PIM vs ERP: Difference Between PIM and ERP Explained in Detail!

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By: Manish Shewaramani

PIM vs ERP: Difference Between PIM and ERP Explained in Detail!

Digital transformation has become inevitable for businesses to sustain and succeed in today’s competitive market. Also, transforming the business operation digitally play a huge role in meeting the demands and exceeding the expectations of modern customers. PIM vs ERP helps companies understand the impact of Product Information Management and Enterprise Resource Planning on the overall business.

Though a company might face a lot of challenges during the digital transformation period, the most challenging phase a company will pass through will be picking the right tech stack for their business operation.

Many companies around the world struggle a lot in deciding which to choose between the Product Information Management (PIM) system and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Both systems seem jumbled or the same if you look at it generally. But they are unique and different from each other.

It is important to understand the PIM vs ERP before finalizing which systems would be right for your business. This article elaborates on the difference between the PIM and ERP in brief, take a look.

What is PIM (Product Information Management)?

Before diving deep into the core topic of ERP Vs PIM, let’s discuss some basics.

PIM is an acronym for Product Information Management. It is a digital platform that eases the operation of managing product information and enriching them according to the evolving market condition.

The data managed in the PIM system is useful for the marketing and sales team to improve their efficiency. Moreover, the centralized repository provided by the PIM system helps businesses to distribute well-optimized product data across the existing channel through an omnichannel strategy.

For any business having a good PIM solution will pave a path to increase the sales rate, and ensure brand consistency in delivering high-quality content across the digital touchpoints where modern consumers engage with the brand.

Leveraging PIM solutions by following the best practices will be beneficial for businesses in many ways, especially in getting high customer experience and product experience.

If you are interested to explore more about PIM, then don’t miss visiting What is PIM? To get exclusive insights into different aspects of product information management, read Product Information Management – An Exclusive Guide.

What is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)?

ERP is an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. Just like the PIM platform, ERP is also a digital platform that enables businesses to employ automation in many business operations. Often companies use ERP software for performing hassle-free back-office operations, which includes both HR and IT processes.

Apart from simply bringing automation into the business operations, by employing ERP software businesses can easily remove the existing siloed data and perform seamless integration of multiple systems.

Integrating systems across an organization and creating a single platform will help the marketing team and sales team to improve their work efficiency significantly. Because this ensures all the data are stored and managed in a single database and available on a single platform.

Generally, ERP systems are mostly used as enterprise applications by larger businesses. But in today’s market, you can find ERP software suitable for smaller businesses and also in a customized version according to the business verticals.

How PIM and ERP are Different?

One of the key differences between PIM and ERP is that PIM is designed to help businesses manage product data and information across various channels and platforms, while ERP is designed to manage business functions. Another key difference is that PIM is typically used to manage product data and information, while ERP is used to manage business functions.

PIM vs ERP both help businesses streamline their operations by helping them manage their product data and information. PIM helps businesses manage product data and information across various channels and platforms, which helps them improve efficiency and boost productivity.

Additionally, PIM can help businesses manage product data and information across various channels and platforms, such as online, offline, mobile, and social media. ERP helps businesses manage their business functions, which can help them improve efficiencies and boost productivity. Additionally, ERP can help businesses automate business processes and reduce costs.

PIM vs ERP: Emergence & Expansion of Both Platforms

PIM software is on the rise, while ERP software is beginning to lose popularity. This trend is likely because PIM software helps businesses manage their product data and information more efficiently than ERP software.

Additionally, PIM software is easier to use and is designed for different purposes than ERP software. Therefore, businesses are likely to turn to PIM software instead of ERP software when managing their product data and information.

Product Information Management (PIM)

The inception of PIM can be traced back to the 1990s when certain enterprises initiated the development of specialized systems aimed at assisting organizations with the creation of print catalogs for sales purposes.

Subsequently, the rise of the internet revolutionized the retail sector, forever altering the industry landscape. The advent of online selling rendered traditional and archaic the practice of producing printed catalogs, as consumers increasingly gravitated towards digital exploration.

PIM really took off in the year 2000 when online shopping became more common. Suddenly, it wasn’t just something businesses needed to do; it was also a chance for them to grow.

Before long, multi-channel selling became all the rage, and PIM Software was seen as one of the best ways for retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to stay on top of their game.

Nowadays, relying on a PIM Platform is crucial for businesses looking to compete in a world of multiple channels and omnichannel selling. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could manage all that product information without it!

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Did you know that ERP systems have been around since the 1960s? Yup, they were first used in the manufacturing industry to manage inventory. But then came Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems, which helped with production planning, scheduling, and inventory control.

MRP-II followed suit, expanding to include master production schedules, item master data, bill of materials, purchasing management, and more. And by 1990, ERP systems had evolved to cover accounting, finance, and HR. That’s when the term “ERP” was coined by Gartner, and the rest is history!

Today, ERP systems are an essential part of many businesses, helping them streamline their operations and grow.

PIM vs ERP: Essential Features

When it comes to discussing PIM vs ERP, it is necessary to be aware that both systems are designed to help businesses manage their operations more effectively, they serve different functions and are used for different purposes. PIM is a software solution that focuses on managing product data and information, such as descriptions, images, pricing, and inventory levels, across various channels and platforms.

On the other hand, ERP is an integrated software platform that manages various business functions, including financial accounting, supply chain management, human resources, and customer relationship management.

1. ERP System Features

Cross-departmental Collaboration

ECRP platforms allow users to share data across different departments, making it easier to manage complex and multi-faceted transactions.

Customizable Workflows

ERP systems let you create customized workflows to speed up your processes.

Automated Analysis and Reporting

ERP systems let you automatically analyze performance data and generate reports that help you make informed decisions.

Improved Customer Service

With automated tools and integrations, ERP systems can help you better track customer interactions and provide better support.

Real-time Readiness

PIM ERP systems allow you to monitor real-time changes in your data, making sure that you’re always up to date and prepared for any eventualities.

Single Database

Unlike traditional accounting software, which requires you to maintain separate databases for each department, an ERP system collects data from across the company and stores it all in a centralized database.

Tracking and Visibility

ERP systems allow you to track all financial transactions, making it easier to identify problem areas and track progress.

2. PIM System Features

PIM platforms offer some of the same features as ERP systems, but they’re designed with a different focus. For example, a PIM platform might not include features related to customer service or real-time readiness.

In addition, PIM platforms are usually more lightweight and easy to use, making them perfect for smaller businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles of an ERP system.


PIM platforms are designed to streamline your operations by consolidating your data into one easily accessible system.

Customizable Workflows

Like ERP systems, PIM platforms let you create customized workflows to speed up your processes.

Automated Analysis and Reporting

PIM platforms let you automatically analyze performance data and generate reports that help you make informed decisions.

Improved Customer Service

PIM platforms can help you better track customer interactions and provide better support.

Real-time Readiness

Like ERP systems, PIM platforms allow you to monitor real-time changes in your data, making sure that you’re always up to date and prepared for any eventualities.

Data Management

PIM platforms help you track and manage your data, making it easier to access and use.

Data Integration

PIM platforms allow you to integrate with other systems, creating a cohesive data ecosystem.

To explore more features of the product information management platform, visit Must-Have Features of Product Information Management System. It explains you core and essential features of PIM that helps business to transform their business processes.

3. How are they different?

ERP systems are often much more complex than PIM platforms, and they offer a wider range of features. PIM platforms are designed to streamline your operations, while ERP systems are often used to manage large corporate projects. ERP systems are also often expensive, and they can take years to set up and learn. PIM platforms are quicker to set up, and they’re generally less expensive than ERP systems.

PIM vs ERP: Information Stored

Both PIM and ERP handle huge volumes of data, however, the key data areas on which both platforms focus differ. Let’s take a look at the data stored in each platform.

1. Data Handled by PIM System

  • Data related to products (Name, SKU, weight, price, and so)
  • Digital assets of the products (Images, Videos, and so)
  • Product Attributes (Size, color, dimension, materials, and so)
  • Product category details
  • Information regarding product variants
  • Inter-related products
  • Product technical specification
  • Inventory details
  • SEO & Metadata details related to product information
  • Customer reviews & ratings of the products
  • Product transit details (Shipping, warranty, and so)
  • Information related to the product’s marketing & promotional aspects

Read Types of Data that You Can Store in Product Information Management (PIM) Solution to get exclusive insights into what types of data can be effectively managed by PIM platform.

2. Data Handled by ERP System

  • Complete information related to product manufacturing
  • Product inventory details
  • Product distribution details
  • Complete human resource details of an organization
  • Enterprise-wide business data (Accounting, customer database, CRM, employees, and so)
  • Data related to business performance
  • Business big data

PIM vs ERP: Benefits

PIM systems are perfect for businesses that need to track a limited number of data points but don’t need the full range of features offered by an ERP system. They’re also perfect for small businesses that don’t have the resources to set up an ERP system.

ERP systems are available in many different formats, and they can offer a wide range of features. They’re also often more complex than PIM platforms, and they can be more expensive to set up and maintain. However, they offer a range of benefits that may be worth considering for larger businesses.

1. Key Benefits of the PIM System

Decreased Time-to-Market

PIM systems can help companies speed up their time to market by streamlining operations and reducing complexity.

Improved Efficiency

PIM systems can help businesses save time and money by automating routine tasks and improving workflow.

Reduced Reimbursement Costs

PIM systems can help companies reduce reimbursement costs by automating the process and reducing the need for human input.

Omnichannel Commerce

PIM systems can help businesses create custom invoices and sales letters that are tailored to each customer.

Improved Customer Relationships

PIM systems can help companies improve customer relationships by automating processes and reducing the need for human interaction.

Reduced Costs

PIM systems can help businesses save money by automating routine tasks and reducing the need for human resources.

Improved Conversion

PIM systems can help businesses improve conversion rates by automating processes and reducing the amount of time that is wasted on manual tasks.

If you are looking for more benefits of considering product information management solutions for your business, then don’t miss reading What Are the Benefits of PIM (Product Information Management) Systems?

2. Key benefits of the ERP Systems

Increased Revenue

ERP systems can help businesses increase revenue by automating processes and streamlining operations.

Improved Efficiency

ERP systems can help businesses save time and money by automating routine tasks and improving workflow.

Greater Access to Resources

ERP systems can offer businesses access to a wider range of resources, such as software, hardware, and personnel.

Improved Customer Relations

ERP systems can help businesses improve customer relationships by automating processes and reducing the need for human interaction.

Reduced Costs

ERP systems can help businesses reduce costs by automating routine tasks and reducing the need for human resources.

Greater Productivity

ERP systems can help businesses increase productivity by removing bottlenecks and improving workflow.

Faster Reporting

ERP systems can help businesses speed up reporting processes by automating data entry and consolidating information.

Deeper Insights

ERP systems can provide deeper insights into business operations by tracking data in real time.

Decreased Risks

ERP systems can help businesses minimize risks by automating processes and providing visibility into ongoing operations.

Improved Customer Loyalty

ERP systems can help businesses improve customer loyalty by ensuring that customers know what they need and how to get it.

Simplified Functioning

ERP systems can simplify the functioning of a company by automating processes and reducing the need for human interaction.

PIM vs ERP: Core Differences

CapabilityProduct Information Management (PIM)Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    PIM is typically used in small businesses due to its less complex and low cost. PIM typically includes features for managing data, such as calendars and to-do lists.
    ERP is mostly used in larger businesses due to its enhanced functionality. ERP provides more comprehensive functionality, including accounting, order processing, and inventory management.
Data Management
    PIM is highly focused on managing information and creating a single source of truth for all business users.
    ERP, on the other hand, is focused on facilitating business operations by automating processes and providing comprehensive data management capabilities.
Collaboration and Integration
    PIM doesn’t typically include built-in features for collaboration and integration. The system is designed to allow users to work together collaboratively without needing to rely on centralized systems. Integrating PIM with other business systems, such as accounting and order processing systems becomes essential.
    ERP has built-in features for collaboration and integration. It facilitates collaboration by providing a central repository for all business data and enabling users to access and share information across different systems.
Reporting and Data Analysis
    PIM typically doesn’t include any reporting features. The system comes with poor data analysis capabilities.
    ERP provides detailed reports that help management make informed decisions which can be important for businesses that need to track trends and make strategic decisions based on data analysis.
    PIM focuses on providing a centralized location for easy access to the product data by all the departments including marketing and sales.
    ERP has a broader vision to provide seamless connectivity to all the departments of an organization to gain operational efficiency by eliminating manual processes.
    PIM becomes essential when companies are looking to achieve better data quality, improve product experience, enhance customer experience, easily handle large data volumes, and improve overall business ROI.
    The Need for ERP rises when companies look to improve the communication between the departments, data-driven approach, access quality business metrics, and take better business decisions during critical situations.

Why ERP is Not the Right Platform to Manage Complex Product Data?

Here are the three fascinating reasons that briefs managing complex product data will be difficult with the ERP system.

System Design

Unlike PIM, an ERP system is designed to manage enterprise-wide data which also includes product along with customer data and the transaction details held between businesses and customers. However, in the case of PIM, it has a non-relational database model which gives an advantage for businesses to access and organize product data more efficiently.

Managing Digital Assets

In terms of functionality, both ERP and PIM systems differ a lot. Unlike the PIM system, ERP doesn’t have any features or functions for the effective management of rich media files.

Managing Product Relationships

In the battle of ERP vs. PIM, effective handling of product relationships is considered a key difference. Unlike the PIM system, ERP is specially designed to organize products in a single hierarchy. With that, it is very difficult to identify product relationships.

PIM vs ERP: Which One is Right for Your Business?

PIM (Product Information Management) is specifically designed to manage the products effectively; however, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is designed to manage the business operation.

Implementing both PIM and ERP systems will be beneficial for a business in many ways, which also includes automatic data exchange between the systems. The smooth integrating feature provided by the PIM system allows businesses to deliver consistent and transparent product data quality to customers across the channels.

Similarly, the ERP system ensures all the business processes are managed perfectly, which also includes orders by the customers being processed quickly and easily.

When it comes to which system is better for business, it depends upon the requirements and needs of a business. Having PIM along with your existing ERP system will ease your business operation and saves a lot of time and money on delivering better quality product data to your end users and other business entities.

PIM and ERP: Together Both the Platforms Enhance Product Data

There are a number of advantages to integrating PIM and ERP. The two tools can help businesses improve efficiency and accuracy by providing a single platform for managing all aspects of business operations.

Additionally, PIM and ERP integration can help businesses better manage customer data and improve customer relationships by streamlining communication between departments. In addition, PIM and ERP integration can also help businesses automate business processes and reduce costs associated with traditional management methods.

1. Superior inventory management

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can better manage their inventory levels, ensuring that they have the right supplies available when and where they are needed. This can help reduce waste and improve customer service by ensuring that products are available when they are ordered.

2. Improved communication and collaboration

By combining PIM and ERP, businesses can improve communication between departments and employees. This can help to ensure that all information is properly recorded and tracked, eliminating the need for manual input. In addition, ERP integration can help businesses automate business processes, reducing the time and effort required to carry out common operations.

3. Quickly send data to partners

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can easily send data to their partners and clients. This can help to improve customer relationships and ensure that all information is properly recorded. Additionally, PIM and ERP integration can help businesses better manage inventory levels and track orders, improving the accuracy of data transmitted.

4. Improved efficiency

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can quickly access all of the data they need to make informed decisions about their operations. This improves companies to improve their efficiency level and to take business decisions quickly.

5. Effective marketing/pricing precision

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can better track customer data and behavior. This can help to improve marketing and pricing strategies, ensuring that products are offered at the right moments and at the right prices.

6. Faster variant set-up and enrichment

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can quickly identify and resolve customer issues. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as speed up the process of innovating and improving products.

7. Enhanced overall merchandizing

By integrating PIM and ERP, businesses can better manage inventory levels and track product sales. This can help to optimize sales channels and improve overall product profitability.

How PIM Empowers ERP by Streamlining Varied Processes?

Many B2C and B2B companies use a PIM to connect their product information management system with other business applications and systems, such as an eCommerce website or ERP software, to better manage and protect the integrity of product catalog data.

These days organizations need ERP software because it helps integrate activities like manufacturing, supply chain management, accounting, and reporting. Enterprise Resource Planning software effectively controls various processes and promotes organizational growth.

The eCommerce businesses come with an integrated Product Information Management (PIM) solution that includes all the features you require to manage product information, including 360-degree overviews, flexible data structures, data quality assurance, exploitation of product relationships, the inclusion of digital assets, and true multilingualism.

It’s part of an all-encompassing, modular e-commerce platform that also includes PIM, eCommerce, marketing, and CMS and has built-in links to ERP systems.

By implementing a PIM system, a business may streamline several business processes. There are several reasons why integrating a PIM system enhances an ERP system by streamlining various processes. Take a look over a few key reasons mentioned below.

1. Rapid and Efficient Data Onboarding

An ERP and a PIM serve as the primary sources of information for all product data, including product numbers and occasionally prices. ERP enables connecting processes, data, and systems for better process flexibility, faster processing, and process optimization.

2. Easy Integrate System

ERP software systems offer higher levels of security around product information to prevent inappropriate roles from changing crucial categories such as pricing, but the essential and robust structure prevents cooperation.

With a PIM, organizations may create new procedures that enhance product knowledge and promote cross-functional collaboration. It is simple to connect PIM and ERP systems with your essential company applications. ERP and PIM systems that also exchange product information with merchants and distributors speed up data transfers.

3. Seamless Data Integration

PIM allows the merging of data from ERP with data from other systems, databases, spreadsheets, and programs. The PIM ERP system makes it simple to integrate product data.

PIM enables simple integration when releasing new items or making the product accessible through new sales channels to reach a wider audience. You won’t ever need to juggle chores again because of PIM’s efficient, automated, and dependable work system.

4. Providing High-Quality Goods and Services

The management of high-quality product data and smart automation of data flow across many channels and systems are requirements for eCommerce enterprises. Using the various qualities, PIM enables the classification and categorization of product data.

This facilitates and improves the efficiency of product search. An ERP PIM system’s implementation aids in enhancing both the product and customer experiences.

5. Product Lifecycle Management Makes It Simple

The journey of all products from the design to the market is made shorter and faster by starting the product life cycle in ERP PIM. It aids in tying together the many teams inside the company, including sales, marketing, IT, and design, and it improves communication, which speeds up product creation.

This is a multi-module program that streamlines all business operations, including order tracking, customer support, product planning, and human resource planning.

Don’t miss exploring How Does the PIM System Enhance Your ERP? Reasons to Know helps you explore how Product Information Management and Enterprise Resource Planning platforms complement each other to empower your business.

PIM and ERP Integration: What It Is?

PIM is a kind of software that provides organizations with a centralized way to access, update and publish product information. PIM integration enables B2C and B2B businesses, including retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, to reduce repetitive data entry and ensure catalog consistency across a range of business systems, applications, sales channels, and marketplaces.

An ERP refers to an Enterprise Resource Planning system that focuses on managing transactional data that drive business processes and workflow. ERP integration is the procedure for connecting and coordinating your ERP software with other business applications, such as eCommerce, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and marketing tools that your company uses.

Top Advantages of PIM and ERP Integration

PIM/ERP integration makes it easier to manage vital company-related information as well as product details. The PIM system benefits the ERP system in the company in a variety of ways, including:

1. Accuracy in Pricing and Marketing

All product pricing, including wholesale, category-based, minimum advertised, and role-based prices are managed by the ERP system. Data transfers and the marketing of product information to retailers and distributors are accelerated by PIM ERP systems.

When product information is synchronized across many systems and apps, the structure of the data is enhanced, and repetitive data entry tasks are decreased.

2. Cut Back on Product Return

Inaccurate product dimensions are one of the main causes of product returns. Product dimensions and weights are frequently kept in an ERP system since these systems save stock-level data.

When integrated, the PIM system gets the information and transmits it to all customer-accessible channels and product websites.

Automating the process eliminates unnecessary chores, such as manually inputting the data. It assists in cutting expenses in your operations, increasing income, and decreasing the number of expensive returns.

3. Take Products to Market Faster

The procedure for bringing products to market is drawn out and involves several departments, stockholders, and approvals. The lengthy process and barriers might cost money and time by delaying the launch of a product.

Working together, ERP and PIM systems not only dramatically streamline the process but also speed up time-to-market, which increases sales by reducing expenses and accelerating the construction of product pages.

4. Smooth Workflow Features

With the ERP-PIM integration, you can track your inventory; control the protection of vital data, including your product data, and gain insight throughout your whole organization. Moreover, it permits secure departmental sharing.

PIM platform also enables you to access the same high-quality information, and workflow facilitates close cooperation. Putting a process in place provides you with fine-tuned control over your projects, enabling you to consistently perform at the highest level.

5. PIM Tools Aids Improve CRMs

Expanding your online business requires an ERP with a CRM component to collect data, but integrating PIM would improve both your system and the experiences of your consumers through high-quality content.

PIM and CRM software improves brand impression, customer satisfaction, and the shopping experience while fostering loyalty and allowing for more precise material targeting.

6. Increased Data Security for Products

In addition to user-level access and centralization, a PIM tool provides an extra layer of data protection, which improves the overall security of the product data. To keep your audience informed, immediately update product information across all platforms and connect it to automated messages or emails.

7. Improve the Quality and Consistency of Your Retail Marketing

PIM and ERP solutions can both be crucial to your attempts to improve the quality & consistency of your retail marketing and to nail the customer experience. Without a PIM, there is a higher chance that product information, labels, and other items may be lost or become disorganized.

\It is feasible to maintain all this data up-to-date and precise by integrating PIM with ERP, giving marketers tools, they need to produce accurate, rich content and providing customers with the knowledge they need to make an informed purchase.

8. Receive A Good Inventory Control System

With PIM and ERP Integration, you may have an effective inventory control that eliminates the need for manual editing and the risk of getting the wrong data.

ERP can track inventory and manage online orders, but when combined with a PIM integration, it will enable you to consolidate your data and seamlessly update it across several channels.

It increases the efficiency of routine processes and ensures the accuracy of all customer data.

9. Speed Up the Data Transfer

eCommerce stores and online retailers require the most updated data on the products from both systems, including product details, price, and characteristics, as well as content like titles, descriptions, and digital assets.

This aids in creating the item setup sheets necessary for developing a fruitful marketing strategy. As a result, data transfers and the dissemination of product information to retailers and distributors are both speedups through the integration of ERP and PIM systems.

10. Provide A Single Location for All Product Information

A PIM system compiles all available product information into a single source, you can get all data in a single place. You won’t need to ask particular departments or data sources for product information anymore.

Moreover, all e-commerce Business executives will be able to correctly manage all the product-related information across the various sales channels by implementing the product information management system alongside the ERP system.

11. Increase Your Income

You may increase your revenues overall through digital channels by increasing conversions, optimizing search ability, supplying consistently accurate product data across all of your sales channels, promoting repeat business, and reducing internal processes.

A PIM solution may be a helpful tool for retail eCommerce organizations aiming to better their marketing and sales activities, enhance customer experience, increase productivity, decrease mistakes, and improve their product search function.


A PIM system is essentially required to improve the ERP system. As, the two systems together will result in increased business growth, improved productivity, a better customer experience, greater efficiency, reduced expenses, greater profits, and less work on your part.

By integrating the product information management system with the ERP system, you can ensure that your product data is of top-notch quality while saving time and money.

Whether it’s about data security, safe, quick, and error-free data transaction or, manage, send or receive data on time, or to grow your e-business, or generating more revenue, PIM ERP integration together provide exceptional value to eCommerce retailers to manage all types of data regarding product information.

Say goodbye to data chaos and embrace the power of PIM/MDM to supercharge your business growth!