PIM, MDM, DAM, MAM – which system to choose?

PIM, MDM, DAM/MAM comparison

Accurate, complete, high-quality data management is a must in any digital business. Manual data input without specialized tools results in incomplete or out-of-date information, duplicates and errors. Without the correct systems in place data storage is often decentralized - product descriptions in one place, product images in another, or even worse, each department stores and maintains its own data version. Under these circumstances, efficient management and use of product information is impossible, and data chaos prevails. This happens in almost every company with a large number of SKUs and without PIM .

PIM, MDM, DAM and MAM systems aim to unify and centralize product information and then manage it.

What is PIM?

As the number of SKUs grows, the maintenance of product information without specialized tools becomes very time-consuming for any manufacturer or wholesale distributor. PIM is the abbreviation for Product Information Management System. A PIM solution stores and standardizes product descriptions, images, and properties in a central database, enriching them, increasing product data quality and publishing product information on various sales channels.

The system ensures that all stakeholders have access to up-to-date, standardized product data. Thanks to PIM, companies can efficiently process large amounts of data or complex data structures and ensure that product information is comprehensive, up-to-date and of high quality.

A PIM solution reduces the time required to collect and maintain product data and ensures better data availability by organizing and automating the associated processes.

The needs and objectives of each user should drive the introduction of a PIM system.

What is MDM?

MDM (Master Data Management) is a master data management system. The existence of multiple sources of information is a widespread problem, particularly in large organisations. MDM systems include a wide range of data cleansing, transformation, and integration methods. The system precludes the input of new information that does not meet organisational quality standards.

In large enterprises there is a greater need for Master Data Management than in small or medium-sized companies. An MDM system allows you to manage various master data: assets, information about customers, suppliers, employees, locations, product information, etc. Similar to a PIM System, these data are combined in a central database and synchronized with all external systems that require the data, e.g. with the ERP or CRM Systems. One of the prerequisites for implementing an MDM system is, therefore, the existence of a larger toolset.

PIM vs MDM

Both the DAM and the PIM systems aim to centralize data within the company. However, the PIM solution is designed to manage product information, and the MDM solution aims at managing all company data, including information about customers, employees, suppliers, etc.

Although the MDM system manages a wider range of information, it lacks the specific features and capabilities that the PIM solution offers. In a PIM system, you can manage the complicated data structures like product attributes, product variants, etc. You can also easily prepare different versions of product information for several sales channels.

MDM focuses solely on the management of master data, while the PIM System is more of a marketing solution.

If you’re looking for a system that incorporates all your company data, including product information, external customer and supplier data, choose an MDM. If your priority is to solve problems with product data management, the implementation of a PIM system is a more efficient and cost effective solution than the MDM.

Nevertheless, there are PIM-systems that will serve as fully-fledged MDM systems. There are also MDM systems that cover the basic PIM functionality. In each case, the choice depends on the desired range of features.

What is DAM or MAM?

The MAM / DAM systems store and manage Media Assets (photos, videos, PDF documents, InDesign files, etc.) throughout the company. They make it easier to store, compare and publish assets. Very often, the terms MAM and DAM are used interchangeably because Media Assets Management today is the equivalent of Digital Assets (files) Management, since all media assets are now digital.

A Media Asset Management system or MAM System organizes media files such as video, audio files, and images. As we know, video and audio files are more complex than text documents, so MAM systems are a more complex than DAM systems.

Using these systems, you can enrich each asset with metadata to structure the content, facilitating the search function. You can also export data in different formats, for example, for Web content or printing.

DAM vs MAM

Unlike MAM, the DAM (Digital Asset Management) solution helps to manage a wider range of digital assets in diverse file formats, not just media files. A DAM system is considered an extension of MAM. In a DAM system, you can store illustrations, PDFs, 3D models, data sheets or instructions, in addition to photos, videos and audio files. It includes special version control tools and advanced search capabilities to optimize the use of existing assets in your organization.

While the television and film industry use MAM, the marketing and sales departments of manufacturers and wholesalers will find that DAM offers them a better business solution.

PIM vs DAM/MAM

If a company primarily works with audio and video and needs centralized access to this data, a MAM system is perfect. On the other hand,digital marketing materials management is better served by DAM. DAM / MAM systems manage a wider range of digital assets, including non-product information assets (in particular metadata).

PIM systems are product-centered and intended for the management of related information. These systems contain not only product images and assets, but also information about product variants, product descriptions, categories, and properties, as well as channel-specific product data. The DAM functionality of a PIM solution, however, is often rather rudimentary, there are only a few PIM systems, such as AtroPIM or Pimcore, that offer an advanced DAM functionality. If you’re looking for a fully-fledged solution for managing product information and product-related digital assets, we recommend using a PIM with a DAM System.

Conclusion: which system to choose?

PIM vs MDM vs DAMImplementing a data management system involves expense. So, you should determine what data you want to manage before you lay out any money. If your company has multiple systems with repetitive records and primarily wants to solve data quality problems, an MDM solution is best. If, on the other hand, your company wants to manage media elements such as images, videos, audio files in a collaborative way for marketing or other purposes, it would be sensible to invest in a DAM system. Then again,if your company has vast amounts of product data and you have not yet found a solution to manage it effectively, a PIM system is the best option, paired, if necessary, with a DAM system.

MDM PIM DAM/MAM
Application area Master data management for multiple business areas. Media-neutral central storage of product information. Central media repository.
Target audience Rather large companies with complex system infrastructure. From manufacturers to wholesalers, retailers and online retailers. Companies with a need to manage digital assets.
Main goal The records stored in several systems are unified and standardized thanks to synchronization with an MDM system. Scattered product data

are merged into a central repository to serve as a Single Point of Truth for all users, ensuring that the product data is available for various purposes.

Centralized storage of scattered digital assets ensures rapid availability in all required sizes and formats for all parties concerned.
Main
features
1) Management of master data

2) standardization of master data across systems

3) workflows and approval processes

4) assessment of data quality

5) provision of master data.

1) Management and storage of product information

2) standardization of product data.

3) workflows and approval processes

4) assessment of data quality

5) channel-specific preparation of product information.

1) Centralized and media-neutral storage of digital assets: images, logos, presentations, banners, graphics, videos, etc.

2) tagging and metadata maintenance

3) automatic conversion

4) usage tracking.

Benefits 1) Reduction of manual effort and operating costs

2) error rate drops

3) unification of master data across all systems.

1) Reduction in manual effort and operating costs in the management of product information

2) error rate drops

3) lower implementation costs than with an MDM

4) more suitable for managing and using product information.

1) Systematizes and organizes the management of various digital assets (images, videos, PDF documents, etc)

2) Reduction in manual effort and operating costs

3) lowest implementation cost of all systems.

Disadvantages 1) High complexity of system infrastructure

2) high price

3) not specialized for product information

4) synchronization with other systems is necessary

5) higher implementation costs.

1) Complex system, not always user-friendly

2) synchronization with other systems is necessary.

1) Not suitable for managing products information

2) synchronization with other systems is necessary.

Before you start to search for a data management system, define clear objectives and requirements for the system you need. Even if an MDM solution looks like a panacea, it is possible that a DAM or PIM system will adequately address your needs.

Plan and prepare the implementation process, no matter what system you choose.


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