There are different options for handling product information. The factors that will guide your choice for a Product Information Management (PIM) solution should include the following essential valuables.
Essential factors for choosing a PIM solution
🚩 Your number of products
🚩 The pace of product renewal
🚩 The complexity of products handled
🚩 The size of your organization
🚩 The industry where you operate
🚩 Your position in the supply chain
Handling product information in Excel spreadsheets has been a popular option in many organizations and indeed a spreadsheet can be a tempting solution when trying to meet the many varying requirements in a quick manner when it comes to handling product information. Spreadsheets are marvelous, because you can do almost anything you want with them.
However, spreadsheets are also horrendous, because you can do almost anything you want with them. Spreadsheets are based on individual understanding, are very work demanding and error prone. So, unless you have very few products to manage and only occasional needs for updates, this approach has reached its “best before” date.
A separate PIM platform
In larger organizations with a wide spread IT landscape where product data already are handled in many applications the only option may be introducing a Product Information Management (PIM) platform
separate to all other existing applications.
When doing that you have to be very careful about not just implementing another information silo besides the ones that already exists. Also, you must orchestrate the integration technology in a way that integration time and costs will not overshadow the benefits of a centralized PIM solution.
An integrated PIM platform
Implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) solution in close integration with the core back-end applications that handles product data and other data and the front-end customer facing applications will be a more cost-effective way for many organizations.
The disciplines that needs close collaboration and integration with the product information discipline includes:
The ecommerce front-end will most often be the main receiver of product information. By handling the ecommerce solution
on the same platform as the PIM solution you will work directly on the same data foundation making both testing of data content and bringing data content in production a seamless job.
✔️ Content management: Product content
is a part of your wider content being published online (and offline) to your customers and business partners. Handling all this on the same platform will bring consistency to your overall messaging.
Whenever your digital marketing
activities includes product content you will have your 360-degree product view available for that without any tedious an error prone work to do.
All basic product data are master data in your ERP environment
. These master data must be maintained in close alignment with the wider product content.
Your CRM system
holds the connection between your prospective and existing customers and your product range. Keeping those master data types close is essential to your competitive strength.
By integrating the technology support for these disciplines, you will need less time and resources to do the initial implementation and gain much less friction in running and enhancing the solution. In that way, you can direct your resources to the main task of improving the content of the data itself.
Reduce complexity - save resources 💲
Example of PIM related system landscape with 3 separate applications:
Example of simplified PIM related landscape with only 2 core platforms:
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