What Is Product Master Data Management?

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by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024

Every business has particular data without which they couldn’t run their business and product master data management is simply using software to collect and manage all of this information so everyone in the company that needs it can always access the latest, most up-to-date version of this data.

What Is Master Data?

You might expect that transactional data would be a part of any company’s master data, but that isn’t the case. Master data isn’t considered to be transactional data.

If transactional data doesn’t count, then what does? Here are some master data examples:

It’s plain to see why these things are considered to be master data. Your business wouldn’t get far if you had no idea who your customers were and no-one could find a list of current suppliers to provide what you need. These pieces of data are the core data that is essential for running your business.

Obviously, this data must be carefully managed, and it is generally owned by a partnership between the business and either the IT department, or an outsourced IT company, to ensure accuracy, uniformity, and semantic consistency. It’s vital that this data is accurate and up-to-date wherever it is accessed.

What Is Product Master Data Management?

A product Master Data Management (MDM) solution is a platform that allows for centralized management of all company data, including product data. This gives a single source for information that is reliable, accurate, and up-to-date. Instead of information being spread across the company in different departments with a large risk of different versions in existence, everything is managed securely in one place.

While extremely helpful in ensuring the accuracy of data, an MDM platform is usually an enterprise-wide deployment that takes a lot of time, expense, and resources to implement. Often, companies use a Product Information Management (PIM) solution instead to manage the same data due to the complexity and expense involved in implementing an MDM platform. Lumavate offers a professional PIM solution that can easily and accurately manage all product data and information a company has, all in one place, to ensure that everyone who should have access can quickly find the right product master data. A product master data example might be a manufacturer’s safety data sheet, a user manual, a maintenance manual, a standard product description, a marketing brochure, or even a product image or video. All of these can be easily managed with the right PIM solution from Lumavate. A PIM solution is substantially easier to implement and more useful for the marketing and sales team compared to an enterprise-wide MDM solution.

What Are the Benefits of Product MDM?

The main goal of product master data management is to have a single location to store and manage all product information. This prevents the information from being lost, or getting siloed, and will certainly help with preventing the circulation of multiple incorrect or out-of-date versions of data. Using the correct software allows your company to benefit from master data management best practices, such as version management, allowing the right people to have access to particular sets of information, removal of legacy documents that are no longer accurate, and more.

Your product information might include SKUs, pricing, features, benefits, dimensions, functionality, product images, how-to videos, operator manuals, troubleshooting guides, and more. This information may also be internal, external, or both. For example, if you employ a marketing agency, rather than having an in-house team, the agency will also need to access up-to-date versions of your product information.

One of the main benefits of master data management is that your software allows you to assign master data management roles and responsibilities to ensure correct and up-to-date control of product information by the experts who should be managing it. You can assign control of different parts of your product data to engineers, installers, sales teams, customer service, and director level only, to ensure your data is not corrupted or updated incorrectly.

Product master data is stored in a Product Information Management (PIM) solution to allow for easy management of every piece of data. The best PIM solutions, such as Lumavate’s PIM, also include a built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution to easily manage product-related images, documents, videos, and more, giving the right people control of and/or access to the right data.

Using a PIM solution for managing product master data provides the following benefits:

What Is the Difference Between PIM and MDM?

A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is designed to focus just on managing product information, which might include written product data, SKUs, and digital assets, such as images and videos. A quality PIM will allow you to manage your product information all in one place and ensure accuracy.

This product information is used across a wide variety of online and print product experiences, including product catalogswebsites, online shops, sales materials, eventsproduct packaging, instructions for customers, instructions for installation and repair people, where necessary, and more.

A PIM will allow you to allocate roles and ensure that data is updated and controlled by the right people for the job. You can ensure, for example, that your marketing department or agency can access product descriptions and images for creating marketing materials, but they can’t write over this data, add anything, remove any information, or otherwise alter it. Instead, these descriptions and images would be managed and tightly version controlled perhaps by a product developer or an engineer who knows exactly what the product is, what it does, and how it works, along with its general specifications and technical specifications, if any. You can then have complete certainty that the information coming out in your marketing materials is fully accurate and up-to-date.

Where a Master Data Management system differs from a Product Information Management solution is that an MDM solution centralizes all of the organization’s information, not just the product information. An MDM solution provides a company with a single source for all information across the entire business, not just product data. While that sounds, in theory, as if it is far more helpful than simply using a PIM solution, an MDM solution is typically an enterprise-wide deployment that is complicated and often expensive to implement. Most businesses simply don’t need all of the Master Data Management tools and functions available. Nor do they need the time and expense of having to fit such a platform when a high-quality PIM solution, such as Lumavate’s, is much easier to implement and learn, and a more useful implementation for marketing and sales teams.

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.