Products reside permanently in the ERP system. Or do they?
If you ask company employees about where their products reside, the answer will often be "in the ERP system".
In many cases this make sense, but it would be a big advantage to many companies to let their products "play in the sandbox" until they are mature enough to move into the ERP system.
"6 daily tasks in ERP which
Start the products' life cycle in the PIM system
"Sandbox" in this context means a PIM system, one designed to handle all types of product information. The idea of letting the products' life cycle start in the PIM system is to keep the ERP system as "clean" as possible.
For example, wholesale businesses often have a very comprehensive product catalog, but not all products actually end up being sold to customers.
Therefore, it may be an unnecessarily demanding task to create all the products in the ERP system from the very beginning, when it might only be the marketing department that will manage them, since there are no buyers yet.
By letting a PIM system function as a sandbox, you can let the entire range in the product portfolio reside there until they have been sold, one after another, and transferred to the ERP system to continue their active adult lives there.
Other types of businesses may need the sandbox, i.e., the PIM system, to be able to work with products and enrich them with data early in their life cycles before they are ready to move into the ERP system. Not sending the products farther until all the required product data is in place avoids "polluting" the ERP system with a lot of incomplete products.
Tight integration means more options
The scenarios above favor tight PIM - ERP integration. Of course, all PIM systems work with ERP systems, but there are major differences in how tightly they do so.
In some cases, there is only one-way data flow from ERP to PIM, while others offer tighter integration and data exchange in both directions between the two systems.
Tight integration provides a number of opportunities and you need to decide whether your company can gain added value from them:
- Will it be an advantage if the ERP data on inventory status and prices, for example, is also visible in the PIM system?
- Do you need to be able to maintain PIM data in ERP without opening the PIM system?
- Is it an advantage to be able to generate data sheets, etc. directly through the ERP system?
One thing is clear: The more often you answer "yes" to these questions, the more benefit you will derive from tight PIM - ERP integration.
Download the guide
Learn more in our white paper "6 daily tasks in ERP which become a lot easier with a PIM system".