When PIM becomes a must: The top 5 benefits for your company

In many companies, product data management is still approached in a rather shirt-sleeved manner. Whether Excel spreadsheets or product databases from online stores, the alternatives seem simple, inexpensive, and convenient. That is, until these options reach their limits-and sooner or later, most companies do.

To support the core processes of product content management, you must systematically manage and deliver the product information you need. This is where Product Information Management (PIM) comes in. PIM is a discipline that is increasingly important for companies, as high-quality, real-time product data is required for digital commerce, transparency, and compliance with sustainability standards. In addition, PIM delivers value to users, customers, and partners. In this article, we look at five key benefits that can be realized through PIM systems.

PIM – the foundation for all product marketing

In a PIM system, all information required for product marketing is collected, centrally managed, and made available to downstream systems and data recipients. This includes technical data, product descriptions, product images, and documents such as certificates – tailored to the various output channels as required.

Product information can be created directly in the PIM system or imported from various data sources. An interface to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is often set up for this purpose. However, it can also be a supplier portal where data is entered in the required quality or individual records and documents.

Regardless of how the data is created, the primary goal is to create a centralized, consistent, high-quality database to provide all relevant data recipients with optimal product data. The data may need to be enriched with additional information, translated into all relevant target languages, or mapped to specific classifications to achieve this. Most PIM systems also have validation rules that help maintain the required data quality. The PIM is a central repository for various output channels, such as online stores, mobile applications, and print catalogs. It also exchanges product data with business partners – for example, via global data pools in the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). Since each output channel has its requirements for product information and its quality, the use of validation rules is also very important for the overall efficiency of the communication processes during data maintenance and before the data is played out – which brings us to a key benefit of PIM systems:

“The ultimate goal is to create a centralized, unified, high-quality data base to provide all relevant data recipients with optimal product data.”

1. More efficient processes

A PIM system streamlines processes on two fronts: First, workflows, data quality checks, and automation support product data maintenance within the system itself, saving resources and eliminating errors when creating or transforming data. Secondly, the seamless integration of the PIM solution into the existing system landscape means that cross-system data processes can be optimally monitored, controlled, and automated. By carefully programming the interfaces of the PIM system with those of the neighboring systems, communication and data exchange between the solutions can be optimized, and product data can be directly linked to digital content from digital asset management or automatically transferred to the online store, for example, without the need for manual data exports.

It is important to understand PIM as one of several building blocks in the digital value chain and to set up the system, data model, interfaces, and business rules according to the resulting requirements.

2. Effective data exchange

Data exchange is especially important for industries and retail. Here, too, each trading partner usually has individual requirements for the manufacturer’s product information. Although individual data records are still used as the basis for this data exchange, more effective solutions such as interfaces and supplier portals are being used by many companies to facilitate communication between business partners.

3. Greater transparency

The ability to report transparently on supply chains is becoming increasingly important as sustainability laws and regulations become stricter. Supply Chain Act, EU Green Deal, Digital Product Passport (DPP) – More and more regulations, drafts, and concepts have come into effect or have been announced recently. They all have the same goal: every company must be able to provide information relevant to sustainability.

This now includes information on water consumption, carbon footprint, working conditions along the production chain, and diversity in the workplace. Legislators are not the only ones who are increasing the pressure on companies to provide relevant KPIs—a sustainable brand profile is also increasingly becoming a decisive purchasing criterion for customers.

4. Improve data quality

To ensure that all this information is available in the right quality and that companies meet both compliance rules and the requirements of partners and customers, PIM systems use validation rules to help enforce data governance in processes.

Data governance encompasses all policies for handling corporate data, providing a framework that helps users create, transform, enrich, and use data in a quality-compliant manner. This increases confidence in the company’s data and improves efficiency by ensuring that data is stored and processed in a high-quality manner from the outset and does not need to be painstakingly updated later.

5. Increase conversion

A PIM system is essential for brands and manufacturers wanting to increase online sales. Digital commerce has evolved significantly over the past few years and now includes many other channels, such as social media and online marketplaces, in addition to the simple online store. Maintaining control over product communication in such a diverse and dynamic channel landscape is a major challenge that can only be met with a PIM system as a foundation.

It is important to offer a compelling product presentation at every point of contact with potential customers. Attractive product detail pages in the store with numerous images and product videos for visual support, product descriptions, and user-generated content such as reviews or Instagram posts have been proven to increase the conversion rate. PIM also enables various search and filter options to make products easier to find online. SEO descriptions also support product discoverability.

“It is important to offer a convincing product presentation at every point of contact with potential customers.”

Optimized processes along the digital value chain can also significantly reduce time-to-market, which can be a major advantage in the case of seasonal campaigns, high competitive pressure, or fast-moving product lifecycles.

As central as the role of PIM is in the enterprise, the benefits of such a system are numerous. With the rise of digital commerce and the pressure on companies to make their product information transparent and effectively available, PIM has become essential for most companies. Properly set up and integrated, PIM can become an important competitive factor while freeing internal resources.



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