Are you in a dilemma, from PIM and MDM, which one is the best suit for your business?
Don’t worry. You are not the only one.
A lot of product-driven businesses out there that are facing the same challenge as you.
One view information, a single data repository, omnichannel experience, operational efficiency, integrated data applications, data governance, and automation: all these elements are connected with PIM and MDM both. Thus, a cloud of confusion often hangs over for the many decision-makers.
During my interaction with the clients, I have observed that they are not able to decide which solution they should go for Product Information Management (PIM) or Master Data Management (MDM).
This encouraged me to create the post on “PIM vs. MDM” that covers every aspect of PIM and MDM with a detailed comparison. I would like to enable organizations with profound insights into both types of solutions so that they can make the right choice before approaching any technology partner.
The post covers
- What is Product Information Management (PIM)? [Definition, Capabilities, Benefits & Features]
- What is Product Information Management (PIM), but not MDM? [Definition, Capabilities, Benefits &
- Why Do You Need a PIM Solution?
- What Are the Popular Master Data Management (MDM) Platforms?
- What is Master Data Management (MDM)?
- What is Master Data Management (MDM), but not PIM?
- Why Do You Need an MDM Solution?
- How is MDM Different from PIM?
- What Are the Popular Master Data Management (MDM) Platforms?
- 5 Misconceptions about PIM and MDM
- PIM vs. MDM: How You Can Select the Right One? [Based on Use Cases]
- PIM vs. MDM: How PIM Strategy is Different from MDM Strategy
- PIM vs. MDM: How PIM Implementation Differs from MDM Implementation
- Why Credencys Use Pimcore Build A Reliable PIM & MDM Solution?
Let’s get started!
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Definition of PIM
PIM is the abbreviation of Product Information Management. It allows organizations to manage all the product-related data in a centralized repository. Basically, it’s a single source of truth for your all product data.
The core functionality of Product Information Management is to collect, store, manage, enrich, aggregate, syndicate, and distribute the product data on different sales channels from a single platform.
Product Information Management allows organizations to deliver accurate and consistent product descriptions and images in the scalable multichannel marketing environment.
Implementing the right PIM, it becomes easy for brands to enrich products, manage images and make sure product data and relevant media assets look appealing on different output channels including website, eCommerce store, marketplaces, product catalogs, mobile, retail Point of Sales (PoS), etc.
What Does Product Information Management Do?
Centralized Management of Product Data
Most of the startups to medium scale tend to manage the product data in spreadsheets, ERP, PDF, and other formats. Thus, the product data is available in a scattered way that is quite difficult to aggregate and get a complete view of product information.
PIM allows you to enrich product descriptions and other information effectively. Also, it reduces the tedious and mundane tasks of managing the product data manually.
Multi-channel Product Data Management
Product Information Management makes the product data and images ready to use across multiple platforms and accessible to millions of users. The product content can be used on websites, eCommerce stores, printed catalogs, etc.
To stay competitive, it is very essential for every business to utilize maximum sales and marketing channels to promote and sell their products. Usually, you create marketing packages for each of the distribution channels separately.
It’s not required anymore!
Yes, PIM allows you to manage all the product-related information in a single platform and use them conveniently. It allows you to push any product information and assets on any sales channels regardless of the retail store, direct sales, online marketplaces, or wholesale sales from a single location.
Product Data Enrichment
When you need to add or update the product information, you need to make the required changes in the master record of product data. PIM pushes the updated data to the multiple channels automatically to ensure the product data consistency is maintained across every touchpoint.
Adding New Sales Channels
If you want to add new sales channels to promote and sell your product, then it becomes hassle-free with the PIM. All you need to do is integrate the new sales channels with the PIM, select the intended information from the existing product data, and push the information on the new sales channels.
Capabilities of Product Information Management (PIM)
- Manage product data in a centralized repository in an effective way
- Integrate third-party tools, software and database seamlessly
- Integrate existing enterprise systems
- Manage product information in a logical and structured way
- Eliminate data duplication
- A single view of consolidated and aggregated view of product data
- Manage and share the available quantity of products
- Update the product quantity on the go
- Different teams can access the updated product information
- Allows for data cleaning, data cleaning, and data merging
Benefits of Product Information Management (PIM)
- Improved product time-to-market
- Centralized product management and catalog generation
- Enhanced business efficiency and productivity
- Boost collaboration and eliminate redundant work
- Superior product data management
- Improved brand consistency
- Enriched customer experience
- Improved data quality
- Increased sales conversions
- Reduced returns
- Cost Saving
To know more about the benefits of PIM, read What Are the Benefits of PIM (Product Information Management) Systems?
Features to Be Expected from a Product Information Management (PIM) Solution
Do you want to get more insights into the existing features of PIM? Visit 8 Must-Have Features of Product Information Management System.
What is Product Information Management (PIM), but not MDM?
As we have already discussed earlier, PIM is all about managing the product data in a single location.
The core objectives of the PIM are:
Product Data Collection
PIM collects the data from every possible data source including media systems, ERPs, databases, supplier portals, flat files, etc. and centralizes them in a single platform. It allows the eCommerce and catalog managers to prioritize the data sources in order to integrate accurate product information into the catalog.
Product Data Enrichment
After the collection of product information, product data enrichment is the immediate step.
Here, the eCommerce and marketing teams optimize the product data with customized product descriptions, classifications, specifications, translations, usage data, and media files. Enriched product information enables companies with complete, accurate, consistent, and trustworthy datasets.
PIM provides a consolidated view of each product that helps the teams to understand which product has all the required information and which one needs to be optimized with more data.
Product Data Publishing
The last but not least job of PIM is to distribute enriched product data across the different sales channels like websites, eCommerce sites, marketplaces, mobile, social networks, etc.
By implementing a reliable Product Information Management system, companies can create beautiful product catalogs with just a click.
PIM syndicates and scales the product information simultaneously and quickly across the different customer touchpoints. It allows organizations with the benefits of improved product time-to-market and outstanding omnichannel selling.
Moreover, with PIM, you can carry out product customization and improve customer experience.
Are you looking for a solution to manage your product information only?
If your reply is “Yes”, then PIM is the right fit for you, and not Master Data Management (MDM).
MDM manages a much broader range of data. It allows you to centralize all your critical enterprise data including customers, suppliers, vendors, retailers, locations, and more.
Read What is PIM? – An ultimate guide for Product Information Management to understand the PIM with all its essential aspects.
Why Do You Need a Product Information Management (PIM) Solution?
Product Information Management is the key technology solution to address your product data accuracy issues. It enables brands to improve product time-to-market, an explosion of customer touchpoints, faster new product boarding, omnichannel enablement, and a higher ROI.
When your conventional product data management solution can’t manage the increasing number of product SKUs, you need to consider a reliable PIM system. It also simplifies the data collection and collaboration with suppliers and vendors by allowing them to manage their data on the same platform.
Are you planning to implement a PIM solution? Before making a solution, do not miss to go through Product Information Management: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
What are the Popular Product Information Management (PIM) Platforms?
- Agility Multichannel
- Stibo Systems
- Riversand PIM
To get better insights about each of the above-listed platforms, read top 11 Product Information Management (PIM) platforms to consider in 2020 & beyond.
What is Master Data Management (MDM)?
Definition of Master Data Management (MDM)
Master Data Management is the solution that allows you to manage high value and critical business data in a single platform securely. You can manage the data related to customers, vendors, suppliers, SKUs, employees, assets, location, cost, and more.
MDM is used to manage all the critical data in a harmonized way that helps you drive efficiency to your business operations. It allows businesses to collect, store, manage, match, aggregate, clean, and distribute accurate and consistent master data to analytical and operational systems.
Being a master record of all organizational data enables your teams with easy and quick access to all the updated data silos.
What Does Master Data Management (MDM) Do?
Multi-domain data management becomes faster and simpler like never before using MDM. Due to the wider usage, Master Data Management solutions are quite broad in scope and require considerable time, effort, and investment too to get built, implemented, and maintained.
It enables companies with product categorization and pricing, employee payroll, staff strength, growth trends, customer details, customer segmentation, and other information.
An error in the entries of the master data creates a negative impact on the organization in terms of company performance and strategic business decisions.
Additionally, the use cases of MDM are not just limited to one single department or element. It impacts the different functional departments across the organization and serves multiple business objectives.
If you want to implement an MDM solution, then how to get started with master data management? 9 steps to consider is the must-read post for you.
Capabilities of Master Data Management (MDM)
- Cleansing and correction of erroneous data
- Easy to integrate with third-party tools or software and existing enterprise systems
- Extends current data governance tools and programs
- Deduplication and data matching
- Business hierarchy and taxonomy management
- Allows to build interfaces for task delegation and approval workflows
- Data quality reporting and monitoring
- Enables privacy regulatory compliance and data obfuscation
- Provides well-organized data structure for network and relationship analysis
Benefits of Master Data Management (MDM)
- Reduced data inconsistencies
- Helps to meet compliance regulations
- Access to accurate, clean, and meaningful data for analysis
- Decreased complexity for business expansion and globalization
- Supports data consistency across multiple platforms and software
- Allows to make edits to data in a particular area and ensures the edits are reflected in all the appropriate areas
- Override values from source systems
Exploring more benefits? Visit What is Master Data Management & How Can It Benefit Your Business? to unveil the advantages of MDM.
Features to Be Expected from an MDM Solution
Want to know about the features in detail? Read 5 Essential Features of a Robust Master Data Management (MDM) Solution to learn more about some of the features listed above.
What is Master Data Management (MDM), but not PIM?
The very basic difference between MDM and PIM is, MDM manages company-wide data while PIM specifically manages product data.
It is an IT-led initiative that centralizes all the organizational data entities in a “Golden Record” and makes the data available across the company by maintaining data consistency at the same time.
MDM manages essential business entities associated with the transactional and analytical operations within the company. Being a master record, MDM allows you to manage a wide range of attributes, associations, descriptions, taxonomies, metadata, roles, etc.
Image Credit: Pimcore
Role of Master Data Management
- It consists of stakeholder, business clients, partners, applications, and technologies
- It centralizes, syncs, and cleans up the master record to execute workflows, operations, and processes
- MDM offers master data governance that is defined by the enterprise Data Governance Council
- It allows establishing a plan for data access rights, implementation policies, definitions, procedures, and controls
While comparing with PIM, MDM is a quite bigger scale solution that helps companies to serve bigger purposes and contributes to the overall business growth. Master Data Management focuses on
- Enhance agility
- Accelerate decision making
- Improve business intelligence
- Boost the outcome of processes
- Provide smarter data governance
- Improve operational efficiencies
Why Do You Need a Master Data Management (MDM) Solution?
MDM is specifically designed to cater to the analytical and operational requirements and needs of an organization.
Analytical requirements refer to better business analysis, intelligence, insights, and forecasting.
When we talk about operational needs, it indicates the integration of technologies in order to improve processes, boost overall enterprise efficiency, and streamline supply chain operations.
Addressing the analytical and operational needs, MDM helps you to attain improved customer experience, reduced time-to-market, cost-saving, and a higher ROI.
How is MDM Different from PIM?
Whenever you manage product data under MDM, just like all the other important business data, it is considered as Product MDM.
Primary Objective of MDM
The primary objective of MDM is, establishing a connection amongst products, customers, households, locations, vendors, households, and employees in order to satisfy the operational and analytical needs of the enterprises.
Secondary Objective of MDM
The secondary goal is, to get real-time knowledge of each product by associating product data with other data in many hierarchies.
Well, MDM does not support the product-to-product association and it is taken by PIM.
Introduction to Product MDM
Managing the product information in PIM, you can support the sales, marketing, and eCommerce teams. While Product MDM serves a broader purpose by connecting all the dots that are associated with products. MDM systems address the varied needs of your supply chain, inventory, and operational departments too.
What Makes PIM Different from Product MDM?
A Product Information Management system is developed using a data management platform. It allows you to manage and collaborate on product content. It allows building a robust PIM solution that consists of features like data modeling, data semantic, data integration & delivery, and workflow management along with user-friendly UI.
Implementation of PIM enables you with the benefits of omnichannel enablement, digitization, consolidating data from silos, and automation. The ultimate aim of a PIM solution is to improve product time-to-market, boost revenue, and create compelling product experiences.
Ummm… feeling that you need both PIM and Product MDM systems but not sure whether they go hand in hand or not.
Of course, you can use both solutions together to get access to the whole product ecosystem.
Let me explain to you how.
PIM and Product MDM: Can Both the Solutions Used Together?
By implementing both the solutions for your enterprise, you can access the features of both the platforms that enable you maximum benefits. Using PIM, your teams can consolidate the product data and distribute the information on multiple touchpoints.
On the other hand, by implementing Product MDM, you can establish relationships between products, customers, and vendors. Additionally, MDM enables you with several advantages like better forecasting, analytics, and reporting to bring efficiency to your supply chain.
So, you can address your PIM requirements with Product MDM and vice versa as product data management is not the core objective of MDM. Thus, it won’t be able to address the needs of your sales and marketing department where accuracy, speed, and control over the product data are highly essential.
What Are the Popular Master Data Management (MDM) Platforms?
- Stibo Systems
Want to learn about the existing features and benefits of each of the above-listed platforms? Read 11 best Master Data Management tools you should consider.
5 Misconceptions about PIM and MDM
1. If you have an ERP, you do not need PIM and MDM
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a centralized repository to manage front-office, back-office, and financial business data. It serves the needs of different systems such as Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), etc.
ERP cannot manage the product data like PIM and set up a relationship between the different business entities like MDM to help organizations to make insightful business decisions. Compared to PIM and MDM, ERP lacks in terms of capabilities as well.
For example; ERP cannot support the data workflow, enterprise master data governance, data enrichment, and doesn’t provide the updated data all the time. Moreover, it cannot manage media assets.
2. Do not need to develop MDM if you have PIM
PIM and MDM are designed to serve different purposes.
PIM solely focuses on managing product data. And, MDM manages a large amount of data related to customers, vendors, suppliers, distributors, partners, locations, employees, etc.
3. MDM manages product data, then why implement PIM
It is so true that MDM manages the product data. But, it performs different functions than PIM.
As discussed above, PIM collects, manages, syndicates, aggregates, enriches, and distributes the product data across multiple sales channels. While MDM establishes the relation among products and other related business entities.
Unlike PIM, MDM cannot create an exclusive repository of product data.
4. MDM required a one-time implementation. And, that’s all!
Rather than considering MDM as a solution, you should consider it as a business philosophy. As the business grows, new requirements, business processes, mergers, and acquisitions take place.
To meet the changing business scopes, it is very essential to implement an adaptive MDM. A reliable MDM always supports cross-functional and cross-departmental analysis and collaboration.
5. All the MDM solutions allow for multi-domain data management
When it comes to “MDM”, we assume that Master Data Management solutions allow us to manage multi-domain data by default.
Well, that’s not true. Both single-domain and multi-domain MDM are available in the market.
Let’s see how they are different from each other so you can make the right choice.
Implementing the single-domain MDM, you can manage the data related to a single business entity such as products or customers. Such solutions work with a set of domain-specific features and predefined data model templates.
Management of a single domain like customer or product in an MDM, don’t you think it is quite costly for you. Add to that, it won’t help you to attain your other organizational objectives such as data enrichment, data governance, data integration, more.
A multi-domain MDM helps organizations make the right business decision by enabling them with appropriate business intelligence. Considering a multi-vector MDM, you can have a solution that is flexible enough to adjust your industry, organizational structure, and implementation style.
PIM vs. MDM: How You Can Select the Right One? [Based on Use Cases]
Which one is right for your business PIM or MDM?
The answer lies in your requirements. Thus, I am going to share a few most common business scenarios that enable you with better insights and help you make the right choice in different situations.
Use Case 1
Scenario: When you require accurate business analytics and reporting
Solution: A definite case for MDM
MDM is the master record of all your organizational data and contains the features of analytics and reporting as well. It helps you with reporting, better resource management, and prediction. Eventually, organizations can plan strategies and attain business growth.
Use Case 2
Scenario: When you want to create a product catalog on the go
Solution: PIM is the right fit in this scenario
To create a product catalog, you need quick access to the centralized product repository where all the exclusive information about the products is available. PIM allows your sales and marketing teams to create the catalog instantly by accessing the updated product information in real-time.
Product Information Management system helps you improve product time-to-market, offer a single product data view, enable quick updates, and provide simplified management of your product attributes.
Use Case 3
Scenario: When you want to sell more products within the least time span
Solution: PIM is the right solution
PIM allows the brands to leverage omnichannel engagement by creating persuasive buying experiences for the customers. At the same time, it maintains the consistency of product data across all the different customer touchpoints.
Additionally, PIM allows companies to create price rules in no time for particular target markets, locations, and time durations.
Use Case 4
Scenario: When you want to set up guidelines and policies for data usage
Solution: Undoubtedly, it’s the case of MDM
MDM enables you with data governance where you can decide roles, responsibilities, data ownership, stakeholders, access rights, controls, and clearances across the organization.
Use Case 5
Scenario: When you want to expand into a new location
Solution: PIM is the right solution for this situation
While expanding into the new market, you need marketing and sales collaterals, ready-to-use catalogs, and multilingual support for digital assets. PIM facilitates you with all these capabilities.
PIM allows you to accelerate product onboarding in multiple storefronts, marketplaces, and regions.
PIM vs. MDM: How PIM Strategy is Different from MDM Strategy
Would like to explore more about the MDM strategy with in-depth information? Don’t miss reading how to create a Master Data Management strategy.
PIM vs. MDM: How PIM Implementation Differs from MDM Implementation
Do you want to learn about the MDM implementation in detail? Read How to Implement Master Data Management? [7 Best Practices].
Why Credencys Use Pimcore Build A Reliable PIM & MDM Solution?
Credencys uses Pimcore, an open-source platform, to build the next-generation PIM and MDM solutions. To enable you with the advanced solution, Pimcore enables you with features like Data Quality, Workflow Management, Data Integration, Data Modeling, Data Management, etc.
Using Pimcore development services, Credencys builds Product Information Management and Master Data Management solutions that allow you to manage any type, any format, and any size of digital data for organizations of any belonging or size to any industry domain.
- Developing PIM and MDM solutions, we help the clients with
- Increased operational efficiency
- Improved sales and marketing performance
- Reduced time-to-market
- Leverage greater flexibility for internal teams
- Improved data quality
- Accelerated new product onboarding
- Simplified the management of media assets globally
- Improved customer experience
- Automated workflow reduces the manual efforts, and more…
Let’s work together to build a digital platform for your organization that drives value to your business customers cost-effectively.