What's the Difference Between PIM and PLM?

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by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Product data should be at the center of everything your company does. But it's hard to do without a proper solution to manage product data. You owe it to both your customers and your internal stakeholders to have systems to manage the entire lifecycle of product data. 

In order to decide which software you should choose for your business, let's dive into the differences between a Product Information Management Solution and a Product Lifecycle Management solution. 

Understanding a PIM Solution

A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is a centralized location where you can neatly store your product information into various categories spending on what makes sense for your business. 

You can store various things in a PIM like: 

PIMs help solve various challenges within an organization, including: 

Understanding a PLM Solution 

A Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution is a type of software that helps organize product data at the very beginning of its conception. 

What we mean by this is that it usually begins with product design and prototyping completed by developers and engineers. So when looking at the lifecycle of product information, the product data stored in a PLM usually comes before the product data stored in a PIM as the product is typically still being developed at this stage in the product life cycle. 

Type of data stored in a PLM:

When products are first created, there is a ton of materials, information, and resources product development teams create and manage in order to bring these products to fruition.  If there isn’t an organized place to store the necessary materials, the development phase could be prolonged and cause headaches and conflict for all departments within the business. 

PLMs help solve various challenges for developers and engineers, including: 


Now that you know a little bit more about a PIM versus a PLM, let’s compare the two and help you discover which one you need for your business.

Data Type 

A PIM stores the product data an individual interacts with throughout the customer journey. This product information is going to include things like ingredients, price, or even owner’s guides. Marketers use this product data to create digital experiences such as product guides to help sell their brand’s product or product onboarding experience to ensure customers have the manuals and other product information they need to set up their products successfully. 

 A PLM stores product data that customers don’t necessarily need to engage with in order to make purchasing decisions or help them get started. The product information a PLM solution helps manage is used primarily by internal teams designing and creating the product like sketches, models, specifications, etc. 


As we mentioned before, a PIM is used primarily by more customer-facing roles like marketing and sales. What we mean by this is that a marketer uses the product information stored in a PIM to create engaging digital experiences for customers to engage with. 

Whereas a PLM helps engineers organize their work in order to bring the products to life. When engineers and developers have access to organized product data and materials, they can be much more efficient in designing and creating products for customers. 

Which Solution Should You Choose?

How do you decide which software is right for your business? Well, it depends. 

Your business will benefit from having both solutions as it improves the efficiency and accuracy of product data in all departments, but depending on what role you have in the organization will help you determine 

For Marketers

PIM solutions are invaluable resources that not only provide value to internal teams but also provide value to customers. PIMs enable marketers to create dynamic customer experiences by always ensuring product data is always accurate. It also helps marketers be more productive as they no longer need to look for product information in disparate spreadsheets and other locations. Marketers can do more to help their business grow with a PIM solution and create a better customer experience.

For Technical Teams

PLMs help technical teams develop products that customers will be eager to buy. PLM solutions enable technical teams to work faster and work with fewer headaches as their materials and resources are more organized. If you’re a part of the product development team and need a way to organize your product data better, you should invest in a PLM solution. 

Both PIMs and PLMs are beneficial to manufacturers’ overall product strategy and solve challenges in various departments. There is not one single solution that is better than the other one. These software solutions both contribute to the overall success of the business by providing employees with the right tools to be set up for success. 

Get Started Using Lumavate’s PIM Solution 

If you’re a marketer at a manufacturing company and want to make your life easier, it’s time to invest in a PIM solution. 

Schedule a demo with one of our product experts, or take an on-demand tour to see for yourself.

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.