Quite often, the distribution channels are maintained separately for historical reasons. Thus, the same data may be managed separately in different departments, e.g. marketing, sales and merchandise management. As a result, product data are often redundant and possible synergies are not exploited.
Paul, from the advertising department, gets images and texts for the products he wants to advertise from the manufacturers. He painstakingly adapts them, maybe even corrects errors and has the texts translated. Eva, from online marketing, performs the same steps for her online shop - for exactly the same products. A few days later, Karin, from the purchasing department, changes the technical specifications in the ERP system. Eva and Paul will never know. At the same time, Gerd from the logistics department modifies the products' master data, such as weight, size and assets. He needs these data in order to plan storage and shipping of the goods. It's a common enough situation!
It is fairly obvious: Managing data is complex and prone to errors. In other words: It is a time-consuming and expensive task.
Centralizing all product data from heterogeneous systems, thus creating a single, media independent view of product information will significantly improve the efficiency of internal processes: It will avoid unnecessary, duplicate effort in managing data in multiple departments and data will be ready to be distributed to all output channels. Users can easily edit specific product data for different output channels. They will know exactly how particular changes will impact the distribution channels.
A PIM system also facilitates translation and review processes, thus saving valuable time when creating print and online media in multiple languages.
Automated data conversion optimizes the export of data in different formats, e.g. for use in online marketplaces or online retailers.
In a nutshell: PIM effectively reduces effort, production time of advertising media and time to market.