When choosing a PIM solution, a key choice is whether to go for an independent best-of-breed solution or an integrated solution that is built into a CMS or an ERP solution.
Fortunately, this decision isn't as complex in real life as it may seem on paper. Here's what you need to know:
What Is a Best-of-Breed Solution?
Best-of-breed solutions are the top-of-the-line PIM systems. Today, many product and marketing managers choose to use them, because they offer the most features and are a fully customizable solution complete with a partner-driven support structure.
What's more, best-of-breed solutions are built to function as a stand-alone solution, meaning they offer a stronger platform than an integrated solution, which must live within the constraints of another solution.
This also means that you will be able to upgrade or change any of your systems integrated with your PIM system without having to make any changes to the PIM system itself.
This solution does, however, have cons. Best-of-breed solutions are typically more expensive than integrated solutions. It's wise to bear in mind, though, that this depends on a host of factors and that any company that implements a best-of-breed PIM solution will also enjoy savings in areas like time spent on different systems and hours lost correcting errors made.
What Is an Integrated Solution?
Integrated solutions are solutions built to live within other systems. While they tend to be less expensive and somewhat easier to implement than best-of-breed solutions, they also offer fewer features and can be difficult to use.
What's more, since they were built to function within a certain system, they don't offer the same level of functionality and agility as their more advanced cousins.
As the integrated PIM system lives within a CMS or and ERP system, you will have to update or change the PIM module as well, if you were to make any major changes to “the host”.
What's Your Ideal Solution?
If you're trying to choose between a best-of-breed and an integrated solution, the first word you'll want to bear in mind is "balance." For marketing and IT managers, a balance has to be struck between complexity in implementation and complexity in operation.
While both solutions have their benefits and perks, both also have their drawbacks, and there is no one-size-fits-all for every organization. For most organizations, though, best-of-breed solutions are ideal.
Why, you ask? It's simple. The best-of-breed solution typically offers easier operation, but the road to get there can be longer than for the integrated solution. In the end, though, the pros far outweigh the cons.
If you're still struggling to figure out which solution is best for you, it's worth taking some time to evaluate your company's pain points and compare them to the features of each option. In most cases, you'll find that one resolves the pain points better than the other.
For more information on which solution is best for you, contact Perfion to get a demo.