If you’re an auto aftermarket store, then you know that having accurate and up-to-date product information is essential for your business. Not only do you need to keep track of what products you have in stock, but you also need to make sure that your customers have all the information they need about those products. This is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system comes in handy. In this article, we will discuss the main features of a PIM system and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Why Should You Invest In A PIM Solution?
Every company is unique. If you’re just getting started, an all-encompassing, integrated software package that handles numerous aspects of your business at the same time might not be necessary. Perhaps you can manage your ACES and PIES data using Excel (or Google) spreadsheets alone.
However, your firm will eventually grow. You’ll add more items to your product catalog, move to additional automobile eCommerce platforms, and perhaps even hire more people to assist you with daily operations. Trying to keep up with all of the ACES and PIES updates may quickly become a Herculean task.
Information technology solutions such as Information Product Management enable larger enterprises to launch new goods, improve data governance, enhance the consumer experience, and lead to increased revenue growth. The fact is that your business can’t thrive or succeed without automation and a system that minimizes the chance of mistakes and data inaccuracies.
The point is that, even if you don’t plan to use a PIM application right now, it’s worth considering in the future.
What Is a PIM?
Product information management (PIM) is a business technique that isn’t limited to the automobile sector. It aids organizations in managing product-related information for marketing and sales in general. Product data from both internal and external sources is gathered, regardless of whether it is combined. This might include things like:
- Product metadata
- Technical specifications
- Rich media
- Digital assets
- Product lifecycle information
A PIM solution allows organizations to be more compliant, consistent, and efficient. Their product information can move from the manufacturer through the supply chain to the market and into the customer’s hands without interruption.
What Are The Main PIM Features?
There are a number of features you may anticipate if you choose to use a PIM software platform for your aftermarket product business. These include the following:
- Data Management – The main drawback of spreadsheets is that there are too many. It might be difficult for business owners and their internal teams to keep track of which information is valid and up-to-date. PIM software is ideal for product management in this regard since it brings all information together – a “single source of truth” as it’s known in the IT world. It’s no longer necessary to keep track of many sources of data. Consolidating your PIM on a single platform improves the accuracy, quality, uniformity, and completeness of your product data.
- Data Integration – When running an online vehicle components business, you anticipate accessing a wide range of data. These may be external (online storefronts, mobile apps, suppliers, and so on) or internal (hard drives, internal systems, and applications). Even the most experienced product managers might find handling all of them independently to be complex. The ability to link different product information sources is a time-saver for PIM software. This means that all of your data will be kept in one location, on a central platform, regardless of where it comes from. If a problem arises, this allows for more efficient data tracking and quicker reaction times.
- Customization – A PIM solution may be customized to meet your specific demands. It makes no difference whether you’re just keeping track of your existing procedures or if you want to grow your business; a PIM system can be modified to keep up with your company objectives without difficulty. The user interface can also be modified to offer the most pleasant experience for you and your staff. Customization will also assist in the management and import and export of high-quality data.
- Automation – Finally, you’ll no longer be wasting time on basic activities and manually validating your work. PIM software may help you save time by allowing you to automate repetitive tasks. It can assist with performing mass activities, verifying job completion in one click, and keeping track of task completion. Automation reduces time and allows you to deploy your resources where they’re needed most. PIM software automates your operations, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.
How to Choose The Right PIM Software Solution?
Before you plunge in and buy something that catches your eye, think about these issues:
- How many sales channels are you utilizing? How many distinct platforms do your items appear on?
- Do you have a lot of product information to manage?
- How many people will be in charge of the PIM solution? What software do they presently use to accomplish this task (spreadsheet, CRM)?
- Is it more essential to have a simple design or one that is highly functional? Consider the tools’ cost, availability, and other factors. What about financial limitations?
- Is there any way to personalize the PIM solution?
Only after you’ve addressed these concerns should you start looking for a solution that meets all of your requirements. Don’t settle for anything less, and resist the urge to be persuaded by large platforms with numerous features you may never use.
Things to Look for in Your PIM System
There are several things to consider, as with any business decision. There are six important factors to consider when looking for the best PIM system for you.
- Is It The Correct Size? – Is it the right size for your company? A large corporation has distinct PIM requirements from a small business. You want a PIM solution that is geared to your industry and company size while also allowing room for expansion. A bigger organization may need a specialized PIM system.
- Does It Save Time and Money? – A PIM system saves staff time by reducing the time they spend searching multiple spreadsheets and documentation for specific information. Instead of rummaging through several spreadsheets and paperwork for essential data, they have it at their fingertips on the PIM software. Your PIM software also provides this functionality. A PIM system may also help you save money by allowing you to market faster. The ability to alter data in the software and have it immediately sent to your sales and marketing systems in real-time is a significant benefit. This can give you a significant competitive advantage.
- Will It Integrate With Your Existing IT Infrastructure? – You already have IT systems in place as a continuing business. It’s critical that the new PIM system be easily integrated with your existing technologies and software.
- Does It Enhance and Facilitate Communication? – It’s difficult to convey how efficient this method is at enhancing communication. Your PIM system also encourages more creativity by fostering better communication and collaboration. Employees and suppliers are better able to collaborate, eliminating communication issues caused by misinformed or outdated data. This also saves time and money. An automotive aftermarket PIM should also improve collaboration between all stakeholders within the supply chain by providing a “unifying language” for them to communicate relevant product information.
- Safety and Legal Compliance – One of the primary benefits of a PIM solution is that it aids in data security and compliance. The system maintains you on track with copyright limitations, for example, since it creates a ‘single source of truth’.
- Customer Service – A PIM system can be a significant help to your customer service team. By giving them quick access to product information, they can answer questions more efficiently and accurately. This also reduces the amount of time spent on hold while customers wait for a response. In addition, a PIM system can automate some customer service tasks, such as order status updates and shipping notifications.
PIM software provides many benefits to automotive aftermarket businesses. It’s essential to choose the right one for your company by considering size, time savings, integration capabilities, communication enhancement, safety and compliance, and customer service. Only then can you take full advantage of what a PIM system has to offer.
When it comes to Product Information Management (PIM) systems, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best way to find the right PIM system for your automotive aftermarket business is to understand your specific needs and requirements. Once you know what you need, you can start looking for a PIM system that meets all of your criteria. Take a look at Evokat Premier, one of the top and most user-friendly PIM systems available. For additional information, contact us!