February 8, 2023

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Product Information Management: A Beginners Guide to PIM

A Beginners Guide to PIM
A Beginners Guide to PIM-1
A Beginners Guide to PIM

Any organization that deals with products or services needs to manage information related to these. This is where Product Information Management (PIM) comes in.

PIM helps companies manage and share product information across departments and partners, streamline the processes for creating and updating product information, and ultimately increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Therefore, if you are currently working within an organization that requires you to handle inventory or production details regularly, it can be helpful to have some general knowledge about PIM software.

This blog post will introduce this topic so that you can ask informed questions if there are any opportunities for you to use PIM software in the future. You can use this as a PIM implementation guide to help you, along with the many interviews we have already done on the subject.

What is Product Information Management?

Product information management (PIM) is a software solution companies use to store, share, and track product data. Manufacturers and suppliers use PIM systems to have a centralized system for product data, including internal and external product information, such as product specifications and user manuals, and product digital data, such as individual product images and visual specifications.

Product information management software has grown in popularity as businesses have increasingly relied on digital assets to grow their businesses. But managing data across multiple systems and sources has proved challenging because it is often stored in various formats and requires different systems to access it.

what is PIM software used for?

PIM software is designed to manage this data in a centralized location so that employees across departments, such as marketing, sales, inventory, and customer service, can access it. It also enables users to collaborate, share, and track all product-related information, including product details and images, customer orders and specifications, and supplier details.

Both small and medium businesses, along with large enterprises, need a PIM. What product information management solution is right for you? Let’s find out.

Why Use Product Information Management?

Companies that use PIM software can benefit in several ways. First, it helps them keep their product information consistent across all sales channels, including the website, social media, and customer service. This helps to reduce the risk of errors and omissions.

It also helps to speed up updating product details, such as price or nutritional information, as they change. PIM software may also help a company to comply with regulatory requirements. For example, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries often use PIM systems, where it is essential to meet legal standards for product information, such as ingredients and nutritional details.

Product information management software can help companies to organize and maintain product information, ensuring that relevant information is accessible promptly. The PIM system will improve your product data quality.

Benefits of PIM Software

  • Improved brand consistency: PIM software helps companies to ensure that their product information is consistent across all channels. This can improve the customer experience, particularly for customers who buy products from different channels, such as e-commerce and retail stores.
  • Increased efficiency: PIM software can help to increase efficiency in several ways. For example, it can reduce the time required to create and update product data as it centralizes it in one place. This can be particularly helpful during peak periods or when there is a shortage of staff.
  • Streamlined customer service: PIM software can improve how companies handle customer service. For example, it can help to reduce the time spent searching for product information.PIM software can also enable employees to locate product information quickly, which can be particularly helpful during high-volume periods.
  • Improved regulatory compliance: PIM software can help companies meet regulatory requirements, such as GFSI standards in the food and beverage industry and cGMP requirements in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Reduced risk of data loss: PIM software can help companies to minimize the risk of data loss, particularly if data is stored in paper-based systems.

Things to Know Before Implementing PIM Software

  • Choose the right PIM vendor. There are many product information management software vendors, and you should do your research before you start. We have interviews that cover Akeneo and SalesLayer.
  • PIM software can help companies to improve their product information, but only if it is correctly implemented across the organization. For example, if product information is created in one department, but another department uses a different system to enter orders, the data will be disjointed.
  • Companies should select a solution that is best suited to their business needs. This can help to improve the return on investment (ROI).
  • Training and adoption: Before implementing the solution, companies should plan to train employees on how to use the software to create and update product information. This can help ensure that data is entered correctly and stored in the system.
  • Integration with other systems: Before implementing PIM software, companies should review which other systems they currently use and determine how to integrate them with the PIM solution. This can help to streamline processes and reduce the need for manual work.
  • Understanding what data to store: Companies should select the data points that are most relevant to their business. They should determine what data points are not necessary to store, as this can help to reduce the amount of data that needs to be managed.
  • You can also refer to PIM as product data management.
  • Make sure you sales and marketing departments are aware of what you are doing and they are onboard with helping to implement the PIM Software

Free or Paid?

You can choose Opensource PIM, On-Prem Enterprise, or SaaS.  Any free product information management software will be Open-Source and require you to host yourself.

Commercial self-hosted is available, and the most popular now is SaaS (Software as a Service).  The only way to get a free product information management system is to go with Open-Source.  The free version does require hosting. So do your homework!

How to Implement Product Information Management Software

To implement PIM software, begin by gathering all relevant product data from different sources, such as product databases and spreadsheets. You can then use a PIM solution to store, organize, and track the data in one centralized place. This makes it easier to manage product information for multiple channels, such as web stores, marketplaces, and more.

Finding a partner specializing in PIM is our best option for a successful PIM implementation.

You can also use PIM software to track data changes and ensure the most up-to-date product data is available. Additionally, PIM solutions can be used to integrate product data with other systems like order management and customer relationship management, allowing for streamlined processes.

Conclusion

Product information management software helps manufacturers and suppliers to organize and manage product data. It also helps to improve brand consistency, efficiency, and regulatory compliance.

PIM solutions can also help companies to comply with GFSI standards, cGMP requirements, and ISO standards.

Several factors can influence the success of PIM software in an organization, including organizational buy-in, selecting the right solution, training and adoption, and integration with other systems.

Who is Brent Peterson?
Brent is a serial entrepreneur and marketing professional with a passion for running. He co-founded Wagento and has a new adventure called ContentBasis. Brent is the host of the podcast Talk Commerce. He has run 25 marathons and one Ironman race. Brent has been married for 29 years. He was born in Montana, and attended the University of Minnesota and Birmingham University without ever getting his degree.

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