PLM, MDM, PIM, PCM.. Demystifying these acronyms

To meet the growing demand for product information from customers and consumers and the challenge of multichannel, manufacturers are confronted with different types of solutions with features that can be identical from one solution to another.
Since ERP is not intended to manage all product data, structured and unstructured, companies must choose between different offers on the market that may appear to offer the same functionality or redundant functionality.
This is not the case.
Distinguishing between these different solutions becomes quite complex for companies, especially as the needs and desires evolve as the demonstrations tools are made.
These different solutions are not opposable, but complementary and allow a continuity of the chain of product information.
The main solutions that manage the product data are

PLM: Product Life Cycle Management
PLM is one of the product data sources, focused on product innovation.
It is used to design the product from the marketing brief to the development of the final and commercial version of the product.
It hosts all the technical data of the product.
MDM: Master Data Management
MDM’s tools support an active approach to controlling and protecting corporate critical data that is common to several entities.
These tools will cover data for different domains: customer, products, suppliers, raw materials, etc.
Beyond the data cleansing, matching and golden record establishment, they will strongly support the processes of governance, quality, data security.

PIM: Product Information Management
The PIM is a receptacle of the product data. It becomes the sole source of all product data. It will manage the sales cycle, multi-channel distribution of information and content products.
The data are acquired from different sources, categorized and enriched by the various departments of the company. The PIM will allow sharing same vision of the product with the different commercial partners of the company.
Usually, a DAM is associated with the PIM, for the management and publication of unstructured data: MS Office documents, photos, videos, pdf files …
Some market PIM solutions offer functionalities of the MDM tools: Governance, Quality, Security ….
PCM: Product Content Management
The PCM is a tool that will house all the data needed to

  1. Manage product content, merchandising and digital marketing centrally.
  2. Publish, in real time, the content produced on various retailers e-commerce sites.

The PCM will manage the content in a differentiated way by e-commerce site, on-line data especially the price and thus allow the personalization of the offers.
Data, considered off-line, such as logistics data, will be exchanged via the IMP and the GDSN.

The description of each of these solutions is not complete but should clarify their positioning in the chain of product information.
These solutions are complementary and foster collaboration for the production of quality and complete content.
More and more software editors proposed combined solution: PIM and PLM, PIM and MDM, PIM and PCM solutions.
Since the PIM is the central element of product data management, the integration of tools with the PIM is critical and mandatory.
arounData consulting can help you in the choice of solutions adapted to your needs.

Do not hesitate to call us for more information

info@aroundata.com

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