Product Information Management (PIM) has been received and implemented as a strategic upgrade by many B2C and B2B businesses, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It significantly minimises tedious manual data entry and enhances product consistency, whilst streamlining data from multiple business systems, sales channels and applications - regardless of where changes are made or the data is stored.

One of the key benefits of this software is that it permits you to have optimum control over electronic catalogues and production information; managing the intel from one source database where you can track pricing, sales and stock from the same place, storing all the digital assets of that data; the manufacturer, SKUs, names, titles and descriptions, as well as the technical specifications (pricing, discounts, images, videos, marketing material etc).

PIM also enhances your channel management, enabling you to control sales channels and map key data to multi channels including 3PL, Amazon, eCommerce web stores and ebay. A cloud-based PIM system might include:

  • Digital Asset Management including: product manufacturers data, SKUs, names, titles, descriptions, technical specifications; pricing, dimensions, weight, images, videos etc; Documents; SEO, keywords, personas and marketing materials
  • Products: Within your product catalogue - create, edit and delete items
  • Channel Management: Map data to multichannel e.g 3PL, eBay, eCommerce web store and Amazon etc.
  • Supplier Management: Managing contact details, order histories, onboarding of new suppliers, details of products supplied and automatically updating supplier prices.
  • Dashboard: Graphically showcasing stock numbers, products out of stock, returns, the top selling products and any company promotions etc.

Benefits of the a PIM for eCommerce:

Utilising PIM for eCommerce enables you to manage your whole product catalogue, consolidating all the data from the software to sales channels such as your eCommerce store. The following eCommerce applications can be integrated with PIM; Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento, WooCommerce. Furthermore, by installing the application ‘PIMventory’ you can unify divergent product data. This frees up business time, allowing you to focus on bringing your products to market more efficiently and with 100% accurate product listings.

Why should my business invest in PIM?

Every company will have its bespoke demands and needs. You can only assess whether your business requires PIM by researching the volume of SKUs and product suppliers you work with and how you envisage your company will scale in the future.

For example, if your company works with one main supplier and you manage 50 -100 SKUs, you may not require a PIM installation. On the other hand, if you have multiple suppliers and manage 16,00 SKUs, a PIM could make a significant difference.

So how do you identify if PIM is the right solution for your business? Let’s examine the following list of business requirements, to help you assess if an upgrade is a worthy investment:

  • Is your business investing in costly and valuable staff time, manually managing the current volume of SKUs?
  • Do you sell your products on multiple channels? Amazon? eBay? eCommerce etc?
  • Does your business require production information and data to be accessed by different departments, systems and staff?
  • Is your business working with multiple suppliers, who also require product data?
  • Are you updating product lines often?

If the answer to most of these is yes, book in a call with one of our system architects today or download our brochure at and we can advise you on a bespoke PIM installation for your business.

The Benefits of PIM

Perhaps the most important benefit of PIM is that the customer will experience a smoother, more consistent and enhanced buying experience. From the way products are presented, described and visually showcased with images and videos, to the reliability of product information available, PIM will enhance eCommerce and subsequently your sales conversions. You will see a reduction in products returned as eliminating manual administration removes the volume of errors in product categorisation. Furthermore, PIM enables you to have one centralised database to store data, which in turn can be fed back into an ERP system, eCommerce site, a print catalogue and marketing systems.

Commercial benefits of PIM include:

  • Eradicating the need to manually administer product information data
  • A centralised database for product data - to create, edit and delete product catalogues
  • All systems and departments benefit from the visibility of product data and information synchronised from one accessible database
  • Digital asset management is enhanced
  • Market-ready faster due to efficient turnaround time on new products. In addition, this means you are better prepared and have more time to explore and hit new markets.
  • More detailed and efficient product information and listings will decrease the number of product returns.
  • Enhanced sales conversions
  • Improved management and onboarding of product suppliers

How much does a PIM cost?

The cost of implementing PIM is dependent on each business and their bespoke needs. At vH3 we would first assess your business requirements, before suggesting a PIM that fits the needs of your company. Primarily, we take into consideration your current number of SKUs, attributes and media usage, locations, sales channels, the number of PIM users and the integration package.

The cost of PIM solutions depends on the volume of data that is required to be pushed from your ERP system into your sales channels. For example, a business with 15,000 SKUs in its ERP system wanting to integrate into both an eCommerce store and channels such as eBay and Amazon will require a PIM able to hold a lot of data.

PIM integration involving the complex and delicate planning, development, configuration and data migration of various stores and systems with other business automation processes requires a larger budget than a more simple PIM project with less data and integration.

When calculating the cost of a PIM project, we take into consideration the following:

  • Existing number of SKUs that require management and storage
  • Volume of data, media and storage required
  • PIM users; how many employees will require access to the PIM to create, update and delete product information
  • How many languages do you require in your PIM?
  • Customisation of business rules and workflows
  • What system integration do you require; an API connection or a more specialist solution such as BPA Platform for the integration of multiple databases

Are you wondering what the difference is between PIM and ERP?

The key difference between PIM and ERP is that PIM is a digital asset management solution that manages the information and technical specification of products, whereas ERP manages the transactional data that drives business processes and workflow. PIM, as the central database, has the capability to send all the product data it stores to channels such as Amazon, eBay, an eCommerce shop or 3PL.

Integration between both systems is facilitated as PIM requires certain production details from an ERP or other storage system such as Excel, FTP etc. Products stored within a PIM system can be automatically transferred and integrated into an ERP system.

ERP systems manage the business workflows and processes behind your product catalogue. It controls transactional data from all departments, for example pricing and stock levels, client relationships, purchase orders, account information and reports. If you store all your product information in an ERP system, lengthy, laborious and costly administration work is needed to create the necessary data sets, data categories and descriptions for the product - ultimately delaying the product coming to market and eating into budgets.

In many situations, ERP systems can be integrated with other applications - which can include a PIM system. The PIM can serve as the central source of product data intel or as a customer portal for payments and orders. The ERP system can work alongside, receiving and administering additional relevant business data and information for the benefit of reporting to management.

ERP systems storing data through SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Sage 200 include:Inventory lists, stock levels and price lists

  • Product Manufacturer Information; work orders, schedules, bills of materials, quality control etc.
  • Order processes; entries, credit checks, prices, shipment, sales reporting
  • Accounting; general ledgers, fixed assets, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchase orders, invoices, reports etc.
  • Supply chain management; development plans, supplier scheduling, purchases, warehousing, picking/packaging of goods etc.
  • Project Management; project costing, workflows, billing, time and expenses

How can PIM software save you time?

In addition to saving you money, a PIM system saves you time! When creating new product lines with PIM, you don’t need the extra development that an ERP system requires. Once a product is added to a PIM it is essentially market-ready, eliminating the delays and administration cost of an ERP software.

A PIM system however is an addition to your ERP system, working alongside it to elevate your current business processes and product catalogue - it is not a replacement. PIM integration with your current ERP system enables you to manage thousands of SKUs, improve workflows, reduce administration and make your overall business processes more efficient. The synchronisation of data that PIM enables eliminates manual errors and the cost that bi-directional manual data entry can cause.

Further Benefits of PIM Integration:

  • Integration between ERP and PIM increases the visibility and consistency of information - throughout the business.
  • Stock levels can be automatically synchronised in pseudo-real time in relation to inventory levels, meaning your stocks are up-to-date 100% of the time.
  • Simpler management of product information that can be synchronised across all the sales channels and marketplaces you work with
  • Eliminates the errors and costs of manual bi-directional data entry enabling you to be market-ready quicker and focus on driving revenues

PIM Integration and the BPA Platform

If you require your PIM integration to include more complex and advanced workflows or business logic, you might need to use the BPA Platform - a business process automation solution software. BPA offers an iPaaS solution, supporting cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments that facilitates the automation of processes like database monitoring, notifications and alerts, workflow approvals and the automation of reports.

Do you want to learn more about how a PIM integration can serve your business?, book in a call with one of our system architects today or download our brochure at

Riccardo Vezza

Product Information Management (PIM) has been received and implemented as a strategic upgrade by many B2C and B2B businesses, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It significantly minimises tedious manual data entry and enhances product consistency, whilst streamlining data from multiple business systems, sales channels and applications - regardless of where changes are made or the data is stored.

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