Product datasheets are, perhaps, the most important documents in your business. These sheets summarize the technical characteristics and specifications of products, materials, and components in your supply chains. Without them, you won't have the information you need to facilitate day-to-day tasks.
The problem is, product datasheet creation can be time-consuming, especially if you have lots of products with complicated specifications. There's a solution. A Product Information Management (PIM) system speeds up the time it takes to create datasheets and facilitates proper product data management.
What are Product Datasheets? Why Do You Need Them?
Product datasheets serve various functions. They let you exchange vital information with suppliers and investors, and you can use the information on these sheets to write product descriptions on your website and online store. Datasheets also help you comply with the regulations and legislation in your specific niche. Suppliers have to provide customers with documentation about product safety. Non-compliance penalties can be costly, but good datasheets make sure you communicate this important information.
Here are some of the things you can find on a product datasheet:
- Product descriptions, images, specifications, measurements, and sizes
- Materials used and where they come from
- Product safety information
- Recommendations for product safe handling
- Requirements for transport and storage
- A product's environmental impact
Product datasheets can come in digital or print form. Although many companies now use digital sheets, print documents are still popular.
How to publish catalogs, datasheets
What is a PIM system?
A Product Information Management (PIM) system is a digital tool that streamlines many of the tasks associated with product data management. This includes the creation of price lists, product catalogs, and, of course, product datasheets.
Businesses that use product data management are more likely to do the following:
- Develop products efficiently
- Design high-quality products
- Meet design project timescales
- Meet cost targets
In addition, only 8 percent of manufacturers without product data management procedures say they don't have problems when it comes to managing product data.
A PIM system expedites product data management because it gathers and manages product information so efficiently. Many companies will be able to keep all of their product data in one system and use this information to make smarter, quicker business-related decisions.
Product datasheets, in particular, excel in a PIM system environment. The best PIM solutions let users create datasheets at the press of a button, or even automatically, with all kinds of product information, such as:
- Prices in specified currencies
- Descriptions in your desired languages
- Other important data
A good PIM solution has an in-built report designer and the ability to integrate data with InDesign files as well. This will increase datasheet creation considerably and improve maintenance.
The Challenges of Datasheet Creation Without a PIM System
There's considerable pressure for product managers to get products to market in a speedy time frame. In business, competition is fierce, and it can be advantageous for a company to launch their product sooner rather than later. However, many products can't be launched without accurate product sheets. Not only is this in some cases against the law, but customers won't receive the information they require.
Many companies struggle with product datasheets because they contain such detailed information. Most of the time, these companies have various sources of product data and need to compile information from all of these sources into their sheets, which is a long and complicated process.
Datasheet creation and maintenance can also be expensive because of the hours of work involved. Technical information and specifications need to adhere to federal and state legislation and guidelines, and it can be difficult to compile this information when data comes from multiple sources. Safe handling procedures might be contained in one file on one system, for example. Product sizes and specs, on the other hand, might be contained in a file on another system. This can make product data management messy.
There are other problems.
Some companies just don’t have the resources to create new product datasheets or maintain current ones. As a result, they distribute incorrect information to customers and suppliers. Outdated datasheets can jeopardize the entire reputation of a business.
How Does a PIM System Work for Datasheets?
A Product Information Management system can decrease the time-to-market for new products considerably because it gathers all types of product information in one single place. From here, all the necessary data can automatically be fed into your datasheet templates. This makes datasheet creation a streamlined process and ensures that datasheets always contain the latest updated data.
A PIM system also fetches prices, specifications, and other information from your current ERP system and places it into the datasheet template in the PIM system or in InDesign. This eliminates a lot of work straight away. Once you have a template, you can add all the necessary information. It's that simple.
By storing your product data in one PIM system, you can keep your datasheets consistent, accurate, and compliant with the necessary regulations. There's no more out-of-date information. As you can see, you can free up a significant amount of time by handling all of your product data in a PIM solution.
There's another benefit. With a good PIM system, you can create specific datasheets for different customers or groups of customers. You can customize these sheets with selected prices, currencies, images, and text in the languages needed.
Different PIM systems have different capabilities. A PIM system like Perfion lets you manage all product information from one single place. From here you can use it on all your sales and marketing platforms.
Perfion makes it easier than ever to design and optimize print and digital datasheets. You can create these documents in various formats, including Excel, HTML, MHT, PDF, RTF, and more. You can also use various image formats like TIFF, JPEG, and PNG.
Using a Product Information Mangement system lets you manage and generate print and digital datasheets with more flexibility and accuracy than ever before. It will very likely become an essential component of your tech stack.
Download your PIM guide
PIM systems optimize product data management workflows. As a result, users can spend less time on maintenance and concentrate on other areas of their business.
Learn more in our guide 'How to publish catalogs, datasheets and price lists in a flash with a PIM system'.