Product Master Data Example

As a growing business, you create and collect tons of information every day. Unfortunately, it's easy for this data to get siloed and disorganized, making it harder to run your operations. Fortunately, that's where master data and product information management can help. But what is master data? Let's break down everything you need to know.

Master Data Definition and Examples

Master data is any information necessary to run your business. Generally speaking, this data won't necessarily change, or certainly not frequently. Often, businesses share master data with an IT provider to ensure consistency and accuracy across departments. But what is an example of master data? Some master data examples can include:

  • Customer Information - Typically, this type of data doesn't include transactions, but it does incorporate customer contact info, including their name, email address, and phone number.

  • Business Hierarchy - As your company grows, you must establish a chain of command within each department. This hierarchy is essential for everyone within the business so they know who to report to and who to oversee.

  • Accounts Lists - Client accounts and vendor accounts are two types of lists to contain within master data. You may also include passwords and other login credentials so various employees can access these accounts as necessary.

Depending on your business, you may have other types of master data, so it's imperative to consolidate and compile everything into a single network.

What Are the 3 Types of Master Data?

Master data can typically be categorized into three areas: customers, products, and finances. Customer information includes contact data, as well as any information about prospects and leads. Product information can include elements like SKU numbers, product dimensions, materials used, and more. Finally, financial information is anything required for reporting, such as the company's employer ID number (EIN), profit and loss reports, etc.

While most master data falls into these three categories, many companies include other information in their master data management solution. Some additional examples can include employee information, asset details, location data (e.g., deed, lease agreement, landlord details), and supplier information.

Master Data Management Definition

Master data management is often a piece of software that compiles and organizes all the information across your company. By curating everything into a single dashboard, individuals don't have to search through different databases or servers to find what they need. Also, because master data management tools allow everyone to source from the same program, there are no inconsistencies or inaccuracies within the information. A single master data manager can update specific details as needed in a single dashboard rather than changing the information in multiple locations.

While master data management is crucial for enterprise-level companies, it can be a bit too overwhelming for marketing and sales departments. Instead, it's often better to invest in a product information management (PIM) system, ideally one that can also manage digital assets. This way, marketing and sales teams don't have to sift through all kinds of company-wide data to find details about specific products or services.

That said, while a PIM system is better for marketing and sales, it's still a good idea to invest in master data management (MDM).

Why Master Data Management Is Important?

Master data management is crucial for larger companies because it offers a centralized solution. When a company has thousands or tens of thousands of data points, it's virtually impossible to keep track of everything without an MDM program. Not only do MDM solutions ensure consistency across departments, but they make it easier for a manager or team to oversee all pertinent company details in a single dashboard.

Another advantage of master data management is that it allows for easier standardization across departments. This way, information can be shared throughout the company more easily with less miscommunication or misunderstandings. Overall, collaboration is much easier, and it's far more consistent when everyone is accessing the same data from the same source.

What Is the Process of Master Data Management?

Creating a master data management framework is not something that can be done overnight. Instead, the master data management process is multi-layered and requires input from various department administrators. While each company may utilize unique strategies, here's a generic overview of what it takes to build an MDM from scratch.

  • Step One: Identify All Master Data - This step may be one of the most complicated, as each data point may be stored on different hard drives or servers.

  • Step Two: Identify Sources of Master Data - Ideally, you can consolidate all of this information to a single server, but many MDM tools allow you to change data from the dashboard, even if it's in a different digital location.

  • Step Three: Determine Who Creates Master Data - For example, the accounting, marketing, and sales departments may create master data regarding products, customers, and financial reporting. You may also get master data from third-party sources like vendors or suppliers.

  • Step Four: Collect and Analyze All Existing Data - Once you know where to find this information, it's time to compile it all into a single source. Now is also when you can determine any data gaps that may exist within your network.

  • Step Five: Appoint Master Data Owners - Ideally, the director of each department can be in charge of collecting and updating master data from their corner of the company. Alternatively, you can appoint top executives to oversee multiple departments.

  • Step Six: Create a Data Governance System - Once you have data owners, it's imperative to determine who makes final decisions regarding which information to collect and when to update it.

  • Step Seven: Establish a Master Data Model - This model should outline what happens when new master data is collected and how it's added to the system.

  • Step Eight: Evaluate MDM Solutions - Fortunately, many master data management vendors exist, so you have plenty of options when comparing different programs.

  • Step Nine: Implement the MDM Software - Once you have an MDM tool finalized, you can start using it within the company.

  • Step Ten: Evaluate the MDM Framework - Master data management requires ongoing diligence and effort, so the master data owners should check in regularly to determine that the system works correctly.

MDM Tools

By now, you may be asking, what is an example of an MDM? Some of the top examples can include Profisee, Pimcore, and PiLog. Each tool is designed to store and manage master data from a single dashboard. Even if the data lives on various hard drives or servers, the software collects and updates the information from a centralized location.

It's also important to note that not all companies need MDM solutions. Typically, only enterprise-level businesses with complex data generation and collection methods can benefit from master data management. Most small and mid-sized businesses can do better with a more segmented framework. For example, a product information management (PIM) system, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and a product lifecycle management (PLM) system can often work better than an MDM.

The advantage of utilizing multiple systems within your business is that it's easier for each department to focus on the details it needs. Because an MDM includes everything, it can be overwhelming to find specific data. However, if a sales team only needs product or customer information, they can use a PIM or CRM instead.

MDM Competitive Landscape

The MDM competitive landscape is growing as more companies are developing proprietary software. Some of the top master data management tools include Stibo Systems, Informatica, PiLog MDRM, TIBCO, Profisee, SAP, IBM, Reltio, Oracle, Microsoft, and others. Also, some tools that focus on product information management also offer MDM functionality, such as Pimcore and Syndigo.

That said, as we mentioned, it's crucial to determine whether master data management is necessary for your business. If you don't have thousands of data points, you may not need such a comprehensive and expensive solution.

Product Master Data Management Definition

Product master data is any information related to a specific product. Examples of product master data can include SKU numbers, dimensions, materials used, color options, as well as digital assets related to the product (e.g., photos and tutorial videos). So, what is product master data management? Well, it's the same process as master data management, only it focuses exclusively on products, not everything else related to the company.

So, while an MDM can include product data, it's not as efficient or streamlined as a product information management (PIM) tool. PIM software is often much more user-friendly, making it much easier to manage and store digital assets related to each product. Typically, companies that focus on consumer goods and online sales can benefit from investing in a PIM.

What Are the Benefits of Product MDM?

If you have dozens or hundreds of products in your inventory, you must invest in product master data management. Because you can consolidate all product information into a single source, you can take advantage of benefits like:

  • Centralized Access - When marketing and sales teams need to access data about a specific product, they don't have to hunt it down across different hard drives or servers.

  • Data Consistency - Product information can change regularly, such as price points, color options, and even whether an item is in stock. Product master data management ensures everyone accesses the same details in real-time. For example, a salesperson won't accidentally sell an item that's out of stock or a product in a color that no longer exists.

  • Hierarchy of Authority - Data management tools require owners to update and enable access to the information within the system. This way, there's more accountability, and it's easier for one person to monitor and change product information as necessary. This way, users can't change data without permission.

  • Faster Marketing Processes - When the marketing team has access to all product information and digital assets, they can build a campaign about a specific product or line much faster than if they had to compile these details manually.

The best product information management solutions should also have a robust digital asset management system. Digital assets can include photos, videos, how-to manuals, PDFs, and more. By combining these assets with the products they're based on, it's much easier for sales and marketing teams to work more efficiently.

What is the Difference Between PIM and MDM?

A PIM solution only focuses on product information, whereas an MDM solution compiles data from all departments within a business. Typically, PIM software is much more streamlined and beneficial for marketing and sales teams, since they don't have to search the entire company database to find what they need. Also, PIM programs are much more user-friendly and offer better digital asset management tools.

Product Information Management Defined

Product information management is the process of consolidating all information and assets related to each product within your company's inventory. The primary goal of PIM is to centralize these pieces for marketing and sales purposes. Since these departments often don't communicate with each other, ensuring they're accessing the same information can prevent discrepancies and miscommunication.

Why Do You Need Product Information?

Product information is crucial for both marketing and sales teams to do their jobs. For marketing, this data is essential for promoting specific products or product lines. By knowing the details about each item, the marketing team can highlight various features and benefits.

For the sales department, product information is essential to close the deal with a prospective customer. This way, a salesperson can pull up all the details about a specific item, including accessories, similar products, and features.

Additionally, the customer service department can benefit from product information management because they can help troubleshoot issues by accessing the manual or tutorial video.

The Main Goal of Product Information Management

The primary objective of product information management is to create a centralized library of all the products your business sells. By curating everything from SKUs to pricing to how-to guides and photos, it's much easier for people within your organization to find what they need. Without PIM software, these data points can be scattered across various servers or hard drives. For example, one person may have photos of a specific product, while another has all the master details like dimensions and color options.

By consolidating all product master data attributes in a single location, collaboration is much easier, and there's less of a chance of inconsistency within the organization. That said, it's also imperative to choose a PIM program that offers comprehensive digital asset management (DAM).

Who Uses PIM Software?

Any company that sells a wide selection of unique products can benefit from PIM software. Manufacturers, retailers, and distributors can all utilize PIM programs to centralize all their product data.

Typically, PIM software is managed by the marketing department, but it can be accessed by other departments within the organization, including sales, customer service, research and development, and more.

PIM Tools

The best PIM tools allow you to curate a wide selection of data about specific products. As we've mentioned, these tools should include a digital asset management (DAM) system so you can incorporate elements like photos, videos, tutorial guides, PDFs, and more.

Another critical point of PIM tools is that they should serve as the single point of truth for all product information. So, an information manager can go in and update details once within the software. Then, the changes will be updated everywhere else, including websites, landing pages, and more.

PIM Competitive Landscape

Fortunately, many product master data management companies exist like Plytix, Pimcore, Salsify, Inriver, Catsy, Lumavate, and more. Each of these programs make it easy for companies to centralize their product data in an easy-to-use dashboard.

However, Lumavate is unique in that it also incorporates a DAM and digital experience platform. By combining these tools, your marketing department can create campaigns about specific products much faster and engage with customers and leads more easily.

How to Choose a PIM

Because there are so many PIM programs, it can be hard to know which one will work best for your company. Here are five questions to ask before finalizing your decision:

  1. What Functionality Do You Need? Are you looking for a PIM that only focuses on product data like dimensions and SKU numbers? Or do you want something that also incorporates digital assets?

  2. What Systems Do You Need to Integrate With? Your company likely already uses different programs to manage your operations. So, you must ensure your PIM can integrate with other systems seamlessly.

  3. How Will the Product Information Be Used? Which departments will need to access product data, and why? For example, will the marketing department need product details for an upcoming campaign?

  4. What Type of Budget Do You Have? Comprehensive PIM and DAM solutions can often cost a lot per month. Also, you have to contact these programs to get pricing. Lumavate offers transparent and competitive pricing for companies of all sizes.

  5. What is Your Timeline for Implementing a Solution? Some PIM programs can take months to implement because the process of adding product information to the system is so time-consuming. Lumavate can consolidate this information in a fraction of the time so you can start reaping the benefits immediately.

Overall, Lumavate offers more features and solutions at a price your business can afford. While we invite you to compare our software to other PIM solutions, we know you'll agree that we're the best choice.

How Much Does a PIM System Cost?

The cost of different PIM systems can vary greatly from one program to the next. For example, some PIM programs charge based on the number of products, while others charge a flat rate. With Lumavate, you can see our pricing for yourself and start with our $499/month package. Most other PIMs charge thousands per month, and that's without digital asset management or digital experience platforms included.

Why You Need More Than a PIM

A traditional product information management system is limited. Typically, a PIM system only compiles information about your products and does little else. So, if you have to integrate this data into other programs (like your website, CRM, or other marketing software), you have to rely on third-party integrations.

Additionally, a traditional PIM doesn't allow you to manage digital assets for each product. Instead, you have to use a separate system to organize these assets, meaning it takes much longer for users to find what they need.

Instead, you need a PIM that can integrate with all your systems automatically. Plus, having a digital asset management and digital experience platform built-in enables your business to promote products more easily. With an all-in-one solution, it's never been easier to create campaigns and sell products to your customers. Thankfully, Lumavate does it all.

What Lumavate Offers for Your Business

Lumavate is a product experience management (PXM) platform. As a PXM, we offer everything your business needs to manage your products and marketing data more efficiently. In addition to product information management, data asset management, and digital experience creation, our software also includes text messaging, form builders, and over 40 other integrations.

Overall, you can handle virtually all of your marketing and sales objectives from a single dashboard. You can turn digital assets into product experiences, you can reach out to leads and customers via email, SMS, or landing pages, and you can change product information in a single place and it will update everywhere else automatically.

Lumavate is the best solution for your business, and it's available at a fraction of the price of the competition. Schedule a demonstration today to see how Lumavate can take your business to the next level.

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.