PIM vs PLM - The Difference Explained in Detail

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By: Sagar Sharma

PIM vs PLM - The Difference Explained in Detail

For a product-based company, the product plays a very crucial role and the company needs to give importance to the product development process and the product details. The different tools that play an important role in the B2B retail industry for the product-based business include Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Product Information Management (PIM).In PIM vs PLM post, we explain how these two platforms are different and how they help in streamlining and optimizing the operations and processes involved in product development.

Both these systems have different features and functions and thus it is important to understand the difference between the two and the importance of each.

What is Product Information Management (PIM)?

Product Information Management (PIM) helps in the collection, organization, optimization, management, storage, and sharing of product-related information with different teams.

It allows for centralized storage of product information like product descriptions, titles, SKUs, technical specifications, taxonomies and categories, digital assets, costing and pricing details, etc.

Embracing PIM development, you can store details in various formats like documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, audio files, graphical details, etc. The product information can be securely shared across different channels.

If you are looking for a detailed answer, don’t miss visiting What is PIM?

What Does A PIM Do?

PIM enables the collection of product information from various sources in different formats. It then compiles the details in a consistent format. It makes sure that the data is accurate and removes duplicate or erroneous details.

PIM helps in organizing the product information under several attributes thus making it easier for searching any specific detail from the vast data. PIM helps in the identification of errors and their rectification to make sure true and accurate data is shared with all the teams.

The PIM system can directly share product information to several channels like eCommerce websites, social media platforms, shopping engines, etc. Each of these channels has its specific requirements and PIM can provide the specific details to each channel based on the different attributes.

PIM can help the business in global expansion as it can easily translate the product details in various languages and currencies as per the requirement of different channels based on their location.

To explore more about the capabilities of PIM, you must read Product Information Management – An Exclusive Guide.

Benefits of PIM Software

The different benefits of implementing the PIM system in the organization include:

  • It is a single source of truth for all the product information.
  • Reduces manual repetitive tasks.
  • It stores the information in a structured format for easy search.
  • It provides centralized storage of product information.
  • Provides consistent customer experience.
  • It helps in reducing the time-to-market.
  • Allows easy integration with several systems essential for the smooth functioning of the organization.
  • Helps to reduce management costs and risks.
  • Ease of scalability.
  • Allows automation of several operations, processes, and workflows thus leading to simplification of the task.
  • Provides enhanced transparency.
  • Ease of multichannel selling.
  • PIM enables the identification and rectification of errors thus enhancing data quality.
  • Includes bulk editing capabilities thus the change can be reflected across different channels with one click.
  • Enables organizing the product content suitable for omnichannel distribution.
  • Implementing PIM helps ease several operations thus saving time, money, and effort and thus enhancing their performance.

Visit What Are the Benefits of PIM (Product Information Management) Systems? to explore more benefits of PIM.

What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the software that helps the organization in taking the product from the concept design to its sale in the consumer market.

Implementation of this software enables the business in managing every aspect of the product development process. This helps in optimizing each step involved in product development thus increasing productivity.

The PLM tool supports all the stages involved in the product designing and development process. It starts from the idea initiation, prototyping, manufacturing, distribution, etc. This tool is used by the B2B and B2C product development teams to collate the data from the concept to the market phase.

What Does PLM Do?

PLM platform acts as a valuable resource as it keeps the track of the different events taking place during the product life cycle. It helps in the easy management of the returns or disposal of any unused products.

The different information included in the PLM solution includes the 3-D model, design data, prototype specifications, revision details, version details, manufacturing drawings, details for the physical parts involved in the product, etc.

On the completion of the product development phase, the final details are moved to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool. This ERP tool then connects to various other tools like PIM and DAM and makes it available for sales, marketing, distribution, etc.

Benefits of PLM Software

There are several benefits gained by the organization by implementing the PLM system. These benefits include:

Improved communication and data sync

Many teams are involved in the process while the introduction of the new product. These include the designing team, engineering team, manufacturing unit, suppliers for material, etc.

It is important to sync the details of these different teams for a smooth product development process. PLM software plays a crucial role in data storage of all the information from these different teams and improving communication within these teams.

Centralized data storage

PLM enables centralized storage of all the data from these teams thus the true and updated details reach all the teams and are utilized in the product development process.

Improved integration

PLM system allows easy integration with several other applications used in the organization for smooth functioning. It enables easy importing and exporting of the details from these applications. These applications include ERP systems, CAD systems, PIM, DAM, etc.

PIM vs PLM – A Brief Analysis

Product information management (PIM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) are two different systems that are complementary to each other. Both these systems have different functions and are beneficial for the organization in different aspects. A brief understanding of PIM vs PLM includes:

PIM vs PLM: Functions and Features

Product Information Management (PIM)

PIM software is used for centralized storage and management of all product-related information that includes product details, description, technical specifications, SKUs, costing and pricing information, digital assets, product metadata, etc.

It helps in improving the quality of data and classification of these details based on various attributes. It allows the secure sharing of product details with different teams across various channels.

This information is useful for different teams like customers, sales and marketing teams, collaborators, partners, and internal teams. PIM ensures that all the data provided is correct, consistent, relevant, complete, and free of any errors and duplication.

Are you excited to explore more features of an advanced product information management platform? Go through Must Have Features of the Product Information Management System that helps you decide the features and functionality you need to consider to build the right PIM solution for your business.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

PLM software helps in managing product information at various stages of product development. This includes the stages from product idea generation to prototyping, concept designing, production, development, product release, distribution, sales, after-sales support, product retirement, etc.

Analyzing the details at every step helps in the early detection and solving of the issue thus fastening the process of time-to-market. The various teams that benefited from implementing the PLM software include engineering, development, management, etc.

PIM vs PLM: Role and Purpose

Product Information Management (PIM)

PIM enables collection, consolidation, cleaning up, enrichment, and streamlining of the product information flow for the customers. It enables seamless syndication of information at various touchpoints for enhancing the product experience.

The main aim of implementing the PIM system is to provide updated product information for the sales and marketing of the product. PIM mainly concerns customer-facing product information.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

PLM system plays a specific role in managing every detail involved in the product life cycle. It contains all the information related to the designing of the product, stages of development, engineering modification details, product development, product compliance, Research, and development, etc. It focuses mainly on all product-related details that are crucial for enhancing the product lifecycle processes.

PIM vs PLM: Related Technologies

Product Information Management (PIM)

PIM system is similar to others like Master Data Management (MDM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM). The DAM system includes all the information that is used as a digital asset for the organization.

It includes product information in the form of images, videos, graphical files, audio files, etc. that help in enhancing the value of the product.

The DAM system is the subset of PIM. MDM system includes all the details related to various aspects like the product, customers, process, operations, etc. The PIM system is the subset of MDM. All these three systems are related and have a significant role.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

The different systems connected to PLM include Product data management (PDM) and Product Portfolio Management (PPM). The PDM system is the broader application that helps in the management of all the technical documentation essential to the engineering teams.

The PPM system is dedicated to the analysis of all the products belonging to the organization for tracking its success, risks, and opportunities. The PDM and PPM systems are both the subset of the PLM system.

Similarities in PIM and PLM

  • PIM and PLM both act as a single source of truth for the product information. PIM provides all the product information that is essential for the end-users for its sales and marketing. PLM provides the product information that is related to the data that is essential for the different teams like engineering, designing, management, and conducting R&R from the initiation of product designing till its finish.
  • PIM and PLM both improve efficiency. PIM helps in enhancing the efficiency of product information dissemination and accuracy. PLM helps in enhancing the efficiency of the product development process.
  • PIM and PLM play a crucial role in fastening the process of product development and thus leading to faster time-to-market and reducing costs.
  • PIM and PLM systems both help in focussing on the innovation-centric and providing greater value and growth to the business.

Is the simultaneous deployment of PIM and PLM possible?

Yes. PIM and PLM software are complementary to each other thus they can be beneficial for the organization. PIM enables the organization in becoming swift, compliant, and consistent by improving the flow of information essential for sales and marketing. It helps in targeting the right type of audience for the product.

The PLM software concentrated on the creation, development, maintenance, and retirement or discontinuation of the product.

PIM vs PLM has various differences, yet PIM and PLM together help in streamlining the entire product data from the point of product inception till getting delivered to the consumer’s doorstep.

Benefits of Integrating PIM and PLM

Product information management (PIM) and Product lifecycle management (PLM) are the two different systems that are used in the organization for efficient product development and enhancing product data quality. Both the systems are different and the organization can gain the benefit by integrating these two systems.

PLM helps in creating the product data as a part of the product development process by the different teams whereas PIM automatically imports this data and organizes it based on various attributes making it ready for sharing with different teams.

Both systems complement each other. The benefits gained by integrating PIM and PLM include:

  • PIM enables handling the large volume of data generated by PLM during the process of product development, the data is provided by the different teams involved in product development.
  • It leads to the automatic import of SKUs into the PIM system.
  • Both systems allow for centralized storage of product information generated by different teams.
  • PIM and PLM allow for the automation of processes and operations thus helping in saving time, money, and effort.
  • It reduces the chances of incorporation of errors or mistakes.
  • Integration of PIM and PM systems leads to faster time-to-market.
  • PIM and PLM integration leads to streamlining entire product data.
  • PIM allows sharing of the data from PLM with external channels for enhanced customer experience.
  • PIM gathers information from the customers based on their feedback and provides information to the PLM team for improving the product.

Conclusion

There are several phases through which the product has to pass before its launch into the market. A lot of data is generated during all these phases involved in the product lifecycle process.

The organization needs to implement the product lifecycle management (PLM) system as it helps in the process of product creation, involving sophisticated workflows and automation, etc.

A product information management (PIM) system helps in maintaining the quality of the data that can be shared outside for enhancing the customer experience. Credencys builds award-winning PIM solutions by using the world’s #1 PIM platform Pimcore and offering end-to-end Pimcore development services.

PIM and PLM both work together for streamlining the product data, reducing redundancy, and increased efficiency. Both these systems have different roles but work together for edging out the competition.

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