An Enterprise Resource Planning software (usually referred to as ERP) is a software system used to manage and maintain the functions of a business, and therefore most of the data it manages are real-time data. All organizations should have it, and for any organization that uses this type of software, ERP is a central part of that organization's life, and a core component of its digital stack, that the business depends upon.
It makes sense then, for companies where product data plays a big role, to imagine the management of this data within their ERP that already covers the core of their business.
As a functional extension to Business Central (or older NAV), Pimics greatly expands the scope of what this ERP can do for you as a product-centric company. Below we bring details about a few operations that people usually need to do using their ERP data, which can be deeply impacted – for the better – by adopting Pimics.
Creating new products into the system
Let's suppose your company just shook hands with a new supplier and they send you their catalog of products for inclusion into your range. Using the standard BC functionality, you can either create items manually one by one and pray you finish by Christmas, or use a configuration package to import basic information about the new range into the system. Either way, you are limited to a few fields like item number, basic description, unit of measure, or unit price. The work is user-intensive.
|Using Pimics Vendor Catalog: you can easily define a template, and then import all details that the new vendor provides to you, including images or other sorts of documents. The newly created items will carry with them all information needed to purchase and sell in the ERP, but also much more than that: you will have ALL available information about those items inside your ERP and you will be able to export it to all your sales and marketing channels. All of this directly from your Business Central ERP, no 3rd party software involved.
- easy data import from vendors
- streamlined items creation in the ERP, easily populating the database with thousands of products or more at a time
- standard data exchange formats like BMECat or DataNorm are supported
- industry standard data classifications like ETIM or eCl@ss are supported
Enriching and modifying product information
In standard Business Central jargon, the word 'enriching' doesn't exist. Business Central/NAV and ERPs generally, are about minimum functionality on the side of product information, and maximum transactional operations performance. What you get out-of-the-box are a few fields to specify the minimum amount of information that can describe a product: short description, unit of measure, minimum order quantity, price, simple attributes or one preview picture.
|Using Pimics: you get a whole new level of flexibility in specifying product information in Business Central. In fact, there are virtually no limits to the number of details you can add about your products. You can attach to your items as many features as necessary, and as many digital assets as necessary (images, data sheets, etc.). Not only that, but Pimics also has productivity functionality like feature inheritance and bulk changes, that enable you do that efficiently across product categories. We haven't forgot about data quality: as a result, Pimics has tools to ensure that the necessary amount of data is there for any product before you publish it to any sales or marketing channel.
- PIM enables adding complete product information
- unlimited features and descriptions
- product information accuracy, completeness and consistency
- Master Data Management
- Digital Asset Management
Finding products based on product details
In your plain Business Central ERP, not only there is very scarce product information available, but most this information is mostly not searchable. So, more often than not, you will not be able to find a product or a subset of products based on your own search criteria.
Printing out product data
|Using Pimics: accurately finding products and product information becomes an easy task both inside your ERP and outside - meaning any sales or marketing channel served by your PIM-in-ERP. Owing to extensive categorization functionality, master data and keyword/metadata management, you will easily find your way through your product range, and so will your customers.
- the Single Point Of Truth for all product data is the ERP itself: one place to always find up-to-date information about the products you sell
- product managers and marketing people will finally be able to easily find product data for editing or exporting
The only way users can generate product data from the standard Business Central ERP, is through reports. This is an ERP functionality which was intended to show users data about how the business evolves, and is poorly adapted to showing details about your product range. That is why these reports can only give a crude and graphically limited account of whatever small volume of product information users can store within the stock ERP.
Using data for exporting to other channels
|Using Pimics: you can define PDF export templates and have custom publications for including the needed subset of your product range. Also, Pimics allows you to directly communicate with InDesign for updating data in your professional-looking product catalogues and sales brochures. Either way, you will always be ready to print out your relevant product data just the way you want it to look.
Advantage: your sales and marketing people will easily fulfill any customer request, or your company’s own request for product data, with professional-looking printed documents or beautiful PDF exports; oh, and that promo action brochure will be ready in a snap
Be it for your customers or your webstore, you will want to use data from the ERP for exporting to your other sales channels than print. Business Central is not well equipped for that, although by various developments you can make it export export data the way you need it. Still, flexibility is minimal and you will have a very basic tool for your purpose. Not anywhere near the requirements of today's diverse and connected world.
|Using Pimics: you will be able to efortlessly tackle any data export target with the confidence and ease that only a PIM system can give you. No matter if you want to export an Excel pricelist for a customer with a selection of your product range, or you want your web store updated with the latest product data, publications in Pimics will help you manage all your sales&marketing data output needs. You can have an unlimited number of exports to an unlimited number of channels. Specific PIM functions like publication versioning will allow you to keep all your product information exports under control.
- specific PIM functionality to easily manage exporting product data in several formats to all your sales and marketing channels
- you can make the most out of native Business Central integration with other Microsoft products like Office 365, to make your BC a true data hub for all your product data exchange purposes