Companies usually use ERP and several sales channels (e.g. E-Shop, electronic catalogues or Amazon). The company keeps data outside any system because various people are in charge for some products and individual channels. Most often product data is stored to Excel, which seems to be the best option at the moment.
An Excel spreadsheet with selected products is then prepared during the standard process of data preparation. Product managers fill in the technical information in it afterwards, then sales people put in the prices and subsequently content creators add descriptions and pictures. Finally, everything is uploaded to the web or printed into a catalogue.
Unfortunately, this process is not sustainable in the long run. The change requirements come so fast that it is difficult to keep everything consistent. After a while, it is not clear if the Excel spreadsheet is still current or needs to be revised again. Additionally, new products arrive, the term of the catalogue printing is dangerously close and you need to make a decision under pressure. Publish outdated data or postpone the date of catalogue production. You will never need to deal with such a dilemma with a PIM solution.
Using a PIM system is the most efficient way of data preparation. It makes the whole process faster and the work easier for all people participating in it. PIM system creates one database on the SPOT (Single Point of Truth) principle integrated with other systems (E-Shops, warehouse, orders, InDesign etc.). It contains all data, so the staff working with PIM does not need to know the specifics of each sales channel. PIM system transforms the product data into the form required by the particular channel.