Product Information Management (PIM) or Product Content Management (PCM) systems do exactly what they say: they manage the information about products.
What do you mean with product information/content?
Product information is literally all the information you can find about the products a company is producing/selling. Think of:
- Article number, product name, EAN number, description
- sizes and colours
- Detailed specifications
- Price information
- Images, video's, URL's
- Promo and marketing information
- Packaging information
- Datasheets, manuals
- Sale information
- Availability information
- Relations with other products
And multiply all the above with all the languages of all the countries a company is selling to. That's a lot to manage isn't it?
Where is this information now?
In most companies the essential information for a product is found in their ERP system. The rest is shattered over the company in departmental files, folders, databases, papers etc... Or can be found at external organisations hired for marketing campaigns, printed catalogs, website design, translations and so on.
And usually when a company thinks about starting a web-shop they realize they need accurate and complete information to put on the web and they start looking for something to manage their product information.
So what is Product Information Management?
Product information management is managing all the above information in a central place where internal divisions and external service providers work together to be able to give complete and accurate information to all the channels needing this information.
In this optic you can see Product Information Management as an extension of Master Data Management and Data Quality Management.