PIM Software Implementation: from Disorderly to Centralized Product Information Management

PIM Software Implementation - ScienceSoft

A long-term provider of software consulting services, ScienceSoft helps choose and adopt the right software for the improvement of various business processes.

Reasons to Choose PIM Software

Product Information Management (PIM) is the software to store, enrich and distribute all the product information. PIM is needed when a company:

  • Markets and sells their products via several channels, thus product information (e.g., images sizes) must be adapted to the requirements of a particular channel.
  • Sells in different geographical locations and a multi-lingual environment.
  • Updates their product assortment frequently.
  • Stores product information in different formats and wants to release ready-for-market products faster.
  • Wants to speed up the onboarding of new product suppliers/manufacturers.
  • Works with advanced technical data like functional specifications, 3D models, product configurators, measurements, and more.

Functional Portfolio of PIM software

Product data collection & distribution
  1. Data import via commonplace file formats: CSV and XLSX.
  2. Configurable import connector allowing to set up filters for imported products.
  1. Product data search by attributes.
  2. Pre-built APIs to connect to the most popular product distribution channels: ecommerce platforms (e.g., Magento), online marketplaces (e.g., Google Shopping).
Product data enrichment
  1. Product categorization.
  2. Creation of custom product attributes.
  3. Management of product families (products sharing the same attributes).
  4. Bulk actions on products: adding attributes, changing family, etc.
  5. Management of advanced product data (e.g., 3D product models).
  1. An editable product form.
  2. Collaboration on product data (co-editing, approval workflows).
  3. A possibility to add product associations: upsells, cross-sells, bundles.
  4. Rules engine to trigger automated actions from pre-set conditions (e.g., to assign attributes to newly created products).
Control over product data quality
  1. Data completeness bar in product forms.
  2. Aggregated analytics on overall data quality.
  1. Spell check, uppercases and lowercases formatting.
  2. Versioning and a possibility to restore the data to the previous version.
User management
  1. User roles and groups.
  2. Access control.
  3. Group-specific permissions (mainly differentiating between view-only and edit permissions).
  1. A possibility to set up a language and time zone for each user.
  2. User-to-user notifications.
  3. User activity dashboards.

Architecture and Data Flows in a PIM Solution

In a nutshell, the role of PIM is an intermediary between different sources of product data and product distribution channels. API-driven integrations within the resulting environment significantly accelerate data transfer.

  • File and media storage apps supply the root product information. The info can be created by different team members and is converted into a common format in PIM.
  • ERP provides information like product prices and stock availability. The updates reflected in sales and marketing channels in real time rule out a possibility of showing incorrect product data to customers.
  • Feed management tool contains rules to check the product data completeness and push it to a required distribution channel.
  • Digital and non-digital product distribution channels use a single consistent version of product data.

Architecture and data flowa in a PIM solution - ScienceSoft

Advance Your Product Onboarding Processes with PIM Implementation

At ScienceSoft, we recommend PIM adoption to clients who need to manage large product data sets, especially in multiple languages. We provide full-cycle implementation services for PIM software.

PIM in Various Markets

The need for technology-powered product content management is the highest among manufacturers and retailers dealing with consumer essentials and high-tech goods. We explain which features are important to have to see the highest ROI from PIM implementation.

Consumer goods

When a company works with multiple suppliers and manages 100K+ SKUs, the risk of inconsistent, duplicate or incorrect product data is high. Choose a PIM solution that doesn’t only serve as an internal system but offers a possibility of supplier portal implementation. There, suppliers will submit their product information in line with standards specified by you. Your team will be relieved from manual information submission and confine to the control function.

Industrial/high-tech manufacturing

Descriptions of industrial products demand less creativity and more technical accuracy. So, it’s typical of manufacturing companies to engage a few experts, often from different production units, for the creation of product materials. Automated validation workflows will help organize a consistent process where each contributor knows their role and instantly informs others upon their part completion. As a result, the team work is fast and productive.

Tips to Get the Best Value from PIM

You will need to store both textual information and digital assets to consolidate the product data. Early at the stage of PIM software research and selection, decide if you choose one with an embedded DAM module or integrate a third-party DAM solution separately. With the second option, you can find an optimal functionality/cost balance.

If you launch a PIM supplier portal, create templates for different types of products so that the information provided by suppliers is product-specific and full. The templates are likely to correlate with product families in PIM.

Integrate PIM with page layout design and print software if you need to create non-digital product materials such as product catalogs, brochures and flyers.

Use shared catalogs to convert the product information into a user-friendly view and collaborate effectively with external (e.g., distribution partners) and internal (e.g., sales) teams.

As a rule, PIM software doesn’t offer A/B testing but you can integrate a third-party testing tool to be able to try different ways to present products and go with the most selling one.

Implementation Cost and ROI

From our practice, we can estimate an average cost of PIM implementation as $50,000-75,000. Most commonly, the figure includes a discovery stage (business analysis, functional specification), implementation of core features, key integrations. The cost varies depending on business requirements and number of integrations.

Companies choosing PIM see the ROI from:

Faster time-to-market for new products (the time reduction can be from 24 hours to 15 minutes).

Increased conversions and reduced returns due to better product descriptions.

Increased sales if more marketing channels are implemented.

Best PIM Software

ScienceSoft’s short list of the top product information management software is based on our practice. We have selected Akeneo and Pimcore as the most feature-rich and user-friendly PIM platforms.

Pimcore

Best for: product distribution via digital and non-digital channels

Short description

Open source PHP-based software with API-first architecture. Offers native publishing module to create print materials. Consistently ranks among top PIM providers in the yearly ratings of Forrester, IDC and other market researchers. Serves more than 100,000+ companies in 56 countries.

Clients say

“We shortened our time-to-market by 60% with 75% cost reduction.”

Pricing

  • Free Starter edition (10 users, 50K data objects).
  • Price for Professional and Ultimate editions is by request to the vendor.

Akeneo

Best for: sourcing products from multiple suppliers

Short description

Open source PHP-based software with add-on modules Onboarder (to implement supplier self-service portals), Shared Catalogs (to aggregate and share product catalogs) and Syndication (to distribute product data via channels). Reports 80,000+ downloads of free Community edition.

Clients say

“Using Akeneo enabled us to cut product enrichment costs by 80%.”

Pricing

  • Free Community edition (on-premises deployment only).
  • Price for Growth and Enterprise editions is by request to the vendor.

Implement PIM with ScienceSoft

Our team will help you set up effective product information management with positive impact on the processes of product onboarding, enrichment and distribution.

Consulting support

  • Assessing product information volume: number of SKUs, SKU growth per month.
  • Defining all future users of the system, may encompass different departments and external partners (resellers).
  • Defining user roles and permission settings.
  • Comparing PIM software offerings present on the market and choosing an optimal one.
  • Mapping end-to-end product information flow from onboarding to distribution and shortlisting the required add-on modules to cover all needs.
  • Locate where pieces of product information are stored to plan PIM integrations.

PIM implementation scope

  • Configuring PIM software:
    • Creating templates.
    • Setting up workflows, notifications.
    • Creating user roles and permissions.
  • Setting up translation management and language versioning.
  • Installing add-on modules.
  • Integrating PIM with third-party systems: product information sources and distribution channels.
  • Migrating product information to PIM.
  • Conducting user training.
About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a provider of software solutions for manufacturing, wholesale and retail, distribution and ecommerce companies.