You've just told your team that your company is ready to launch an international expansion strategy next year. Of course, the problem with localization and currencies is relatively small. Your e-commerce manager will probably advise you to simply set up another store. Your product manager is likely to be less enthusiastic about this suggestion. He will wonder, "How on earth are we going to manage two or three times as much product information and coordinate everything with logistics?"
Or perhaps you've already crossed that line - already realized that managing product information manually would be a nightmare - and so set up your own automated system that has really only created chaos ever since?
In either case, it's time to take a closer look at the topic of PIM.
Do you need assistance with the implementation of a PIM system?
Then feel free to contact us today and we will be happy to assist you with advice and support.
What is PIM?
PIM stands for "Product Information Management" or "Produktinformationmanagement" and is the central source of information on all of a company's products. This includes logistical, technical, marketing-related and other product data. Each piece of information can be viewed by all departments and also by external partner companies. The data is also maintained by all departments that rely on this information. This includes product management, production, purchasing, customer support, and marketing and sales.
A PIM system thus manages, configures, organizes, translates and nourishes all product information. In this way, you can provide fast onboarding for new partners and/or employees. On the other hand, if you rather plan to expand with your online store, you can hire an agency to translate your product details by simply connecting them to your PIM system.
As part of a multichannel strategy, the product information management system can play to its strengths and act as a central management platform. Instead of having to maintain your product data for each of your sales channels individually, data management can take place in just one system. This minimizes the workload and reduces the risk of errors.
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Why do you need a PIM system?
PIM tools ensure that the process of product information management is fast, efficient and productive. With such systems, all stakeholders can work together to get products ready for sale on time and on budget. Product information systems are strongly focused on future market developments and therefore play an increasingly important role in companies. We would like to explain why this is so with the following 7 points.
In a PIM system, all your product information is bundled and can be managed by you.
#1 Effective product data maintenance: With the product data in your PIM system, you can obtain complete, up-to-date and structured product information. Via an interface, this is automatically imported into the system, stored there in a media-neutral manner and supplemented with further marketing-relevant information. This makes the maintenance of product data easier, more efficient and faster.
#2 Control processes: Today, processes that enable fast time-to-market are critical for marketing. In a PIM system, you can define and monitor workflows. The time required for searching and comparing data as well as processing and presenting product information is greatly reduced in this way.
#3 Multi- and omnichannel: The number of communication and sales channels is constantly increasing. Online stores, websites, newsletters, apps, catalogs, product data sheets, flyers, but also external marketplaces and shopping platforms as well as classic POS are frequently used as touchpoints. Media-neutral data management in PIM systems allows product information to be published or updated quickly and consistently across channels.
#4 Optimize data quality: Complete, up-to-date, consistent, and error-free product information builds trust and a consistent brand experience. PIM systems significantly reduce duplication and errors in product data, and corrections can also be adapted more quickly.
#5 Internationalization: Language is a decisive factor in the internationalization process. Country-specific communication can determine the success or failure of an online store. With a PIM system, language management is greatly simplified as the translation part is automated and controlled by the workflow. This improves speed and ensures quality.
#6 Target group specificity: Often, each customer segment requires different information. With a PIM system, you can differentiate your communication according to target group and control content, making the customer approach more promising.
#7: Competitiveness: Product information systems create the basis for the further development of your business model. With them, manufacturers and retailers can remain adaptable, ready to innovate and thus competitive.
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How the PIM-System works
In principle, a PIM system works like this:
It gets input from input systems. This can be the ERP system, the suppliers or others.
This feeds the existing data or produces new data,
Which are then in turn transferred to the output systems.
Various connected systems are networked with the PIM system via interfaces. This allows data to be exchanged in both directions, either at fixed, periodic times or in real time. Technical connections take place via traditional data exchange (such as XML). Corresponding fields in and out of the system are mapped with PIM.
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For whom is a product information management system worthwhile?
With PIM, data can be made available for multiple use across different publications, output media, IT systems and languages.
PIM systems are particularly relevant for companies with a broad product range - regardless of company size. This also applies to manufacturers and retailers who work with different sales channels, sell internationally or need to adapt product data frequently.
Within the company, the product management, purchasing, data compliance, marketing, e-commerce and IT departments usually work with it.
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How much does a PIM system cost?
In many cases, a PIM system can be tested free of charge in advance. Apart from that, however, prices vary greatly. They can range from €149 to €10,000 per month. Some providers explicitly state that the costs for their PIM software vary. They depend on factors such as:
Interfaces and channels
Required storage space
The monthly fees vary, as do the minimum contract periods. While some providers do not require a minimum contract period, others require a minimum contract period of up to 3 years. Furthermore, the cost of a solution varies depending on the SKU ("Stock Keeping Units" or also "Lagereinheit") of the company, as different software solutions make more sense for a different number of SKU than others.
In 3 steps: Introduction of a PIM system
Because PIM systems are usually to be integrated with many other systems, their implementation often becomes a more complicated IT task. It may also be advisable to call in a specialist for this. The steps are usually as follows:
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Step 1: Planning
When implementing a PIM system, a specification sheet is always created at the beginning. This defines the requirements and specifications for the scope and content of the PIM system.
Step 2: Implementation
The system can then be further programmed and adapted, integrations with other IT systems are made and configurations are carried out. After that, it is always advisable to test the system first.
Step 3: Commissioning
Finally, the users should receive a briefing and the PIM system can be put into operation. After go-live, both the project team and the software service provider support the application.
We would be happy to take over your PIM implementation. Feel free to contact us today.
The days are long since numbered when Product Information Management was managed only by people. "Think Big" is the motto and online store operators are striving for growth that knows no (country) borders. In order to keep track of the products, they are increasingly turning to programs that automatically manage the product information. However, the introduction of such a PIM system means more than the mere implementation of another software. It should always be a strategic decision, as it involves some effort and expense. The advantages of PIM systems are obvious: you can increase your sales, reduce costs and minimize risks.
Frequently asked questions about PIM systems
Which PIM systems are available?
There are a variety of PIM systems, e.g. Akeneo, Microsoft D365, MoveX, Xentral and Borm. We have already connected a number of PIM systems for our customers, and Akeneo has often been used in this context.
What does the abbreviation PIM stand for?
PIM stands for product information management. PIM systems are used to manage complex product information and help publish this information on various sales channels.
How much does a PIM system cost?
Prices vary widely for PIM systems, as the price depends on several factors. The price range can be from €149 to €10,000 per month.
Who needs a PIM system?
Basically, a PIM system is worthwhile for companies that have a wide range of products and sell through various sales channels, regardless of the size of the company.