Today we would be discussing about a very important aspect of MDM and PIM. This blog post point out variations between the two.
Various analysts reckon PIM as a fragment of MDM. For instance, MDM is defined as the management of master data across the enterprise by Gartner. Whereas, Pim is referred as MDM for Product data.
The concept of Product Information Management roots back to the late 1990's when companies accustomed to marketing their products via printed catalogues. Many companies started out by having separate systems for each output channel. For companies with significant data volume that quickly turned out poorly due to issues of keeping data in sync between systems and the double effort that was involved in maintaining it. Exchanging the data between systems was often not feasible due to all kinds of media-specific structures and formatting issues. Product Information Management was the solution that made it possible to create and maintain one record of a product in a database, and then share and publish all the product information to all media channels, such as printed and web catalogues, based on this one record.Product Information Management was therefore born primarily as a marketing application.
Master Data Management is essentially outlined as recognizing a single data source which should be referenced through out the organization. A stringent set of rules is defined mentioning the location for maintaining a data record and other available information related to the same record. Master Data Management is not about the product information. It is about all the domains that run through an organization, such as data about customers, suppliers, employees, locations etc. It is a cross-organizational effort to gather, manage and distribute data in the most efficient way possible and goes out beyond marketing or a single department.
In Product Information Management, the driving force behind the initiative is to achieve a specific business capability. For instance to provide an eCommerce website with rich product information in order to enable online customers to find the products they are looking for through advanced filtering and search functionality and offering up-sell/cross-sell options, product documentation, training videos etc.In Master Data Management, the focus is pursuit of operational excellence and once complete control of data is acquired, it is much easier to build new business capabilities on top of the existing solution.
Product Information Management systems are still being implemented solely to solve specific business problems for Marketing without worrying too much about the back-end. At the same time, you have varying degrees of Master Data Management being implemented. In fact, many current implementations of Master Data Management only cover a single domain such as customer or product data.