If you’re a bit perplexed about the difference between MDM and PIM, you’re not alone. In fact many are unclear about what Product Information Management (PIM) entails, and how it differs from Master Data Management (MDM). You may be wondering, “What do I really need? PIM, MDM, or both?” So, let’s clear up the confusion with a quick look at the difference between the two areas of product data management.
Master Data Management…think back-end operational excellence
High-value, business critical information is at the heart of every business transaction, application, and decision. This information is called master data. However, the quality of master data degrades over time. Key business processes are then impacted when master data is inaccurate, missing, duplicated, or incomplete.
A Master Data Management solution eliminates the guesswork and uncertainty that results from too many versions of the same data. MDM provides a framework of technologies and processes with a central repository of reliable, up-to-date data consolidated across all enterprise applications.
Ultimately, with Master Data Management the main focus is providing a single, trusted version of back-end data in pursuit of operational excellence.
Product Information Management…think compelling product content for omnichannel marketing
Product Information Management refers to centrally managing information about products. Furthermore, the driving force in PIM is to enable a multi-channel marketing strategy with consistent, compelling product content. As Forrester Analyst Michele Goetz puts it, PIM is “MDM on Business Terms.”
A PIM solution helps retailers achieve cross-channel integration, as well as collect and manage the data necessary to better understand customers and how they prefer to shop. Retailers are able to reach consumers with trusted, compelling content including images, reviews, product descriptions, videos, and more.
Immediate benefits and efficiencies arise from having a single repository available to all users including marketers, store personnel, logistics, trading partners, and suppliers. A shared view reduces errors and inconsistencies, as well as the labor involved in creating quality content. This also leads to faster product launches and promotions. Ultimately, improved customer satisfaction reduces return rates and builds brand loyalty.
Goetz’s Forrester blog gives another look into how PIM provides a layer to Master Data Management:
“PIM makes managing the product master efficient in two ways: 1) It puts ownership and control of product information into the hands of subject matter experts in the business and 2) It consolidates product data with content (copy, video, audio, images) and the mechanisms to integrate with marketing delivery channels – a business solution for merchandising. Organizations using PIM solutions report cutting the time to market for new products and product updates from weeks to hours…In data management terms, PIM is a data governance application for the business. In business terms, PIM is a merchandising business solution.”
To conclude, PIM is a part of MDM. However, many companies choose to implement standalone PIM without a larger MDM undertaking. This can be an easier, quicker option for those looking to synchronize product information across channels.
Contact EnterWorks to speak with an MDM and PIM expert about your business challenges and which solution is right for you.