Product Information Management - the basis of online trade
Product Information Management (PIM) is a process of managing product information based on the specific requirements for structuring and data exchange. Each PIM system is based on a digital catalog. This is a structured database that contains all the product information that is necessary for the market. It is a unified and centralized repository for product information in various forms. You can add, save, store and, if necessary, update any product data. In addition, they can be transmitted to the customers (wholesalers and retailers).
PIM is an interface of communication within a company, which is aimed at getting up-to-date information regarding the entire product range. PIM is the solution that helps you organize all product data in a product catalog by logically structuring and systematising all information.
Product information can be transmitted to customers in a number of ways:
• Sending tables (CSV, XLSX) and photos via email,
• Transmission of data over different data clouds (e.g., Dropbox, Onedrive, etc.).
As an interactive showcase, a PIM system facilitates the process of information transmission to potential partners regarding thousands of products.
Advantages of a PIM system
The key advantage of the PIM system is that it unifies and manages all data in a specific place, especially those involved in creating product-related information. These can include both the technical and marketing relevant data. It is possible to provide all partners with up-to-date information in different formats, depending on requirements.
A PIM system provides the following advantages for users:
- Elaborateness – a well-structured PIM database can contain any number of structured data about a product. Thanks to the structuring, there is no chaos in your product information – the necessary information can be found easily and quickly.
- Actuality – having all data stored in a specific place makes it faster to update them. You are always able to distinguish the most recent state of the data.
- Centralization – the information is immediately accessible to all relevant parties in appropriate formats. It is no longer necessary to manually create new documents and files and them keep up-to-date.
A Product Information Management system solves many tasks
A PIM system helps to increase the information exchange effectiveness in three specific directions:
- collaboration between several departments in a company
- b2b – interaction between wholesale and retail partners
- b2c – interaction between sellers and private customers.
Tasks which a PIM system solves:
- Data exchange between partners in different formats is ensured – like csv, json, xml, xlsx, docx etc.
- Updating and transfer of product information to wholesalers and other sellers is accelerated.
- All necessary product-related information is easier to manage – product descriptions, product attributes, media content, technical information, other information required by law, brochures, manuals, etc.
- Integration of the product information into enterprise systems (e.g., ERP, CRM, WaWis) to ensure consistency of statements about the products.
- Managing your partners' access to your product catalogs becomes easier – you decide which products and what information in respect of these products your partners see (e.g., various prices, availability, etc.).
The presence of a single repository, containing all product information will not only facilitate the collaboration of different departments in a company, but also facilitate the cooperation of the partners who need this information in order to sell the products more efficiently and faster.
Introduction of a PIM system pays off
An increasing number of companies are using specific applications for organizing and managing product information and related processes and tasks – from manufacturing to marketing a product.
The introduction of a PIM system in the enterprise has a large number of advantages, particularly striking among them is the reduction of expenses. According to the research conducted by Heiler Software AG and Stuttgart Media University, a PIM system helps to reduce the expense of managing product data. The data infrastructure is simplified. Overall, it takes less time to create a product description – it takes nearly 30 minutes to prepare data about a product without using PIM and only 10 minutes by using this system. A good PIM system, such as treopim.de (an open source software), additionally helps to reduce the costs of creating a digital product catalog. Thanks to PIM, these expenses can be reduced by ten percent or even more. For companies whose products are offered on the international market, a PIM system can become an efficient tool for translating product information into other languages – thanks to PIM, the expenditure on translating product catalogs can be reduced by more than ten percent.
Saving costs in the application of a PIM system is certainly significant, but the overall increase in marketing effectiveness is even more impressive.
The importance of managing product information efficiently should not be underestimated, especially when it comes down to large companies, having a wide range of products at their disposal. Product information management is an effective approach to managing product information, involving an immediate positive effect for manufacturers through its use. The point is that product communication is simpler and faster, wholesalers and retailers receive consistent, detailed and qualitative product information and can increase their sales, and thus manufacturers' revenues.