Today's businesses are often being urged to invest in the most highly customized options when it comes to IT solutions.
This is particularly true of PIM systems; but in reality, you can spend loads of extra money for a PIM solution that's custom built, only to find that a standard PIM system already has all of the essentials that you'll need for efficient multichannel communication, sales and marketing.
Five crucial questions you need to answer before choosing PIM
Developing a PIM system is much like developing your wardrobe. You can have a timeless and functional basic wardrobe with some lovely accessories, complete with everything you need, or you can invest in dozens of fashionable shirts and jackets, one hundred pairs of shoes and several stunning cocktail dresses.
Unfortunately, the cocktail dresses will cost you a fortune in dry cleaning bills - plus, you'll pay thousands every year just to replace the items that have gone out of fashion. This wardrobe might be customized to your every wish, but it just isn't practical - and in the end, you can live just as happily without so much clothes to choose from.
What are the benefits of a standard PIM system?
1. You know precisely what it's going to cost
With a standard PIM system, you not only know precisely what you're getting, you also know exactly how much it's going to cost. If you hire developers to build a customized PIM solution, however, you might find costs skyrocketing out of control as each new feature is added to your bill.
2. Standard PIM systems are usually less expensive
It bears repeating: A standard PIM solution usually costs a lot less than a customized one, because the more customized the PIM system is, the higher the cost will be
3. Fast implementation
If you'd like to get your PIM project started right away, consider this: A customized PIM solution will very likely take much longer to implement than a standard solution. That's a loss of valuable time because the key to successful selling is getting your products to market as fast as possible.
4. Faster and easier updates
Standard PIM systems enable you to update product information immediately, in any language and across all your marketing and distribution channels as well as your in-house departments. If you're using a customized solution, however, those special customizations that were implemented might not work when you update the system.
Likewise, a standard PIM solution will not conflict with new software - but a customized PIM might complicate things. In practical terms, whether you're trying to manage product data in your Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, downloading a product data plugin for SAP or implementing another type of ERP platform, a highly customized PIM system might not integrate seamlessly with what you're trying to do.
5. Your investment is more future-proof
When it comes to investing in PIM solutions, it's crucial to invest in systems that will operate just as effectively a few years from now as they do today. This longevity is ensured through constant product updates. A customized PIM platform, however, is subject to the management - and limitations - of its developer. The customizations you’ve made will likely not work, when your solution is updated to a newer version, and you will have to make the customization all over again.
Plus, standard PIM providers offer instant phone and web support if you have any operational questions. Conversely, a private developer might not have the resources to offer extensive in-house training - or constant phone/web support.
No matter how tempting all the bells and whistles might be, the best PIM system for your business is, realistically, the one that gives you all the essentials plus regular updates and maintenance - all backed by great support and training services. Ultimately, the best PIM system is the one that's not only the most efficient but also provides the best ROI for your company.
Your guide to choosing a PIM system
Do you need a standard or a customized solution? This is just one of the things you have to consider when looking for the best way to manage your product information.
With “Five crucial questions you need to answer before choosing PIM” we guide you through the decision process.