Digitalization is not only changing people's lifestyles, it is also influencing corporate strategies in terms of business, production and competition policy.
In order to remain competitive in the market, manufacturers have to face further challenges and reorient themselves, especially since the Corona pandemic. Consistency is the top priority here:
A successful digital transformation strategy must encompass the entire corporate structure, including marketing, purchasing, invoice processing, payment transactions, controlling and sales, with no way around process adaptation based on new technologies. Diverse media, internationalization and rapid product launch cycles must be mastered in order to stand up to the competition.
The problem for manufacturers - decentralized product data storage
Central product data management is a necessity to ensure successful processes. In many companies, various sales data is managed in the ERP system, logistics data is then entered via Excel, images are stored in the network and product texts are stored in a company's graphics department.
Bringing these different sources of information together costs time, internal resources and therefore leads to cost-intensive processes. The merging of product data is often error-prone, as updates can be made but cannot be viewed in a central location by all those responsible.
The solution for manufacturers are new digital technologies through a PIM system
For an optimal and high-quality digital presence, manufacturers first and foremost need efficient data management in which product data is available without errors for all relevant actions, up-to-date and in real time.
For this, a product information management (PIM) system ensures that supply chains are maintained and customers receive a maximally satisfying shopping experience.
A PIM system simplifies the creation of the "single point of truth", due to the unique central location of data maintenance and distribution of data, as well as always up-to-date, uniform and ubiquitously available data source for all employees.
Thus, even the most complex relations are mapped uniformly and server-side validations automatically avoid erroneous data transfer. This makes it possible to trace clear, transparent and error-free relationships between product relations.
Functionality and basic functions of a PIM system
A PIM system is the core of an enterprise product information management process with appropriate technology. It works in the following way, briefly explained:
- Input through input systems (enterprise resource planning (ERP), suppliers, manual).
- Enrichment of further data
- Publication to output systems
Interfaces connect various connected systems to the PIM system, allowing data to be exchanged in both directions. This can be done at fixed, periodic times or in real time. The basic functions of a PIM system include:
Data management Through its web-based user interface and user-friendly features, PIM makes working with product information significantly more efficient.
Data Modeling The PIM system ensures that product data modeling remains flexible so that the PIM can grow with the needs of the business.
Data Quality Management A PIM system delivers high quality and reliable data and scalable data governance.
For which manufacturers is a PIM system useful?
Especially for companies that have an extensive product range - regardless of the company size, a PIM system makes sense.
This also applies to manufacturers who sell their products through different channels, frequently have to adapt product data or sell internationally. Within the company, the marketing, purchasing, product management and e-commerce departments are primarily concerned with the maintenance of the PIM system.
Competitive advantages through PIM - at a glance:
Optimally sorted information helps companies remain agile and react quickly to changes. An efficient product data management solution saves time and money, strengthens customer relationships and gives marketing more flexibility. Flawless data management can thus be considered a clear competitive advantage. In the following, we have summarized 10 competitive advantages for manufacturers through a PIM system:
The company gains a central knowledge database through a PIM system, which reduces the complexity of the data and increases transparency. As a result, desired information can be found much faster. Integration into the company's other systems, such as merchandise management or CRM, is also facilitated.
In the digital age, data has a highly relevant significance that is set to increase rapidly. This is especially true for product data. Companies that invest in an efficient solution for the management of product data have the chance to optimally use the resulting competitive advantages for themselves.
With a PIM system, manufacturers can secure their supply chains, expand networks and optimally improve internal work processes across departments through workflow optimization and automation, which in turn leads to free resources. The process optimization leads to more efficiency, customer acceptance and thus for a successful market positioning of the company compared to the competition.
There is a wide range of solutions on the market of providers, which offers the most suitable software for every company. The PIM directory has listed over 80 PIM systems, each of which is briefly described. Among them is the open source software platform PIMCORE.
We are happy to support you in the decision-making process and introduction of a PIM (Product Information Management) system:
- Requirements workshop on the topic of product data - in the workshop we jointly develop the class model for maintaining the product information and set up the object classes together with you.
- Setup and installation of the PIM incl. required software components in a specialized hosting environment.
- Provision of a universal interface with which the import (MXL, CSV, JSON, Excel, etc.) of your existing product data into the PIM system can take place. The API also allows you to export feeds and create Rest APIs into any application.
- Connection of the PIM system to your required output systems (website, eCommerce shop, app, Adobe InDesign, etc.) as well as creation of the required templates
- Editorial training on the use of PIMCORE
You will find further interesting topics related to PIM here:
Oliver Parrizas will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject. +49-800-911-91-91