May 27, 2022
The BMF (Builders Merchants Federation) is the only trade association that represents and protects the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the building materials industry in the UK and Ireland. The BMF is the active hub of merchant and supplier activity in the UK, working closely with allied industry groups and regulatory bodies such as trading standards and planning departments, to ensure that issues affecting member merchants and suppliers are tackled promptly and effectively.
Whether you are a large or small merchant, a supplier of building materials, provide a service to merchants, or you would like to be an associate member, the BMF can help you with training and development, business support, access to market data, networking opportunities and political representation. Find out more about the BMF on www.bmf.org.uk.
This Q&A article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 edition of BMF's One Voice magazine.
What is a PIM?
A Product Information Management (PIM) system can be a cloud-based or on-premise software solution that’s used to collect, hold and distribute key data about your products. This includes the product’s name, description, EAN barcode, GTIN, size, weight, dimensions and other technical specifications you want to share, distribute or publish. A product hierarchy, or classification system, such as ETIM, GS1 or UNSPSC, is often used to structure the information in line with industry standards.
What are the key benefits of a PIM?
A PIM is essentially a single source of truth for all your products. A PIM system will help your business efficiently maintain enriched, accurate product content across all your brands and categories. With some PIM solutions, like the Proplanet PIM, it’s easy to share product, logistical and pricing data, plus digital assets. These can then be distributed to your online sales platforms and used for catalogue publishing, enabling omnichannel marketing. Your product information can also be shared with trading partners and data pools in real time. A PIM is a great tool for collaborative working and increased productivity, as well as saving time and resource costs. It also facilitates faster catalogue creation, and the maintenance of error-free product data.
How does a PIM work alongside ETIM?
Not all PIM providers support ETIM, the leading industry classification model. The Proplanet PIM solution is fully configured and designed to facilitate the efficient maintenance, enrichment and distribution of ETIM data. It’s the fastest way to enrich your product information with all the required ETIM class types, features and values, whilst providing a 360o overview of your ETIM-enriched data. The Proplanet PIM can handle different versions of ETIM, also ETIM Dynamic and ETIM MC (https://www.etim-uk.co.uk/). With multi-language capabilities, it also supports international businesses and those looking to enter new markets.
Can a PIM configure my data to be ETIM-ready?
As already noted, not all PIM providers support ETIM. However, if you already have a PIM provider, they should be able to help with this. The Proplanet PIM is ETIM-ready and easy to use for all industry sectors. Even if your data is spread across multiple formats such as Excel, PDFs, a CRM and so on, Proplanet provides support for your data to be cleansed and restructured to ETIM standards before being uploaded to your PIM.
Can I use my ERP instead of a PIM to support ETIM?
It’s not recommended to use an ERP or logistics system to process ETIM-classified product data. This is because these systems aren’t set up for supporting the ETIM classification, so new functions and classes will have to be added manually. The Proplanet PIM does this for you automatically, whilst letting you edit all your product data in one go. Unlike ERPs, the Proplanet PIM solution is fully-configurable and designed to be highly adaptable to cope with changes like new ETIM classification structures and publication requirements – without the need for reprogramming.
Do you want to know more about how Proplanet can help you get your data ETIM ready?
We are here to help you identify the best solution to manage your product data and futureproof your business. Please contact our UK Sales Consultant, James Whateley at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 7398 927304 to discuss your requirements.
Alternatively, we’re always happy to arrange a free demo of the Proplanet PIM so you can try out our software, see how it all works and explore the benefits it will bring to your business.