When should you consider a PIM system?

Considering a PIM system?

 

A PIM system is not a “must have” for every company. Several factors determine whether there is a need for a PIM system:

 

  • Lots of products and product changes

Fashion retailers in particular change their entire assortment twice or even more times per year.

  • Lots of users

Excel is a great tool but with a few thousand products it becomes less great, especially when several people need to work on product information at the same time.

  • Product complexity

When products have many attributes and the kind of products offered differ widely, the cost of working with Excel or standard database systems increase sharply. PIM systems allow products to be classified much more easily.

  • Data quality/compliance

PIM has several tools to improve and maintain the quality of product information. Usually it also logs who edits and/or approves which product content and when.

  • Lots of sources/synchronizations

The manual import of data is doable if it involves uploading a CSV file once a week. However, synchronization of data with 15 different suppliers on a daily basis can best be automated.

  • Lots of customer segments

The more customer segments, the more different views on the complete assortment have to be maintained.

  • Lots of channels

The more (different) channels (print, Web, mobile, etc.) the more likely different output formats and interfaces have to be supported.

  • Countries/languages

When providing product information in 32 countries with local adaptation of content, a PIM is no longer an option but a must have.


Even companies with a limited number of products may decide to invest in a PIM system. A premium brand producer of strollers, for example, only has three different kinds of strollers. However, the strollers are sold in over 80 countries in 13 different languages, the products have more than 1,000 variants as components may differ in color, product parts change over time and may differ per country due to regulatory demands, etc. As a result, 30+ central marketing staff and local sales employees are continuously working on product information and a PIM system proved a necessity to manage the complexity.

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