if not all product information is available. If there is an update or change of product data in the ERP system, this information is automatically updated in PIM.
Through an overview of which product texts have been translated and their status, a PIM system also facilitates the workflow with translations.
Your translators can provide the translations directly in the PIM system. This also applies to other tasks in connection with. enrichment of product data.
Et PIM system bekæmper manuelt arbejde, hvor det giver mening og øger effektiviteten
Mails, Dropbox, Onedrive og utallige Excelark er ofte involveret i en udviklingsproces. Tvivlen omkring den endelige beslutning forekommer mere end den udebliver. Især hvis nøglepersoner pludselig er forhindret.
Strukturerer man produktdata i sit PIM system undgår man tvivlen, og den endeløse kædereaktion af spørgsmål omkring seneste ændringer. Svaret findes centralt og let tilgængeligt i virksomhedens PIM system. Her kan man uddelegere ansvar, hvor enkelte afdelinger præcist ved, hvilke data de skal håndtere.
Man ender derfor med at flytte fokus fra hvor og hvem, til at fokusere på hvad næste step er. Afdelinger kan nu fokusere på kerneopgaver og maksimal udnyttelse af deres kompetencer.
Maintain an overview with a PIM system
Efficiency is often associated with overview, which can be a ordeal if you are in the middle of a launch.
We all have our peak periods where we lack structure and overview. During these periods, the questions are many, and typically they deal with where is the file, has the design filled in the specifications, etc.
With a PIM system you can get over these inefficient processes. It is possible to create workflows where the division of labor is clearly defined. It minimizes the chances of something being forgotten in the hustle and bustle.
A PIM system is simply a central database with your product data
Most PIM systems most often operate through a Windows client, usually based on data from an SQL server.
With a connection to the database, you can create new products, fields and add as well as edit all the information that must be distributed from the database to all your sales channels.
A PIM System can handle all types of product data, whether it is text, images, video, audio and other document types.
Perhaps the greatest strength of a PIM system is its ability to handle data exchange with other applications. A PIM system must therefore have an open API, it removes the restrictions when processing data, metadata and entering the data in other systems.
You can read more about which systems are most important to get your upcoming PIM system integrated against here.
How to enter data into a PIM system
Should one mention three systems which are absolutely essential when we talk integration of PIM. Then ERP, PLM and liver door portals are clearly the highest priority.
ERP - it is absolutely essential that you ensure a good integration between your ERP and PIM system. PicoPublish is a partner in a number of PIM solutions that have "out-of-the-box" integration with Dynamics AX, NAV and D365.
CMS - There are great benefits to be gained from an integration between PIM and your CMS system. The primary benefits are; faster time-to-market, valid product data and sharp reduction in maintenance of product data on website and webshops. It is easier to language version your websites / shops, you also have the opportunity to make a feed for your translators, so they know exactly what needs to be translated. This contributes to efficient workflows, and fewer cases where languages tease.
Supplier portals - If you have suppliers who enter data, then by integrating into a PIM system, it is possible to get the suppliers to deliver their data completely into your PIM. In addition, PIM of course also supports efficient import as well as processing of supplier data.
How to get data out of a PIM system
ERP - If you have received supplier data into PIM, it must also be possible to read it over in your ERP system.
CMS - Integrate your CMS with a PIM system and experience how you always have fresh and valid product data on your websites - completely without time-consuming manual work. With the PIM system's synchronization module, you will find that data flows much easier to your CMS than from the ERP system.
CRM - You can keep track of, best-selling products, with which customers and when. This knowledge must of course be logged in your CRM system. This allows you to create targeted marketing based on relationships between products sold.
Adobe InDesign - Integration of a PIM system with InDesign is extremely advantageous in the production of brochures, catalogs and other printing. This production is usually significantly optimized. The rationale increases the more complex the catalog structure is, especially if individual price lists, language versions and country-differentiated prices are run.
If you take the kitchen industry, for example, we achieve a minimum of 75% in saved time.
How to get the most value with a PIM system
If one or more of the following scenarios suits you, then you have good opportunities to quickly achieve a positive ROI on the investment in a PIM system.
You have many sales channels. And if e-commerce is just one of them, then you immediately have a stronger business case.
You are present in several markets and work across many languages. Each language layer adds a dimension to your data that makes it difficult to manage marketing cost-effectively. And many work processes take place manually. Here too, a PIM system will greatly help you.
Your growth goals make it necessary to increase your marketing efforts drastically. Often in new markets, multiple websites, directories and the like. This increased activity simply means that there is more that can be optimized, resulting in a high ROI.
You have complex product data. An example could be that a large amount of data and descriptions, perhaps you make use of metadata or complex data relations.
You want more data from suppliers. A PIM system makes it possible to outsource the heavy tasks involved in enriching products with information to your suppliers. With a PIM system, you can standardize how you receive information from your suppliers, and thus save time on converting and standardizing the many different formats.