You might be familiar with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software providers such as SAP, Oracle, Epicor, NetSuite, etc – these solutions offer functionalities that will allow you to integrate and manage information and processes into one centralized hub, from production and supply chain to inventory and financial management.
Despite the many benefits of an ERP, there are still gaps that it is unable to solve. In this article, we will introduce how using a Product Information Management tool (PIM) can help unlock opportunities to raise efficiency and potentially boost revenue.
Consider This Crucial Component: Product Data
If you are already using an ERP software, or are considering to invest in one, you might have realized a lacking capability – in-depth product information management. For manufacturers and distributors, this is a critical piece of the business which impacts not only operational efficiency, but also top-line growth.
This is where Product Information Management systems (PIM) comes in. PIM is a specialized solution which provides a unified repository for all product information, including descriptions, attributes, images, and other related data.
Here are three areas where a PIM can be utilized to complement an ERP:
1. Enrichment of product data to improve sales & marketing
ERP systems are primarily designed to manage transactional data such as orders, invoices and payments, but not rich media content.
A study by HingeGlobal found that as much as 25% of consumers are more likely to buy an item when the product has enhanced product content. This includes images, videos, animations, and other multimedia files that make a product visually appealing.
PIM acts as the one source of truth, allowing users to extract accurate and up-to-date product information. Without a PIM, these product details and files are likely going to be scattered across various teams and folders, making it cumbersome and time-consuming to gather and use them for sales and marketing activities.
2. Syndication of product data for multiple B2C sales channels
ERPs are also not well-suited for managing the complex and constantly changing product data formats that are required for e-commerce and marketplaces.
A PIM can facilitate the management of complex product hierarchies, such as bundles and variants. It can also manage translations, ensuring that product information is consistent across multiple languages.
3. Distribution of product data to increase lead generation
Another feature of a PIM tool is the automation of mundane processes such as catalog generation, quotation & order creation etc. When you create or update your product info and assets, they are synced in real-time, which means your sales reps will always be able to generate the latest product catalogs with just a few clicks of a button.
Some PIM solutions will also allow you to customize and share online catalogs by selecting only the products your buyers requested for. You may even receive RFQs or orders directly from the e-catalog. This reduces your time to market when launching new products or updating buyers with pricing or promotional changes.
So, Do I Need Both ERP and PIM softwares?
Essentially, PIM acts as an extension of ERP, providing additional functionality and capabilities that are specifically designed to support the management of product information. PIM systems typically integrate with ERP systems, allowing for seamless data exchange between the two. This means that businesses can manage both transactional and product data from a single system, resulting in greater efficiency, accuracy, and consistency.
If you don’t currently use an ERP, but are looking for solutions to digitize your business, you might want to consider starting with a PIM system. Setting up a good foundation with clean, high quality product data will make it easier should you decide to invest in heavier tech stacks in the future.
Want to see how it works for your business?
Trustana Product Suite is a connected product experience platform that allows you to automate your sales operations and helps you grow your business faster. Book a demo with us to learn more!