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Author Vadim
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PIM – the right way to manage product information

Thousands of product names, hundreds of attributes, many characteristics of products in various formats: photos, videos, HTML description. How to update this information promptly and on time?

Different units of the company require product data which is involved in many business processes, both accounting and inventory and the compilation of advertising directories i.e.

As a result, in most organizations, product information is dispersed across different information systems. This leads to duplication and reduction of workflow efficiency, creates additional costs, increases the time of the marketing cycle and leads to uncertainty in the accuracy of product information.

Product information management (PIM) is an automated product information management system. This is the process of collecting and processing information necessary for the manufacture of products. 
PIM system can be deployed as an independent system or be integrated with any other system of the customer.

The basis of PIM is an electronic catalogue of products that allows you to centralize all the information from other systems and create a single presentation of information on products for later use by all functional units of the company.

The key advantage of PIM is that it allows you to manage data from a single source while providing up-to-date information in different formats in all directions.
Product Information Management can collect data from Excel, external databases, vendors, media, and other sources.

Benefits of using PIM

PIM helps to create a knowledge base about the product line, which will allow its owner to provide the necessary information in almost all areas of their business. The key advantage of PIM is that it allows you to manage data in a single source while providing updated information in different formats in all directions.

  • Completeness of the information. The structure of the database can contain any number of formalized data about the goods, any data can be found easily and quickly.
  • Relevance. The data should be updated only in one source.
  • Centralized. The information is available in a single repository.
  • Variability in use. From this database, you can upload data in different formats "in one click" without spending time on manual preparation of a variety of documents, do not need to store a large number of disparate files.

Tasks that PIM helps to solve:

  • to maintain up-to-date b2b information about the product;
  • to manage updates of consumer information about the product: descriptions and characteristics, media content, changes and updates of the range, announcements of new products, information about the removal of models from production, etc.
  • to integrate with internal enterprise systems (ERP, CRM);
  • to interact with related external services and platforms;
  • to upload information on schedule;
  • to manage access to information for partners; you decide on your own what and when your partner will have access to, what product lines or price categories.

In shops with the big commodity nomenclature and their constant changes, it is required to perform a large volume of works on the preparation of information on goods. For online stores, this process has a very important value because the content of the goods and categories of goods are a major part of attracting visitors and converting them into buyers.

The task is repeatedly complicated if you want to keep information about products in several languages. In this case, you need to connect not only copywriters but also translators to work on the content.

Before the implementation of PIM most often in companies there are such problems:

  • Product data is stored in different systems
  • There is no quality control of the product information
  • Existing systems are slow and unsafe
  • There is no way to automate and simplify the management of product information
  • There are duplicates of products 
  • Uncomfortable, without collaboration

In the end, the mess of information, the inefficiency of the marketing campaigns, the excessive complexity of other systems.

As a rule, all these tasks are handled by the internal accounting system of the enterprise, but they are not usually focused on external interaction in the online environment and initially use a slightly different approach to work with information flows. They have less "commodity" and more "accounting" information.

Using Product Information Management system not only simplifies the work of the internal departments of the manufacturer, but also synchronizes them with a variety of tasks on the external, b2b and b2c directions.

You can forget about the endless correspondence by e-mail, file sharing and incorrect data about your product line on the side of wholesalers and retailers. Information about your products is delivered to partners and employees in a qualitative form, structured, with all attributes and parameters, ready for use.

PIM capabilities to individual business sectors

For Retail

Having always available updated and "original" information from the vendor, retailers do not have to spend time for searching and mixing model data from different sources. The confidence of end customers in the product information, if it is generally the same in all sources, is significantly higher, than that which differs from the store to the store and increases the time for the selection of goods. No store, being in his right mind, will not refuse to receive from the manufacturer information about its range just for this reason. It eases the interaction with advertising platforms and commodity aggregators

For the Production

Most likely, this kind of information you will use both on your website or store, and display it in the form of digital catalogs. For example, in pdf-format for various advertising printing, promotional materials and POS - materials.
Agree, not only the store may need to form commodity feeds for advertising platforms, but also the manufacturer. Even if you haven't yet mastered your own retail, you have to inform the market about your products. It's much easier to do this with structured data and the ability to output it in any format

For Distribution

Distributors face many challenges in data management: take into account all the requirements of suppliers and customer preferences in the processing of product information, to bring the collected data to a single format.
PIM helps distribution companies meet the highest expectations of customers and suppliers with the lowest cost of resources.

For businesses that sell products internationally, PIM can be a powerful tool to reduce the cost of providing product information in the language of the target market. Thus, according to the study, 83% of industrial enterprises and 59% of retailers said that they reduced the cost of translation by more than 10% with the help of PIM.