PIM Software Companies
No business can compete in the modern digital world without the right software solutions and tech stack. Consumers expect an exceptional experience every single time they interact with a brand.
For manufacturers, this means providing accurate product information in every customer interaction. From consideration to purchase and through to post-purchase customer support, manufacturers must make sure customers can access, reference, and find up-to-date product information.
Managing product data across a vast digital footprint requires a sophisticated and purpose-built software solution. Product Information Management (PIM) solutions have been rapidly adopted across various manufacturing industries to address this very issue.
What is PIM software used for? Who needs a PIM solution in their business? We answer these questions and more to help you learn about PIM tools, the top PIM software companies you should consider investing in, and PIM software examples that can help power your business for now and in the future.
What is Product Information Management?
Product Information Management, also known as PIM, is software used to centrally store and manage all types of product data. Product data is the essential and supplemental information surrounding all products that a manufacturer produces, sells or distributes. The product data can include details like:
In addition to these basic details, product information can also include related digital assets. Some examples include product photos, how-to videos, owner's manuals, spec sheets, or sales brochures. A PIM that offers Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, supports the ability to relate digital assets to product records. Not all PIM solutions have DAM functionality, but it can be a key differentiator in providing organization and structure to product information management software.
PIM solutions typically allow multiple users to log into the software and update product data in real-time. It serves as a single source of truth for all product information and is a foundation for scaling a business with a growing product line.
Who Uses PIM Software? Essential Benefits for Manufacturers
PIM software is typically used by manufacturers or distributors who sell products. In the past, most manufacturers had their product data stored in spreadsheets or shared in various file folders either on the company network or on individual hard drives. Product images or marketing assets existed in multiple locations that were not always available or accessible when they needed to be updated.
The traditional methods of storing product information made it impossible to effectively manage all product data and update it accordingly. PIM platforms allow manufacturers to establish a centralized location for all product data. With a single source of truth for all product details, it is easier to maintain brand consistency and avoid errors that occur when information is entered manually. PIM tools also allow multiple authorized users to manage product data. As more businesses allow work-from-home or hybrid solutions, it becomes even more important to give verified users access to product management tools from anywhere around the globe.
There are numerous PIM solutions available today for manufacturing companies to choose from. The top PIM software companies include:
Each of these solutions offers the ability to centralize the management of product data, which is the core of all PIM options. However, it is important to note that some solutions offer additional functionality that can provide more useful features and tools to manufacturers.
How Do I Choose a PIM System?
While there are many PIM solutions available, not everyone is equal, and not all of them would be the right fit for your manufacturing needs. Before you select a PIM solution, companies need to consider five key questions that determine the best software solution for their business.
1. What Functionality Do You Need Most?
The answer to this first question will have a major impact on what PIM solutions you include in your evaluation process. Some PIM solutions solely offer basic product data management functionality. While this might work for some companies, most will want more out of their investment in a PIM solution. These simpler solutions require you to use another third-party solution provider to manage your digital assets and create digital product experiences, with a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). That means more shopping around for providers and more technical support for getting multiple platforms to work together.
There are also comprehensive solutions that include PIM, DAM, and DXP functionality in their offering. That makes it easier to manage all aspects of your product experiences from a single platform. Most of these more comprehensive solutions often refer to themselves as Product Experience Management (PXM) platforms since they offer a full suite of functionality for managing various product experiences within your organization. Lumavate is a leading PXM and the only platform to offer a PIM, DAM, and DXP.
2. What Other Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?
For some companies, the list of potential integrations for a PIM may be limited, while other companies may require an extensive list of integrations. The answer to this question is often one of the most important in the valuation process after functionality because it can quickly rule out various solutions if you need an integration that they don’t have or plan to have any time soon.
As you create your shortlist for PIM software solutions, consider what tools are already integral to the functionality of your digital ecosystem and what future tools you want to bring in. If a solution doesn't have the capabilities to meet these goals or support future digital growth, then it isn’t a good option for your business.
3. How Will the Product Information Be Used?
Product information is the lifeblood of manufacturing. However, it can be used in many different ways, depending on your business. It can be used in your website, product catalogs, sales resources, events, channel partners, and more. It’s imperative that you identify the various ways your business needs to use your product data and related digital assets before deciding on a PIM provider.
The more detailed you are with your mapping of how digital assets and product information will be used, the more empowered you will be when it comes time to select a PIM solution that meets the unique needs of your product data. For example, some PIM solutions only store your product data and digital assets but don’t have an easy way to share this information on your website. That means you need more technical resources to connect your PIM and your website, so product information will populate on relevant pages. Other platforms may include a built-in DXP where you can build your entire website using their solution, so product data is automatically integrated.
Similarly, some solutions allow you to quickly create a product data sheet or generate brand portals in only a few clicks. Other solutions don’t provide this functionality at all and require the use of third-party solutions to accomplish these tasks. That is why it is essential to identify a list of all the ways your product data can be used so you can determine if each solution you’re evaluating can deliver for those use cases.
4. What Type of Budget is Defined for This Initiative?
It is imperative to know how much the PIM solution you need costs. It’s best to have this defined before you start evaluating your potential vendors and solutions providers. When you have a solid range that you know you need to stick in, your buying team can be more upfront during the evaluation process about your budget restrictions or limitations. That allows you to immediately eliminate any potential solutions that far exceed your budget.
You’ll also find, as you compare different PIM tools, that pricing greatly varies among solutions. A higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting more functionality or better services for your investment. For example, Lumavate’s PXM Platform is often 75 percent more cost-effective than more complex and expensive solutions on the market. Lumavate also offers substantially more functionality out-of-the-box without complex implementation processes or long-winded setups.
5. What is Your Timeline for Implementing a Solution?
The final key question you want to have answered before you pick a PIM solution provider is your timeline for implementation. You don’t want to rush the process of evaluating different solutions. At the same time, you need to consider the implementation timeline as a whole in your evaluation process. Some PIM solutions take months to complete from the initial implementation to launch.
There is also a difference in the amount of professional services that are required to get a PIM software solution off the ground. Some solutions allow you to utilize a free trial of the platform directly from their website, so you can start using it immediately. Others will have entire teams dedicated to building a custom solution from the ground up and onboarding your team to the new platform. While the timeline isn’t likely the first deciding factor, it’s still an important element to consider in the evaluation process. The sooner you have a PIM solution in place, the faster you’ll start increasing productivity for your business.
The Best PIM Software: Lumavate
While there is a large list of PIM software companies on the market that claim to be one of the best PIM software companies, the real answer for the best PIM software solution available is undoubtedly Lumavate. Lumavate is often the best choice for anyone evaluating a new PIM solution or who wants to switch to a new platform if their current PIM software is underperforming.
Lumavate offers Product Experience Management (PXM) which includes Product Information Management, Digital Asset Management (DAM), and a Digital Experience Platform. Customers have access to all of these tools, so they can centralize product data, store product-related digital assets, and build unique digital product experiences in minutes. Lumavate also includes features for text messaging capabilities, a comprehensive form builder solution that integrates with the company’s current system of record, and a library of best-in-class templates that can be used to accelerate the building of your digital product experiences.
PIM solutions through Lumavate help people create that important single source of truth for all digital product data and information management needs. Not only is it easy to create product descriptions, pricing details, SKU, and other data points, but they can be easily updated across your entire organization in just a few clicks.
The digital assets of your brand are also taken care of with Lumavate’s DAM functionality. You can manage and share assets, including graphics, lifestyle photography, product images, documents, forms, and video and audio files.
DXP from Lumavate makes it easy to build and launch digital product experiences that don’t require months of development and entire teams of developers to create. Things like product catalogs, brand portals, websites, and product sheets can all be generated in minutes using the information already stored in your software solution.
Communication is made easy with Lumavate’s text messaging feature, which has an open rate of 98 percent. It’s a perfect channel for your marketing needs, helping you reach customers and offer mobile opt-ins, personalized texts, and collect key metrics for further insights from your results.
There are no other solutions on the market with the breadth of functionality that Lumavate has. Lumavate is also an extremely cost-effective solution, offering all of these tools for much less than other major PIM solution providers, who charge more and deliver less functionality for manufacturing companies who want to centralize their product data into a single source of truth. Lumavate stands out from competitors and allows manufacturers to easily manage all of their digital assets and product experiences to share effortlessly with team members, agencies, channel partners, supply chain partners, and more.
How Much Does PIM Software Cost?
The pricing of PIM software varies almost as much as the amount of functionality that each solution provider offers. Some plans start at a few hundred dollars a month, while other platforms and tools require six-figure investments to implement. Within those ranges, there are also considerations for how many users are added to the platform, what types of functionality you want unlocked, and how long you are planning on contracting with the vendor.
At Lumavate, the use of subscription pricing plans helps companies find the best tier for their budget while still gaining access to incredible features that are 75 percent more cost-effective than competitive solutions. The starter subscription plan starts at $499/month and includes a single-brand account structure with unlimited products, storage, and digital experiences. The $999/month growth subscription plan allows up to two brands in the account structure along with 1,000 brand experience visitors each month and the ability to create and send 500 text messages per month, on top of the features of the starter plan.
The final tier of plans offered by Lumavate is the enterprise plan for major corporations needing PIM and PXM solutions. For $4,999/month, customers get unlimited brand structure, products, storage, and digital experiences, along with 10,000 digital visitors each month and 5,000 texts per month.
If you are looking for a PIM solution for your manufacturing business that stands head and shoulders above the competition, there is no better option for functionality and value than Lumavate. You can get started today with a 14 day free trial of the Started plan to experience the benefits for yourself and see how Lumavate centralizes your product data, manages your digital assets, and creates unique digital product experiences.