Although PIMs are currently popular among mid and enterprise businesses any business looking to streamline and scale can benefit. 

Every day as individuals and teams work to manage sourced data, inventory, item numbers, price lists, references, catalogs, SKUs, images, videos, language translations, localizations, supplemental documentation, web collateral, web pages, promotions, custom attributes and more, the product information management problem compounds.

Every time an individual or catalog of products is edited, especially at the scale and pace required to successfully sell online today, product information becomes scattered, duplicated, reformatted, error-ridden and held captive by people or applications.

Immediate Benefits of a Product Information Management (PIM) Solution

What a PIM does is allows multiple, disparate teams to unify their efforts into a seamless workflow. Back office teams can to import and manage every product data point, merchandisers can make adjustments to best meet demand. Then, Marketers can create and schedule targeted landing pages, banners, etc., and push them to multiple marketplaces and localized, international sites.

A PIM empowers businesses to quickly meet the demand of a dynamic omnichannel shopping experience, enter new markets, balance international efforts and beat competition to market.  

Unique Advantage of a Native Information Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

If a PIM offers a native iPaaS as we do at Jasper PIM, product information will continuously sync across all business applications within a technology suite. Individuals and teams confidently use data to share with stakeholders, suppliers, manufacturers and more.

This is a key point as our iPaaS, provides a two-way sync keeping your entire stack up-to-date at all times.

Where a PIM is used to contain all the details of your product data, an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is what integrates existing applications with the PIM. This is how the PIM can push the information across a technology stack so accurate product information can be sent and received by Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Order Management Systems (OMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and additional systems for cohesive omnichannel management.

 

Benefits and Value of Jasper PIM Workflows

 

Here is a comprehensive list of the benefits we’ve heard from our clients including; Powell’s Books, Berlin Packaging, Me to We, ToyMate, Mad Dogg Athletics (formerly Spinning.com) Avery Dennison, Chuck Levin’s, and more:

  • Centralize and sanitize data
  • Enrich product descriptions and specifications
  • Track progress and product completion
  • Link images, documents and media to products
  • Categorize products and files
  • Manage upstream data and prepare it for sales channels
  • Offer vendor or affiliate portals to partners
  • Delegate product management and content approvals
  • Optimization of international sales workflows
  • Manage relationships between products
  • Create and publish product catalogs
  • Build custom product feeds
  • Format product data for multichannel syndication
  • Automate catalog creation and maintenance
  • Find everything in one central database

EXAMPLE: As Skullcandy’s preferred PIM, we enable them to sell worldwide in 6 languages and 4 currencies. Here are the benefits they’ve been so kind to share;

 

“We’re currently using Jasper as a digital PIM, but by the end of the year we’ll be expanding Jasper to be the PIM for the entire Skullcandy organization.

In addition to digital, we’ll use it for retail marketing, creative, sales, and any other teams who need product imagery or product information. It will be the first point of contact when people have questions about a product and need an answer.

In our short integration time to date, Jasper’s PIM has proven essential to our business and is highly adaptable. It is capable of meeting our needs in more ways than maybe a PIM should!” 

 

– Kinsey Butler, Manager of Ecommerce Strategy at Skullcandy 

 

Advanced Optimizations and Automation Features of a Top PIM Software Solution

Once your onboarded and products are added, barcoded, photographed, categorized, merchandised and lit up to various portals or publication channels inside your PIM, automation rules can be created that publish to a limitless number of platforms.

A top PIM software solution can also be setup to automatically aggregate sources from multiple inbound feeds. Say for example as a retailer you’d like to automatically create products that you can publish to your ecommerce store, while also setting rules so that your staff can go in and simply:

  • Review the data that’s come in from the inbound feeds or ERP ingestion pipeline
  • Massage the data, adding custom photos and pricing where needed
  • Setup merchandising rules such as categories, attributes, tags, promotions, sales, etc.
  • Define its publication channels (i.e. on which stores does this product sell?)
  • Define custom price groups & tiers or other override data like names or imagery depending on publication channel
  • Finally, decide which store(s) or output channels you’d like to publish too (and at what frequency) and the PIM takes care of the rest 

Carrying a Wide and Shallow Inventory Assortment

Nowadays your sales are processed through a number of channels. Be it online, 3rd party marketplaces or just the good-old brick and mortar retail store, having an efficient and effective system manage these orders with your warehouse is more crucial than ever. PIM allows for one smooth and streamlined communications between your sales channels and inventory.

Disadvantages of Multi-Storefront Software

Multi-storefront software responded to the first instances of these channels opening up to businesses. Unlike a PIM they focus on one end of the order process rather than bringing the whole system under one digital roof. This software tends not to be so user-friendly, so it can be very time consuming and prone to errors. Manual entry is not easy to work with and when your orders come in multiple formats, they can be tricky to process and receive without mistakes.

With this type of system, you’ll often find your employees are stretched thin with your resources quickly lacking. This will ultimately lead to disruption in your overall customer service. These systems require a lot more time and resources to work with compared to PIM systems, especially when it comes to inventory management and communicating with the warehouse. You’ll need to invest more in training your employees more intensively.

You will also find these systems do not mix too well with applications integrations, which are imperative for things like offers of promotions. It can take hours to implement these over your channels, opening up windows everywhere for mistakes. With a PIM however, all it takes is a few simple clicks.

Why use a PIM?

PIM systems allow you to centralize your sales channels and inventory for a more streamlined retail offer. The software will speed up the overall efficiency of your operation allowing for a more positive shopping experience for your consumers. Thanks to a central ERP system that your multiple sales channels go to, it is much faster to find and process your orders due to the consolidation of order data. You can efficiently distribute and share the information across the channels that you are using so that all information is updated at a single time. All of this comes together to ensure better inventory management.

PIM systems offer efficient data delivery, too. You can quickly update all information across the board, no matter the business system or channel. You can organize information on services or products for your clients, making it easy for them to find what they need. Only enhancing the customer experience is enhanced

This system offers easy integration. You will quickly integrate with ERP, ESB and other enterprise systems or any third-party systems that you utilize. Communication between the systems is seamless and it is easy to tackle all required tasks as they are necessary.

You can see that compared to multi-storefront and similar software types, PIM is superior for maintaining store inventory. It allows you to accurately track what you have available and it ensures greater accuracy. It also makes it easier for your customers to get updated information about the services and products offered, improving the overall customer experience.

Inventory Updates With Product Information Management

The rate of product invention and production has accelerated rapidly, resulting in shorter product life cycles than at any point in the history of manufacturing and sales. Every link in the supply chain depends upon centralized, constantly updated, and standardized inventory data. Product information management (PIM) systems are the best tools available to ensure that product producers, suppliers, and retailers share the same necessary data and details and that this relevant information is passed on to consumers. Accurate information is necessary for correct ordering, successful sales, and customer satisfaction.

Innovation and Information

The continuous introduction of new products to an ever-expanding marketplace in addition to updated models or versions of existing products makes PIM systems a necessity. The provision of accurate information from producers to suppliers and retailers is of utmost importance. At the final stage in the supply chain, merchants need to be able to ensure that their inventory includes suitable quantities, varieties, and versions of products in order to satisfy customer demand. Standardized product information is imperative to prevent incorrect or insufficient labeling that results in returned orders, customer complaints, or overstock that is difficult to move.

Accurate Product Data

The accuracy of item descriptions is especially important when merchants stock multiple releases or versions of certain products. There may be significant variations in specifications or pricing between items that appear relatively similar. Two products of the same brand may be distinguished only by refinement between production cycles or generations. PIM systems can account for these minor distinctions all the way down the supply chain. Merchants can be sure that they are stocking and offering the correct version of a product for the proper price and avoid confusing or dissatisfying customers.

When it comes to differentiating between newer and older versions of products and accounting for the fact that the latter may become overstock, having appropriate inventory data can allow retailers to accurately depict and price different versions. Some customers may be interested in purchasing discontinued products, possibly at a discounted price, which still result in sales. It is all the more important that newer products or versions can be easily distinguished from older stock through accurate and updated product data.

Successful Product Launches

Whether a vendor is stocking an entirely new product or a new version of an existing product, PIM solutions can play a pivotal part in a successful product launch. Standardizing product descriptions, pricing, and other details off the manufacturing line can allow for efficient distribution and sale. Accurate product information increases retailers’ ability to effectively promote new stock to potential customers and facilitate conversions or purchases.

Updated information plays a crucial role in today’s sales ecosystem, which still spans the digital divide. The synchronized updates made possible by PIM systems allow for standardization across every stage of the supply process. It is important that dead-end branches off of these centralized and consistent systems are prevented whenever possible, as these can result in sinks for inventory and profits. The benefits of accurate and consistent product information accrue to all companies involved, and ultimately to consumers.