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"PIM vs. ERP – What is the difference?"

Excerpt: ERP or PIM, which is the leading system? This question is often asked in companies. First of all, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. In this article, we explain what is important in the assessment of both systems.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is used in many companies. Product Information Management (PIM) is also a database. Reason enough to ask the question: Why do we need a PIM when an ERP is in operation?

We are trying to shed light on the various ways in which both systems work. Above all, the question of how a PIM differs from an ERP.


We have already explained what a PIM system can do in this article.

Here again the most important functions are summarized:


  • Collect all product data from different sources
  • Enriching the data with additional information up to the “Golden Record”
  • Export of high-quality information to different channels and media
  • Export to various file formats such as BMECat
  • Automated connection to online marketplaces
  • Translation of product information into different languages


An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software consists of several modules. It serves the planning and control of processes that arise in companies. Various business applications and operating data are stored in a central database, communicate with each other and are processed from there.


The most important functions of an ERP system:

  • Warehousing and control of purchasing
  • Everything related to order processing
  • CRM – Sales and Customer Management
  • Human resources (onboarding processes)


In summary, an ERP system displays information on materials management, production planning and controlling, finance and accounting. This enables ERP systems to map complex processes.

How does a PIM system work with an ERP?

In order to answer the introductory question, a number of aspects need to be clarified. We have already noted that the two systems refer to different business processes.

The ERP software collects and integrates data in one system and in real time. Important sales-related business processes are managed and optimized in this software.

Of course, product information is also collected in the ERP, but it cannot be used for marketing, as the data is insufficient in scope and quality. There is often a lack of the technical possibilities to enrich the information, or of the organisation of collaboration, e. g. when the access authorization of specialists to the ERP is not allowed.

Interfaces ensure a good exchange

By integrating interfaces, it is possible for both systems to correspond with each other. The ERP provides quantitative information and the PIM system ensures the quality of the data. Product descriptions can be designed in high quality, but also the resolution of photos and descriptions are processed in the PIM and are available in the best quality. A PIM does not replace an ERP system, but always puts the product in the foreground and ensures faster time to market. Read our article ROI in PIM projects.

“In retail, a PIM system speeds up the introduction of a new product by up to 400%. ”

Source: Data-Talks, “How PIM & MDM Boosts eCommerce KPIs”, 2020


The ERP system organises business processes, centralises information and controls inventories, prices and orders. A PIM system centralizes and manages product information from a variety of sources. The enrichment and improvement of product data takes place in PIM systems and thus provides a significant competitive advantage.

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