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What is product information management?

A product information management (PIM) system is a software application that helps businesses manage large amounts of product data. A PIM system consolidates all a company's product information into a central database, making it easier to keep track of products and their associated data like product descriptions, SKUs, pricing information, images, and other data.

Although PIM systems aren't always necessary, they can be quite helpful for businesses with a lot of products and product information to manage. For example, e-commerce companies often use PIM systems to help them manage all the product data in their online stores. If a business is planning on expanding into new markets and launching new products, a PIM system can be beneficial for keeping track of all the relevant data.

Overall, a PIM system can help businesses streamline their product information management processes, making it easier to manage large amounts of data and ensuring that the company always provides accurate and up-to-date product listings.

Sales Layer’s PIM is easily integrated with any platform your company uses, in all the languages you need to distribute your content and any channel. It’s the perfect tool to improve your team’s productivity, update all your platforms, and launch your products at once.

What is master data management (MDM)?

MDM is a process for the collection, syndication, and management of an organization's critical business data—from legal, financial, and human resources documentation to product, commercial network, customer databases, and other supply chain elements such as product providers, customers, etc.

MDM involves creating and maintaining a central repository of master data, which can be used for data governance over time. Implementing an MDM is helpful as a company grows and expands in size with a network that involves more branches, channels, teams, and external partners. 

Most companies use MDM to eliminate a large volume of data errors and inconsistencies. This solution can help organizations achieve their business objectives—improving their productivity, boosting the team’s daily performance, and creating the perfect data exchange between all the components of the business, whether internal or external.

The goal of MDM software is to ensure that this data is accurate, consistent, and accessible to those who need it. One of the primary benefits of MDM is it ensures compliance with regulations and standards, such as those set by HIPAA or the ISO 9000 quality management system.

MDM can also help businesses make better decisions based on accurate, consistent information. For example, suppose an organization's customer data is spread across multiple systems. It can be challenging to get a complete picture of who the customers are and their needs and thus target marketing efforts or assess customer satisfaction levels. MDM solves this issue.


PIM is a branch of the MDM management process, the key to delivering high-quality product content in all marketing, sales, and omnichannel actions.

MDM tends to be a costly technology system and can lack product content expertise. Complementing MDM with a PIM system is essential for manufacturers and retailers.

To understand how the two can work together, it is essential to know their primary differences in terms of the following:

  • Product vs. Enterprise
  • External vs. Internal Product Data Management
  • Agility vs. Complexity

Product vs. Enterprise

PIM is focused on product data, while MDM is geared towards managing enterprise-wide data. The critical difference between the two is that PIM systems manage large catalogs of products and their associated data. In contrast, MDM systems manage an organization's entire set of master data.

PIM solutions are typically used by companies with many products and need to manage their product data effectively. Often, PIM systems are used in conjunction with e-commerce platforms, as they can help ensure that the product data on the website is accurate and up to date.

Dealing with structuring, updating, and shipping a product catalog through MDM would be complicated and time-consuming. PIM technology is focused on gathering, enriching, publishing, and connecting product content. It is a crucial tool in an omnichannel strategy and in delivering a seamless customer experience.

MDM systems are designed to manage large amounts of data across the enterprise, including product data and information about suppliers, retailers, customers, employees, locations, and other types of master data. MDM systems typically rely on specialized software tools for managing large volumes of data, such as data integration tools and cleansing software. They are also often used in conjunction with ERP systems to help ensure that data consistency and integrity are maintained across different systems.

An MDM system aims to standardize information regarding sales, production, and catalog areas such as customers, warehouses, points of sale, distributors, wholesalers, and employees. Its goal is to improve the organization and efficiency of the company based on this data, not to improve the quality of the product catalogs.

Both PIM and MDM are essential components of modern business operations, helping companies effectively manage their product data and master data. Effective management of both types of data is critical for ensuring operational efficiency, accuracy, and competitiveness in today's global marketplace.

External vs. Internal Product Data Management

PIM manages data for external use, the product information received by the end customer, and published in different channels. MDM works with internal and private data.

The primary purpose of MDM is to provide a "single source of truth" for the organization. Its goal is to maintain a master record of all product data that may be used internally by the company or shared with external partners. MDM helps a company’s departments have a common understanding of the product data and rely on it to make decisions.

PIM focuses on creating and managing accurate, consistent, and enriched product information. The goal is to ensure that customers always have the most up-to-date, accurate product information available to them, regardless of where they are shopping.

PIM focuses on managing product information for external use, while MDM is more concerned with internal processes and data management. Ultimately, the critical difference between PIM and MDM is that one focuses on creating and managing a consistent product experience across all channels, while the other focuses on ensuring accurate product data.

However, an excellent PIM system also facilitates internal management and therefore, positively impacts the company's communication and the analysis of product impact and customer behavior. Thus, PIM is also a vital tool for internal organization through workflows that can be customized, and for the external impression made by product data. 

Agility vs. Complexity

MDM systems tend to be aimed at large corporations with extensive sales networks, a large number of offices or sites in different locations, and a strategy that spans multiple markets and regions. For this reason, MDM is a technology with high fees and requires high technical expertise.

In contrast, PIM platforms are accessible to any company, team, and professional, especially PIM platforms like Sales Layer created for product marketers. No complex technical knowledge or lengthy installation processes are required. Simple and customized onboarding allows you to start working with the data and instantly enrich it, so your ROI is swift.

Do you need a PIM or MDM if you have an ERP?

Many businesses rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to manage their operations. These sophisticated software tools help organizations optimize their resources and streamline business processes, allowing them to stay competitive in the fast-paced world of modern business. It empowers them to optimally manage their resources and processes, allowing them to be more efficient and productive.

Despite the many benefits of ERPs, they often lack a critical component necessary for managing product data: a Product Information Management (PIM) system.

A PIM system is a centralized database that stores all product-related information in one place. This includes data about the product itself, such as its features and functionalities, attributes, and capabilities, and information about how the product is marketed and sold. Having this information centrally located makes it easy for businesses to keep track of their product data and ensure that it is accurate and up to date.

In addition, a PIM system can provide valuable insights into how products are performing in the marketplace and what changes need to be made to improve sales. For businesses that rely on ERP systems for managing their operations, a PIM system can be a valuable addition that helps them optimize their product data and improve their bottom line.

While having an ERP system is certainly beneficial for businesses, it can also be helpful to have a PIM or MDM in addition to your ERP. These information management systems help you better manage your product data, but they can also provide valuable insights that can help you make more informed business decisions. 

Benefits of using an MDM Solution with PIM

Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) are complementary systems. PIM is a data management system that aids in the creation, storage, and distribution of product data across multiple sales channels. On the other hand, MDM focuses on harmonizing large sets of master data through cataloging, integration, matching, and governing the various data sources connected to it.

If you are looking for a complete and centralized view of your product data, consider using a MDM solution with a PIM system. 

An MDM solution will provide you with the ability to manage your product data across all departments and systems, while a PIM system will allow you to manage your product data in a centralized location. This combination will enable you to view and edit all of your product information in one place, reducing errors from spreadsheets and ensuring that all departments have access to accurate, up-to-date product data.

In addition, an MDM solution can help you better understand your customers' needs by providing insights into customer data. This information can improve your product offerings and better meet customer demand.

Using an MDM solution with a PIM system can provide your business with many benefits:

  • Easier implementation for marketing and sales teams
  • Ability to deliver high data quality for product content and omnichannel strategies
  • Improving the team’s productivity

1. Easier implementation for marketing and sales teams

When you use an MDM solution with a PIM system, implementation is easier for marketing and sales teams. All the product data is stored in one central location, making it easy for teams to access and update information. 

It could also provide:

  • A complete and centralized view of product data enabling CRMs and targeted marketing and sales outreach
  • Insights into customer data for improved product offerings and higher conversions
  • Increased efficiency due to accurate and up-to-date product information

2. Key to delivering high-quality product content in marketing, sales, and omnichannel activities

Master Data Management solutions help ensure high-quality product content by providing a complete and centralized view of product data. This information can improve marketing, sales, and omnichannel activities. 

MDM solutions can also help automate some of the tasks associated with managing product data, making it easier for teams to keep the product information up-to-date and accurate. This can be especially important in today's digital landscape, where customers expect fast and easy access to high-quality product content across all marketing channels.

By using an MDM solution with a PIM, businesses can better understand their customers' needs and provide the accurate, up-to-date product information they demand. This combination is key to delivering high-quality product content in all marketing, sales, and omnichannel activities.

3. Improve your team’s productivity

One of the most significant benefits of using an MDM solution with a PIM system is that it can help improve your team's productivity. With all product data stored in one centralized location, teams have quick and easy access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively. 

Automated processes and workflows within the MDM solution can help to reduce the amount of time needed to manage product data. This can free up time for teams to focus on other tasks, such as developing marketing campaigns or working on new product designs.

Overall, using an MDM solution with a PIM system can provide your business with many benefits, including improved team productivity, a complete and centralized view of product data, and increased efficiency. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your business's performance, an MDM solution with a PIM system is a great place to start. 

Try Sales Layer PIM in conjunction with your MDM

While both PIM and MDM are essential for managing product data, they work best when used together. If you're looking for a complete and centralized view of your product data, consider using a MDM solution with a Product Information Management system. 

Sales Layer PIM can help you manage all your product data in one place. With integrations to popular MDM solutions and even Digital Asset Management (DAM), it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business and give you a unified view of all your product data! 

Sales Layer is an intuitive and easy-to-use PIM that helps you manage all your product data in one place, ensuring that your information is always up-to-date and accurate across all channels. 

Contact us today to learn more about how Sales Layer PIM can help you get the most out of your product data.


Bragg Case Study

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