For companies with numerous digital assets, the use of a product information management (PIM) system can be time-saving. The use of PIM software that’s uniquely designed to manage all of your digital assets can satisfy a wide range of common problems for marketing teams and companies as a whole. PIM software centralizes, stores, and enables effective management of all product data in a single location. That makes everyone’s job a bit easier.
With PIM software, all of your product details are in a single location, including:
It can also include digital assets such as:
A robust solution like this allows multiple users to log into the platform to manage all aspects of the project. Each person can update product data in real-time when given permission to do so. This means that this one component serves as a catch-all for all aspects of your product — it is the single source of truth for all product information.
More so, some PIMs will also incorporate a built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) function. As some of the best PIM platforms, these allow you and your entire team to manage all software data points and update product information in real-time.
The Main Objective of PIM
What does PIM mean? What does PIM stand for in reality?
Take a closer look at PIM meaning — it is a tool that gives your users a single source of information any time they need data, insights, customer marketing messages, photos, or other data for any application within the company. The main goal of a product information management platform like this is to have a single location to store and manage all product information. The best PIM platforms incorporate a DAM within them that allows for easy management of images, documents, and videos as well.
Ultimately, this means that it is easier, more efficient, and even more accurate to manage product data across your entire company and, when applicable, your third-party providers as well. By creating a single source of information, it is possible to accomplish a variety of goals. What is PIM used for?
Ensure marketing material that’s newly created is up to date
Solutions for help desk teams are available to meet customer needs efficiently
Marketing teams know where to find everything they need
Sales resources are readily available for use
Keep data protected but minimize the risk of inaccurate information creating concerns for your business over time.
Why Manufacturers Must Have a PIM
What is PIM, and how does it work to support manufacturers? The numerous benefits it brings to the table can change how your business operates. Most manufacturers have their data stored in spreadsheets. These are not only tedious to update but tend to be easily shared. When shared in various file folders on the company’s network or within individual hard drives, each one of these spreadsheets can be updated or changed as often as needed. The problem is that those updates are not aligned with each other, meaning that every spreadsheet is individually unique without a single source of information to manage easily.
When companies utilize spreadsheets or similar tools, the data needed is typically present in multiple locations. That includes photos, descriptions, and updated information. The more copies of this information out there, the harder it is to manage it effectively. When an update rolls out, it is nearly impossible to ensure that every working spreadsheet will include that update, creating a hassle and confusion that could be avoided.
What is PIM good for? When you incorporate the PIM tools available, it is then possible to centralize all information. There is one location that all people use to gather and update information. This makes it easy for all product data to be accessed with ease. It also helps to ensure brand consistency over time. The ability for multiple users to access and manage product data like this minimizes risks and improves efficiency.
What’s Included in PIM Software
When it comes to finding a PIM solution, there are various versions available, and not all are the same. However, they tend to focus on the same goal: To house all relevant product data in a single tool. What is PIM and how does it work?
Depending on what is included, PIM can offer help for management of:
Benefits of the product
As you consider the PIM tools on the market now, you will also notice the best of them have a built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) feature. With this type of functionality, you are able to store product-related digital assets within your PIM. That includes:
All product images
All owner’s details and owner’s manuals
Tech specs sheets
You can utilize this for any type of task necessary — from any component of your development team to your marketing team to the end-user management.
PIM’s Competitive Landscape
Which is the best PIM software 2023 has to offer?
The key is there are numerous types of PIM solutions available today. Some of the most notable names in them include:
Adobe and Shopify do not offer a PIM. If you are currently using these tools, this is one of the most important inefficiencies to recognize.
Each one of these PIM software examples provides some helpful features and tools. Each of them allows you to centralize product data management – hard numbers and figures. Some products are a bit more robust and offer additional functionality. Each of these product information system examples can improve your operations if and when you make the move if you are not using them. However, it is critical to take a closer look at the top 10 PIM software options to determine which is really the best for you.
How to Choose a PIM Solution
With so many PIM tools in market now, you certainly have a variety of options to choose from, but not all are the same. Before you can choose what may work for your particular needs, take a look at some key information.
Remember that even a free PIM software product may seem better than nothing. However, with so many PIM solutions available to change the way your business operates, reducing costs and improving your revenue generation opportunities, it’s worth comparing a few different options. To do that, consider these five key questions. How you answer these questions will determine the best PIM software for your business.
What Functionality Do You Need?
The answer to this question will have a major impact on the PIM solutions you include within your evaluation process. Some PIM platforms solely offer product data management functionality. In these situations, if you need other tools, you must use a third-party solution. Typically, that means using a third party for your digital assets. If needed, you also need a third-party solution to help with the creation of those digital product experiences.
The alternative is to choose a more robust, comprehensive solution. These solutions should include PIM, DAM, and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) functionality within a single component. This streamlines operations and can virtually eliminate errors. It is far easier to manage all aspects of your product experience when it is all done on a single platform.
The most comprehensive solutions are Product Experience Management (PXM) platforms. These will offer a full suite of functionality for managing various product experiences. One investment here means all aspects of the creation, management, and sharing of data become possible.
What Other Systems Do You Need to Integrate With?
The next consideration is the type of integrations you need based on your current operations. For some companies, the list of potential integrations for PIM may be very limited. You may not have much concern here. However, for others, the list can be very extensive, and that can limit those PIM tools that are beneficial to you.
The way you answer this question in the evaluation process is key. It is one of the most important factors because it can quickly rule out any various solutions that do not align with the existing needs you have. If they do not have or plan to have the integrations you need, move on to others that do.
How Will the Product Information Be Used?
The next core decision relates to how the information will be used, which is ultimately based on your business model. You may use product data in numerous ways. Some examples include:
Using the information on your website
Using data in your product catalogs
Take the time to identify the various ways your business needs to use your product data and the related digital assets you have. Once you know this, you can then navigate through some of the PIM software options available to you. This empowers your team to select a PIM solution that meets the unique needs of your business’s product information management.
Here’s an example. Some PIM solutions only store product data and digital assets. That is important, but they do not allow for an easy way to share this information on your website. As a result, you will need to have technical resources available to you to build out an integration between your website and the PIM. That way, when there is any update to product information in the PIM, it can be updated on the website, reducing any delay in getting important information out fast.
Some platforms include a built-in DXP. This allows you to build out your entire website using the solution. In doing so, your product data is automatically integrated. Similarly, some solutions allow you to quickly create a product sheet or a brand portal within just a few clicks. Other solutions do not offer this type of functionality, which means you need to use (and pay for) another third-party solution to allow for it.
Because of careful considerations like this, it is important to identify a list of how your product data is used. That will allow you to determine if each solution you are evaluating can deliver to you in each of those cases. If not, you may have to move on to one that can offer this functionality or invest in a third-party solution and ensure they can integrate well together.
What Type of Budget Is Defined For This Initiative?
Before moving forward, have a well-defined budget for this investment. There are some robust and highly effective systems out there that can easily benefit your company, but they may be way out of line with your budget. In other words, if your budget is unlimited, there is nothing to worry about here, but that is not the case for most manufacturing companies. When you outline your budget now, you can eliminate any potential solutions that far exceed your means. That way, you can narrow down the applications best suited for your company.
You’ll find that pricing greatly varies among solutions. However, do not assume that a higher price means you are getting more functionality or better service. This is a huge mistake. Lumavate’s PXM Platform is often 75 percent more cost-effective than competitive solutions, and it offers substantially more functionality out of the box.
What Is Your Timeline For Implementing a Solution?
The next factor to keep in mind is time. If you need a PIM solution now, perhaps because you are moving your operations forward, finding a solution that can be put in place quickly is critical.
You don’t want to rush the evaluation process when selecting a PIM solution but do consider implementation timelines as a part of this process. Some PIM solutions take months to complete, just your initial implementation. This is often done through the use of professional services.
Other solutions are just as robust, but because of the way they are designed, you can get started right away. Some solutions allow you to create a free trial of their platform directly from their website. You can then start using it right away.
Timelines are not usually the deciding factor in big decisions like this, but depending on how important it is to the way you operate your business, it may be a factor you consider as a component of the process. The sooner you can put a PIM solution in place, the faster your efficiencies will improve, and your team will be productive.
Lumavate is often the best choice for those evaluating a new PIM solution because it provides complete PXM functionality. Within the Lumavate platform, you have access to numerous features, including:
Product Information Management (PIM) solution: Use this to centralize the management of your product data in one location.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution: This provides functionality to store product-related digital assets in one place.
Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solution: This component allows you to build product experiences in minutes, offers text messaging capability, and provides a comprehensive form builder solution to integrate directly into your company’s system of record.
There is no other solution on the market that offers this breadth of functionality. While that is the case, Lumavate remains 75 percent more cost-effective than the competitive solutions that have less functionality.
Understanding the Pricing Structure of PIM Software
While we talked about the importance of laying out a budget, it is also essential to understand how PIM pricing actually works. Depending on the PIM solution and the functionality you select, you will find that pricing can be rather complex. In some PIM solutions, the price is based on the number of SKUs stored within the PIM. Others will price based on the number of times the product data is used. Both methods can be frustrating and expensive, especially if you want to keep your use within a specific budget. It’s quite hard to predict what to expect.
Lumavate takes a much different approach to pricing. It provides a comprehensive product experience management (PXM) platform for you to use, with prices starting at around $499 a month. Remember:
Lumavate is 75 percent more cost-effective than competitive solutions but is far more robust.
You can also get started with a 14-day Free Trial of Lumavate, which gives you complete access to the solution to test out without risk.
How to Get Started with a PIM
One of the best parts of this project is getting started. The first step is putting all of your product data into a PIM and then storing all of your digital assets in a DAM. When you’ve selected Lumavate for this, you have both the DAM and PIM you need out of the box. It is fast and easy to install.
The next step is to create a digital product experience for every moment in the customer journey. With the help of this program, it’s easy to do. You also need to create a product experience for customers, like retailers, dealers, distributors, and employees.
All of this can be done and set up rather easily using Lumavate. That means you can start seeing productivity increases right away.
Take a product demo of Lumavate to see it in action. You may find this is one of the easiest decisions you can make for your business.
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