Product Information Management Software Examples
The world runs on data, and businesses are not exempt from this rule. Consumers have vast knowledge and are decidedly the most educated market in history. The information age is here to stay, and its primary currency is accurate and timely data.
Product companies are at a crossroads while managing their data and product information. While various product information management tools exist, PIM software stands above the rest regarding functionality and centralization.
Join us in this comprehensive guide as we define and explore product information system examples, the best PIM software companies, PIM software examples, and the best use cases to make these powerful tools work best for you and your brand.
What Is Product Information Management Software?
Product information management (PIM) is a methodology that revolves around creating and curating data within an organization, specifically for products. While this methodology comprises end-to-end project management and strategy, PIM software tools have been created to make this much more accessible to access, control, and manage.
To that end, PIM software is a specialized set of tools combined into a comprehensive solution to serve as a central database and storage repository for all product-related information. The PIM software can be used for different audiences, but it contains everything you need to organize and thoroughly understand the drivers behind the product.
For example, PIM software tools are helpful for SKU identification, product description, pricing data and trends, standout features, and dimensions. This data is helpful for manufacturing and design teams to keep track of their orders while also viewing the analytics behind version updates, changes, and regulatory changes.
Marketing and sales teams can access critical helpful information for launching campaigns; functionality and essential benefits can be translated into powerful creatives to create effective messaging and marketing strategies.
Suppose the PIM software has built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) software. It can include related digital assets such as how-to videos, high-quality photos, owner's manuals, spec sheets, and labels. Comprehensive solutions typically allow multiple users to log into the software and update the product data in real-time, which makes it integral for organizations to stay on track and keep abreast of all changes under a single source of truth.
What Is the Main Use of PIM Software?
While PIM software can take on many different forms for what it is needed for, it is fundamentally used as a way for everyone to be on the same page and to reduce the confusion and re-work that happens with data silos.
PIM software is highly beneficial for the consumer packaged goods industry, medical device companies, and the manufacturing sector as a whole. PIM software makes any brand that must centralize its products and product data more effective. Users should be confident that when logging into the PIM, the version and information they view within the centralized platform are consistent throughout the company.
At the heart of great PIM software are proper controls and delegation. Teams should act as subject-matter experts only where their expertise lies and should be encouraged to update this information regularly or ad-hoc when new data comes to light.
For example, the design and manufacturing team could be tasked with updating the PIM information regarding version updates and change management notes. This would signal other teams, such as compliance, to check whether they are still inside or if the new version would risk the approval requirements of the product. The marketing team should regularly check the PIM so that information regarding benefits, features, and pricing is not miscommunicated.
What Is PIM Used For?
Now that we have fully defined the scope of product information management and the tools that drive it forward, it's time to explore the full benefits of a PIM. A PIM software tool is highly beneficial for all companies that must manage their products and product data in a timely and organized manner. Any brand associated with manufacturing, distributing, and selling to a consumer market can benefit from using a PIM and its entire package of benefits and integrations.
The current way of conducting business may seem familiar. Your team may use several spreadsheets to track product data and information. This could range from a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of different categories to many spreadsheets spanning multiple hard drives and applications.
Some companies also rely on Adobe InDesign, Shopify, and Google Drive to keep track of information and analyze trends for pricing, manufacturing, distribution, and keeping on top of competitive products.
While many of these solutions offer a way to organize product data, they lack the capabilities that a PIM can provide for managing this data. Even before discussing all the benefits a PIM can provide your brand, brand consistency through centralization is the primary use case that spans all industries. All departments must have a single source of truth to access product data.
It is not uncommon for multiple teams to keep a running spreadsheet of the information that they need on a localized hard drive. This band-aid solution often solves short-term problems only on a smaller scale. Attempting to consolidate this data is an impossible task. Every department, team, or manager will have access to different information depending on what they need the information for.
What Is PIM Good For?
PIM software helps keep a centralized location so everyone can access the most up-to-date information anytime. PIM software is more than just a spreadsheet to keep tabs on what your brand is doing; it improves compliance and reputational impact consistent with your messaging for consumers, employees, staff, contractors, vendors, distributors, and channel partners.
Here are the top five benefits of introducing PIM software into your manufacturing or product-based environment:
Keep Brand Messaging Consistent
PIM software provides a single source of truth for your organization. Although this does mean that everyone in the organization will be on the same page, it also ensures that your products will stay in compliance and that your non-subject matter expert teams will be able to look toward and trust that the information placed in the PIM can be used in overall strategy and campaign toward selling the product and answering any questions.
Controls Access and Management
A comprehensive PIM solution allows the delegation of responsibility, with each team having ownership of only what their role dictates. This means that confidential product information that should only be seen by the compliance and design team is not leaked to channel partners and vendors through data silos and fragmented information.
Provides Digital Asset Management Capabilities
The best PIM solutions contain Product Experience Management (PXM) and DAM functionality that offer various benefits towards making your product data come to life. DAM capabilities allow digital assets to be paired with product data to create helpful owner manuals, spec sheets, and how-to videos and make the product come to life in engaging, beautiful experiences, such as physical and digital product catalogs.
Facilitates Cross-Channel Selling
PIM software helps your business sell products across various channels while keeping consistent selling points. The messaging can be tailored to match each platform when targeting different demographics. The PIM centralizes product information, ensuring consistent details across e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, and brick-and-mortar stores. Enriched content, such as high-quality images and detailed descriptions, is easily managed. Updates and modifications are efficiently implemented, reducing errors. Real-time data distribution guarantees customers receive accurate information, enhancing the overall cross-channel shopping experience and fostering brand trust.
Seamlessly Updates Data
A great PIM tool should simplify how a business is run and reduce the work and re-work required to ensure an operation runs smoothly. Your PIM software should integrate within your ecosystem so that when one update is made, it can be mirrored across various platforms, including product catalogs, websites, landing pages, product descriptions, reviews, and labeling instructions.
What Is the Best PIM Software?
The best PIM software is one that addresses all the specific pain points of your brand and anticipates needs before you may require them. For example, you may need a PIM that centralizes all product information - but this is extremely common and is one of the core functions of a PIM solution.
The best PIM software will exceed to deliver a massive competitive edge. For example, a brand without a PIM tool may have outdated information and post static PDF pages on its website, which may be incorrect and take a long time to update and fact-check regularly.
A PIM tool that combines DAM and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) functionalities provides a seamless experience that updates the information on the website in real-time. Digital assets can be paired with product information, such as product catalogs, brand portals, and videos, to deliver great product experiences and provide fantastic customer support with troubleshooting, installation, and re-ordering parts directly from you or your channel partners.
Who Uses PIM Software?
The best use cases rest within the CPG, manufacturing, and medical device industries.
Manufacturing and distribution companies can use PIM software to integrate SKUs and their associated product information fully. The information can then be used with digital assets to make stunning digital experiences. A great example of this experience is providing a seasonal catalog for applicants, lawn and garden tools, light fixtures, and even industrial solutions - so that the customer can imagine their pain point being addressed before the point of sale.
Medical devices are often offered through a catalog for clinics and hospitals. These catalogs are significant for general practitioners when evaluating what solutions to provide their clients. For example, Sleep Apnea is a common problem that poses many risks of health issues for clients. General practitioners can recommend the best CPAP machines a medical device manufacturer provides while providing the product information associated with that order.
The marketing team for the CPAP machine would otherwise not have known what to include in the catalog, and timely delivery would have been delayed.
What is an Example of a PIM?
Companies that work with brands provide PIM software tools to ensure they can take full advantage of the features and benefits.
Robust centralization of product data.
Integration capabilities with various systems.
Limited additional functionalities compared to some competitors.
Comprehensive PIM solution with additional features.
Flexible and customizable for diverse business needs.
It may have a steeper learning curve for new users.
Emphasis on data quality and enrichment.
Advanced functionalities may be lacking for some complex use cases.
Robust PIM functionality with a focus on collaboration.
Scalability for large product catalogs.
Pricing may be on the higher side for smaller businesses.
Open-source flexibility for customization and unique tailoring.
Strong community support and extensions.
Some users will find the initial setup challenging.
Comprehensive Product Experience Management (PXM) platform.
Integration of PIM, DAM, DXP, text messaging, and form builder.
Cost-effective with extensive functionality.
Streamlined implementation and comprehensive support.
Immediate usability of a comprehensive free PIM software with a 14-day free trial.
How Do I Choose a PIM System?
With all the wealth of information at your fingertips, your due diligence process begins with planning and engaging all stakeholders within your organization. Here are five essential questions to ask yourself before committing to a PIM solution:
1. What functionality do I need?
The functionality required from a PIM solution is a critical factor in your evaluation. Some PIMs specialize in product data management, often needing separate tools for digital assets and experiences. Comprehensive solutions, referred to as Product Experience Management (PXM) platforms, encompass PIM, DAM, and DXP functionalities, which offer an all-in-one solution for managing diverse product experiences.
2. What other systems do I need to integrate with?
Integration capabilities are pivotal and vary with scope between companies. Your evaluation process should consider the potential need for integrations, as some solutions might lack specific integrations crucial for your business. This question plays a considerable role in narrowing down options based on compatibility with your existing systems and topology.
3. How will the product information be used?
Understanding the diverse applications of product data in your business is vital. Whether for your website, product catalogs, sales resources, events, brand portals, or collaborations with channel partners, identifying specific usage scenarios empowers the selection of a PIM solution tailored to your unique needs. Solutions such as Lumavate integrate with your website and provide built-in DXP functionality.
4. What is our investment capability and resource allotment?
Having a defined budget is a strategic starting point. Clearly outlining budget constraints lets your team focus on solutions aligning with financial parameters. Lumavate's PXM Platform, for example, is not only cost-effective but also offers extensive functionality, demonstrating that a higher price isn't always associated with exceptional features or services.
5. What is our timeline for implementing a solution?
Balancing the evaluation process with your implementation timeline is necessary. Some PIM solutions demand months for initial implementation and involve professional services. Solutions like Lumavate allow you to start with a free trial directly from their website, reducing your risk and getting a hands-on approach immediately. Of course, you should always take the time to integrate a solution fully, but it must be done timely to remain competitive.
How Much Does a PIM System Cost?
A PIM solution's pricing structure varies significantly depending on the PIM solution, brand, functionality, and any additional bells and whistles you'd like to add to the package. Remember that budget constraints aren't always limited to monetary costs, as it's always best to consider time constraints, the availability of resources, and the time it will take for your users to complete training and pass the learning curve, depending on their role.
Some PIM solutions price their product based on the number of SKUs stored within the PIM. Other brands price it differently depending on the number of times the data is accessed or disseminated throughout the organization. Still, others will take brands onto a discovery call and provide a pricing estimate based on the work's size, volume, and scope. This means that the pricing for PIMs is inconsistent and can vary from $1,000 to $250,000 annually.
Lumuavate takes an entirely different approach and believes in complete pricing transparency. Starting at just $499 a month, you have access to complete out-of-the-box functionality that is guaranteed to integrate well within your ecosystem, sometimes taking less than a day for setup to complete. Lumavate is 75 percent more cost-effective than any comparable solution on the market.
Lumavate: The Best PIM Software 2024 and Beyond
Evaluating your needs and concerns is the first step towards successfully integrating a new solution. Moving away from the clutter and mismanagement of information and data silos is a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the entire brand has complete cohesion on their goals, regardless of the size and scale of the operation.
Lumavate often comes out ahead as the best choice for anyone evaluating a new PIM solution, as the full and complete integration of a PXM system fulfills all obligations and beyond. Adopting Lumavate to your ecosystem is seamless and centralizes product data management with digital assets and experiences by combining PIM, DAM, and DXM functionalities into one comprehensive platform.
The Lumavate platform allows you to build product experiences in minutes. It provides full text-messaging functionalities and a comprehensive form builder, giving you total control over your customization abilities.
Get started today with your Free Demo of Lumavate. Begin by storing all of your product data in the PIM and identifying all digital assets to store in the DAM. Lumavate offers complete out-of-the-box functionality and is updated bi-weekly with new integrations to create product experiences for your customers, partners, and employees.
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