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PIM vs ERP: Integration & Advantages

Written by Minal Kiani | Reviewed by Mobeen Ali
pim and erp system blog

Digital transformation comes with hefty challenges. One of those is figuring out which technology would be the most optimal for your business. You can often confuse different databases in their purpose and functions, ending up with a tool that might not serve your intended purpose. There is also confusion between PIM and ERP systems in the business world.

In this article, we’ll clarify the confusion between the two systems:

  • What is an ERP?
  • What is a PIM system?
  • How does a PIM differ from an ERP?
  • Is there a difference between the two, at all?
  • Which system should you choose?
  • What is a PIM-ERP integration and how does it advantage businesses in scaling?

How does PIM advantage an ecommerc business?

A PIM can reduce upto 75% of your manual efforts, & 20% more revenue every month

What is an ERP system?

An ERP system works as centralized storage and management of a company, receiving information from all departments, automating processes of data management, and obtaining and analyzing reports.

All companies in this day and age have an ERP as part of their systems.

What does an ERP system do?

Functions of an average everyday ERP system include:

  1. Organizing and optimizing any sales-related business processes.
  2. Store and Manage purchasing, manufacturing, warehousing, order processing, and any other logistics.

The size of the ERP system depends on the size of the business’s operations. Automation of tasks is just one of the advantages of an ERP system. But more importantly, it provides businesses with a single database. This database stores all their sales and marketing content, removing silos and streamlining processes.

Ecommerce Businesses are becoming more and more competitive, and managing essential information is critical to the success of your business. Learn more on how you can grow your business through better information management.

Book a 30 min Free Demo call with an expert now.

What is a PIM system?

A PIM is a software that solely focuses on product data: descriptions, images, videos, and other digital assets. It is a platform that enables businesses to oversee all their product data used for sales and marketing purposes. This centralized system is the base of information that is fed into any distribution channel, whether it be a print catalog, a website, or just the ERP system.

PIM vs ERP: How does PIM differ from an ERP?

PIM and ERP are two different systems, PIM is not a part of ERP system. While an ERP stores the data from all the departments, a PIM system only handles data related to its products across multiple platforms. In simple words, it’s a centralized dashboard to organize, validate, syndicate, and distribute product data including media content, marketing material, product descriptions, titles, and brand assets in a centralized location that you need to market and sell.

Rich product information is the center of PIM systems. They hold everything from product descriptions and tools to converting measurements and languages to product videos and images. A PIM software doesn’t just benefit companies’ marketing teams but creates product catalogs for the user-front that increase conversions.

Finally, PIM is also more functional, whereas, an ERP is more of an underlying backbone for several critical functions. An ERP lacks the ability to be applied to niche areas such as product enhancement. On the other hand, while a PIM has more emphasis on product data, it has lesser visibility into the overall operations.

For the majority of e-commerce companies, PIM software can on its own act as a centralized database for all your stores and also connect with your existing ERP solutions to enhance the functionality without disrupting the previous practices.

What is a PIM-ERP Integration?

PIM-ERP integration helps you realize the benefits of each and explore how they complement each other by playing to each other’s strengths. Together, they offer benefits to a company that wouldn’t be recognized if only a single system was being used.

Advantages of PIM-ERP Integration:

  1. Database Centralization.
  2. Product Quality Enhancement.
  3. Expansion of Sales Channels.

1. A Centralized Database 

Database PIM ERP

Businesses continue to grow and evolve, with operations becoming more complex. This can often lead to the use of multiple ERPs within the same organization. As a result, the product information will be scattered across different systems, in different departments.

Firstly, multiple ERPs can be very costly. However, they bear an even more significant cost for business: the risk of losing valuable product data. With data spread across various systems, there is no centralized control around it. This control is very vital in e-commerce to share information across departments and selling channels.

On the other hand, PIM helps to centralize all disparate data into a central location. Manufacturers and retailers can then seamlessly share their product data feeds. You can then access all digital media and product content in one place. The PIM system sits right above the ERP solution, channeling everything into one source. With PIM solutions like Apimio, you can create groups within the same tool to choose which product catalogs to share with what retailers.

2. Improve the Quality of Product Data

ERPs don’t actually have any way of enriching product data. They can help track inventory levels, or see which product is selling faster than others, but can’t create richer product catalogs. A PIM solution can enhance the overall quality of product data as they’re specifically designed to do so.

PIM solutions notify users of any duplicate or similar-looking entries, or if there are any missing product attributes. Having a centralized location for all product-related information including its digital assets allows you to achieve a level of accuracy and consistency in product data across all your selling platforms, which isn’t possible with an ERP system.

Apimio ensures all product images you put up are optimized for your selling channels. It also makes sure that the product descriptions are complete. Finally, it let you meet listing requirements for all e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces

3. Opening up New Sales Channels

PIM solution allows expansion into new selling channels through product data syndication. PIM systems like Akeneo, inRiver, Apimio, and more, can link to different e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces. This seamless integration gives retailers and manufacturers a way to communicate easily. It provides a pipeline that carries product data from the PIM dashboard directly to user-facing storefronts.

For instance, if a home-goods maker decides they want to sell on Amazon or AliExpress, an ERP system won’t unlock this channel for them. However, if they have a PIM integrated with their ERP, they can easily add new channels to their dashboard and upload their product catalogs. The brand can distribute its products quickly, increase online conversions and raise awareness.

Conclusion

The interdependence of business functions and overlapping business data is crucial to delivering efficient and accurate product data. A highly integrated setup of PIM and ERP systems can ensure there is no redundancy or information mismatch, and decision-makers draw data from an aggregated set.

Ecommerce Businesses are becoming increasingly competitive, and managing essential information is critical to the success of your business. Learn more on how you can grow your business through better information management. Book a 30 min Free Demo call with an expert now.

PIM-ERP FAQs

Is PIM a part of ERP?

No, PIM and ERP are two different systems: PIM is not a part of ERP system. While an ERP stores the data from all the departments, a PIM system only handles data related to its products across multiple platforms.

Can we connect ERP and PIM together? What are its advantages?

Yes, through a PIM-ERP integration. A PIM-ERP integration offer benefits to a company by connecting the databases together, through this the inventory, HR and other relevant information can be reflected across the two systems much faster, and more efficiently.

Written by Minal Kiani

Minal was a Content Marketing Specialist at Apimio Inc. She has a bachelor's degree in Finance. She writes about how Ecommerce Managers can Grow through better Product Information.

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