What Does PIM Stand For in Business?
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 10, 2024
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 10, 2024
PIM stands for Product Information Management in business, and it refers to how product information is managed in an organization. Increasingly, PIM has come to refer to the centralization of product information into a single location.
Because products need to be marketed, sold, and serviced on a regular basis, it’s more than just an inconvenience if the information is stored on separate spreadsheets and hard drives. If there’s no way to unify product information, it can lead to anything from customer complaints to safety violations.
When it’s not uncommon for customers to question the merits, final price, and dimensions of a product, particularly if the company manages dozens of similar products, PIM has become a must for businesses that want to establish better communication with their customers. When it’s not uncommon for a sales team to be on a different page than a marketing team, PIM makes it possible to stop the confusion before it begins.
PIM meaning can differ depending on the organization that implements it. In some cases, PIM falls on everyone in the organization. In others, there’s a dedicated team or a PIM manager who is in charge of organizing the information, so it’s easier to input, adjust, and delete as needed. No matter who makes the decisions, it’s important to have technology that can support the work. Today, PIM solutions make various versions of spreadsheets a thing of the past.
PIM software is a dedicated solution designed for companies to centrally store and manage their product data. This includes SKU, pricing, features, benefits, dimensions, and functionality. Solutions that include Digital Asset Management (DAM) allow companies to add videos, photos, spec sheets, white papers, and any other digital resources related to the product.
With a PIM solution, multiple authorized users can log into the system and update the product data in real-time, giving everyone else in the organization a single source of truth. So if a member of customer service sees that a product price has changed from the beginning of their shift, they don’t have to tell the customer that they need to confirm the change.
In a rapidly shifting world, the right technology can empower employees and leaders alike to shine in their individual roles. Accounting can be confident they have the right data, customer service can answer detailed questions, marketing can promote multiple product benefits via different channels, and sales can approach every client with more confidence. If you work in a company where new products are constantly being introduced, older products are being retired, and current products are tweaked and improved, PIM software is a way to keep everyone from falling behind.
PIM can be used by manufacturers, retailers, distributors, vendors, suppliers, and any other third-party company that works with product data. If PIM is solely used within the company, it’s typically owned by the marketing team if there isn’t a dedicated department to product management. Of course, this doesn’t mean that marketing would be the only team to use product management.
Every department can use PIM software to verify the details of every product. Sales, product management, customer service, and even PR should all have access to the system so messaging is consistent and on-brand. As PIM has become more versatile, thanks largely to the innovative applications of existing platform technology, the market for these products has exploded. The level of competition within the industry has resulted in solutions that are as streamlined as they are intuitive to use.
PIM software examples are everywhere these days, with multiple companies coming out with their own version of the platform. If you’re on the hunt for a PIM solution that works, you should keep in mind that the products can vary greatly depending on the provider you choose. While all of them have the same basic premise, some are far more technically involved than others. You may find yourself having to devote far more of your IT resources to the implementation and management of the program than you expected.
Software companies like Lumavate have built a reputation for providing out-of-the-box integrations that anyone on the marketing team can implement in minutes. Other companies may require you to use their outside consultants long after the PIM software is up and running. It’s important to define what you want from PIM and who exactly is going to use it before purchasing a platform or software. Keep in mind that just because a product is more expensive doesn’t make it more functional.
A product information manager will gather and update all applicable product information. When you see PIM tools in market, the actual applications of it will depend on the company and the products in question. For instance, basic product management may look like little more than the consolidation of features, benefits, pricing, and dimensions of a product. Should the product be amended, the person in the PIM role would be in charge of updating its profile.
Should the PIM solution have digital asset management capabilities, the product information manager would also be in charge of updating the digital assets attached to the product. So if there are multiple product photos from different angles, and these images should all be on the mobile app, then the product information manager would need to upload the files and ensure they were accessible across different mobile devices.
From videos to spec sheets, digital assets can round out product information in a way that simple text cannot. These elements can often be the difference between a general understanding of a product and an in-depth knowledge bank about how it should be used and when. Product information managers can be the key to improving everything from institutional knowledge to customer satisfaction. It's especially invaluable for companies that work with multiple vendors, who all have different resources and systems to keep track of. A PIM role levels the playing field, so there's less confusion about what's being sold.
As mentioned, the PIM role can be a full-time role, but it can also be split up by pulling from different teams as a way of reducing the burden on one person. The person or people in charge are the default organizers of PIM, even if outside teams may still make their own updates as time goes by. A product information manager should be seen as the subject-matter experts for the data they oversee. It's a further way to instill confidence in both the team and customers about even the most extensive product catalogs.