Making the case for PIM-in-ERP

There's no doubt that ERP plays a critical role within a company, as a tool for managing internal business data. Moreover, this is the kind of software that an organization commits to for many years.
But what about PIM? Do you need both ERP and PIM? Does it make sense to add PIM with your new ERP implementation? How will they work together? Can PIM work from WITHIN the ERP?
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Making the case for PIM-in-ERP
posted 03.03.2022
Sergiu Iscu
Sergiu Iscu
Article Author

Where PIM really shines is in its ability to complement ERP system functionality. Sure, your ERP will manage all your transactional data: sales and purchase orders, inventory management, invoicing, accounting, even some basic product data. Where it falls short of needed features is in managing extended product data, and that's where PIM comes in. A PIM covers all marketing aspects, such as extended product descriptions, technical features and associated files and media. While ERP deals with internal information and processes, and the logistics&sales side, PIM will readily handle internal and external product communication. Wouldn't it be great if there could be some ERP+PIM all-in-one? Yes, and we made it possible.

If allowed by your ERP's architecture, then there's no other place where it makes more sense to put your PIM functionality than inside your ERP. That is true from several points of view, among them being:
- solid data integration within the same database, with instant data availability and complete product information visibility for the user: product marketing data as well as logistics&sales data;
- no functionality overlap between the PIM extension and underlying ERP, and no need for separate data backup: it's all there in the same database;
- user familiarity with the software interface: PIM functionality added to the ERP comes natural to users;
- cost effectiveness, coming also from lower IT maintenance.

PIM that delivers the goods

Over time, we saw that our PIM-in-ERP concept is recognized by many companies we came in contact with, as they have tried to extend the standard ERP functionality by adding or enlarging table fields, or even adding more complex product data functionality. They usually end up admitting that it is very difficult to create and maintain meaningful PIM functionality inside your ERP by yourself. And that is the reason why they come to us, because for anybody using NAV or Business Central from Microsoft, Pimics offers comprehensive PIM functionality.

Why add Pimics to your ERP? The main drivers for such a decision will be known by companies recognizing their need for PIM-specific functionality and below you can find a few of them:

  1. Create a multi-layered product hierarchy or even more such hierarchies
  2. Easily import and export large volumes of product data from your vendors, or to your customers
  3. Product descriptions unlimited in size and number for different purposes/sales channels
  4. Product classifications, including industry standards such as ETIM or eCl@ss
  5. Data modeling, unlimited number of product features
  6. Digital Asset Management (images, PDF documents, CAD drawings, videos, etc.)
  7. Data inheritance within the product tree, bulk changes
  8. Data quality control
  9. Keyword and metadata management
  10. Product data publication to an unlimited number of sales channels

End of a dilemma: should PIM or ERP be the leading system?

In the case of standalone PIM solutions, there will always be functionality overlap between ERP and PIM, and there will always be the dilemma about where to initiate product creation, both possible decisions coming with their own disadvantages. Not so with Pimics, because Pimics will sit atop ERP functionality and not duplicate it. Just extend it. For example if we talk about new items creation, Pimics can just accept newly created ERP items for enriching with information. But it can give you new flexible options in this process, also covering the scenario of maintaining a large product range on the PIM side and online shop, while only creating SKUs in the ERP for those items being sold. Adopting Pimics, you will only pay for pure PIM functionality, nothing else.

ERP inherently contains your master data. Adding PIM functionality lets you nicely round it off by adding hierarchical relationships in your product range, and by greatly expanding product data by specifying features, images, linked documents, etc. PIM can handle your taxonomy in a flexible manner, in which for example an item can belong to two product categories at once, depending on the practical criteria that you need to be reflected on the customer side. A T-shirt can simulaneously belong to the T-shirts category and the summer collection, and also maybe to one of your current promo actions. All this you can specify within your PIM and within your ERP. And this information will be accurately reflected online in your webshop, or your PDF product/seasonal brochures that you will provide to your customers or resellers.

Do you use Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Business Central as an ERP? Do you need PIM to organize your product information and reach your internal and external customers in the most coherent and profitable way? Look no further than Pimics! You can ask for a demo here.
Sergiu Iscu
Sergiu Iscu
Article Author

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