Data often exists in various locations and is owned by different departments within an organisation. This can lead to data silos whereby there is difficulty in sharing the data and collaboration between departments is poor or non-existent. In terms of product information, this may mean that the data is held in different spreadsheets, ERP Systems and PDF documents. It can be hard to know which version is the most accurate or up-to-date, and often people are relying on each other with very poor communication.
Oftentimes, the product data is not actually stored anywhere as a database, but rather inputted manually into an e-commerce website or CMS system. This makes it hard to extract this data and issue it to customers or retailers. This can also lead to inconsistencies between products where the same “attribute” can have different units of measurement or names. For example, length may be measured in inches on one product, but in centimetres on another.
A single source of truth means aggregating all of this data into one central location whereby teams (with varying permissions) can access it easily, edit and update it, and distribute it to where it needs to go. This is important as it means everyone within the organisation is operating using the same standardised and up-to-date data. This eliminates the possibility of duplication of effort, ensures the data's accuracy and reduces time spent looking for the relevant data.
A PIM system operates as a single source of truth for an organisation's product data. It collects all the data including titles, descriptions, specifications, tags and images and stores them in one place. This data is structured and organised in a way that would not be possible if the data existed in several different places. By structuring it in one location, it makes it easy to export the data to other locations. Not only that but the data in a PIM system can be trusted as it has been cleaned, reviewed and validated. This stresses the benefit of a single source of truth as teams need only refer to one single location for any information about a product.
So what data does a PIM collate?
- General product information such as product names, SKU codes, barcodes, etc.
- Dimensions and technical specifications
- Marketing content like descriptions, SEO Copy, features lists, USPs, etc.
- Media files like images videos and pdfs which OneTimePIM handles with our fully integrated data asset management system
- The same product information is presented in various different ways through channels. For example, the descriptions in different languages.
- Supplier or factory information
- Product relationships like categories, related products, accessories, additional products, etc.
- Sales information like pricing calculations
- Logistics information like packaging quantities and dimensions
- Product datasheets
- Product safety information or QC information
The PIM collates basically any data relating to your products. OneTimePIM is an extremely flexible and powerful system that has a multitude of different ways to set up your PIM system to suit your company's needs. Have a large range of products that need to be presented on an e-commerce website? Or, do you have a small number of SKUs but many different languages and complex attributes that need to be supplied to retailers on a timely basis? OneTimePIM is perfect for these applications. You can get in touch and see how we can help below!