DAM Blogs

DAM and PIM, A Happy Marriage

Are you a company that sells products online? Are your operations large enough to require a reliable system for managing product-specific data? Do you have tens of thousands of images for your products? Is it challenging to have product data and images line up correctly on your eCommerce platform?

Answering yes to all of these questions means that your business has not experienced the joy and marital bliss that comes when you marry a DAM and PIM system. Marrying these two systems brings unique strengths to your MarTech stack that will take your business into the next phase of efficiency and profit growth. We see this confirmation that most vendors and implementors today are creating their custom connectors to streamline your content and metadata.

Overview of the Two Systems and Their Roles

So, what are these two systems that need to get hitched? The digital asset management system is the system that houses and manages all the digital representations of your products. These are your photos of the actual products and their packaging, product label designs, 3D renditions, commercials, video A and B-roll, the logos and tags that are part of your product branding, etc.

The DAM is the system your creative and marketing teams rely on heavily to produce your marketing and packaging projects. Without a system to organize, manage and distribute the digital representations of your products, your teams struggle to create top-notch results in a competitive timeline.

DAM Use Cases

In contrast, the product information management system, aka the PIM, is the system that houses and manages all the specific data about your products, such as weight, volume, quantity, regional availability, etc. This system is used less by your marketing and creative teams and is what your product owners and managers use. They use this information to ensure your company has the product information necessary for consumer education, awareness, regulatory compliance, inventory levels, production lead times, etc.

PIM Use Cases

With all this said, it is essential to understand that both groups need and benefit from sharing the information or content. For example, your creative and marketing teams can greatly benefit from knowing and searching for product images using the SKU number. They may also want to search by color, brand name, size, quantity, and a myriad other product-specific information you manage using your PIM system.

Conversely, your product managers can, more often than not, are responsible for a new set of SKUs without seeing them first. They look to the creative team or supplier to provide a visual reference to the SKU. This ability to have a visual reference can also be a big help when they decide to or are required to inspect these products. Having a picture to go with the SKU can help your buyers, and product owners confirm if they are dealing with the correct product. It can also help to confirm or correct the right product images with accurate product information.

Manual Process of Moving Content and Data

While the DAM and PIM are disconnected, your team’s workflows are left only to a manual process. If your product teams want to pair images with the product data in their system, they have to submit formal requests, wait for the images to be available, and then take the time to upload them into the production system. Depending on teams and priorities, this can take weeks to complete.

Suppose marketing teams must wait for all the relevant product information to map to images. In that case, they are left with generic searching and scrolling endlessly through thousands of images trying to find what they think is the correct image(s).

What happens in scenarios when you have multiple products in a single group photo? Attempting to wholly and accurately line up and link all the relevant product data and content can be problematic if done incorrectly. This is a typical scenario we see at CyanGate when starting on a client project, and the stories we have heard about how tedious and time-consuming some manual processes can be are nothing short of shocking.

The natural cause of the problems from these manual processes stems from the high number of human touch points along the way, which inevitably leads to human-based errors. We have seen many examples where human-based errors introduced during the manual process were the direct cause of $millions of dollars in lawsuits. Some have cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in package reprinting, subsequent delays in product launches, and ultimately loss in sales.

The standard argument we hear from teams and companies before getting hired is the misunderstanding that setting up these integrations will cost more than they will save. We can definitively say that the cost to integrate never offsets the amount saved. Something that you must remember is not just how much is saved by avoiding and reducing human error, but the gains in efficiency that come as a result of the integration.

Downstream Impacts Before Marriage

Up to this point, we have discussed the impacts of disconnected systems early on in your processes. So what about downstream effects? What do those look like before you integrate your systems?

Some problems are the same and continue downstream, such as waiting for replies, inputs, and approvals from key team members before sending changes to the marketplace. Depending on how long this process takes, it is very likely to have new products or new versions of products out on the market without the new marketing collateral. Customers and consumers are left uninformed and maybe even confused about what they see. This ties directly into your sales.

We see this commonly when it comes to printed offers, promotions, and coupons. With disconnected systems, if this printed collateral has mistakes either with product information, SKUs, or content, you could be in a position of needing to do a reprint. Depending on how much you print, that can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your company is not only wasting money to reprint but also the time spent to fix, reprint, and distribute the corrections.

These delays cost you time and money, and eventually, you lose out to the competition. You may lose enough to the competition leaving you with the need to spend even more to educate your customers on why to choose you over the competition.

Downstream Impacts After Marriage

To avoid sounding too doom and gloom, let’s look at the downstream impacts after you marry (integrate) your digital asset and product information management systems with each other.

By integrating these two systems upstream, you’ve been able to eliminate or reduce the possible areas of human error, thus allowing you to get accurate product marketing and packaging out to customers more efficiently. And when teams and processes are more efficient, you inevitably get out to market faster.

Now that your products are out to market faster and more accurately, you’re more aggressively competing against the other options on the market. You have saved significant money, providing more opportunities to market and promote your products.

You are now winning instead of losing to the competition. Your internal teams are happier and less stressed over effective product launches. You can also have higher employee retention rates, which in turn, saves you money - again.

The uncommonly promoted downstream benefit of having an integrated system is happier employees. Part of your competitive advantage is having the right people in place. One way to keep your employees happy is to make the way they do their job easier and more efficient.

Each Marriage Is Unique and Requires Custom Development

Today, each DAM or PIM vendor has its integration strategy for connecting to systems, typically by building its connectors. Each vendor makes a similar integration strategy across the rest of the ecosystem, such as ERP, MDM, eComm, and other relevant connections for print or mobile applications.

Having so many options on the market leaves customers with the task of researching each vendor, their integration strategy, and how to best make it work for the present and future. It takes time, knowledge, and expense, and the results can be unpredictable.

In addition to each vendor’s integration strategy, there are multiple types of integration platforms on the market, such as Digital Experience Platform (DXP), Headless solutions, Experience Data Platform, and Enterprise Integration Platform, just to name a few. These vendors provide a more holistic approach for integrating between systems to ensure a seamless experience for customers. Each vendor has a different strategy, expertise, available connectors, and limitation.

How CyanGate Will Marry Your DAM and PIM

Now that you are excited about the benefits of integrating your digital asset management and product information management systems. Let's talk about the how. When you choose CyanGate, we not only bring the people with the skill and experience to successfully integrate these two systems, but we also bring the technology to do it and do it quicker than most.

We use the OneTeg Integration platform. This platform allows us to take the information we gathered during the discovery process to create API-based connections between your two systems. This platform will enable us to map your DAM and PIM metadata and content. This platform allows your teams to be agile and adopt any changes in your business needs by adding more data points and different types of content.

As a result of implementing OneTeg, your creative teams will be able to upload product images, videos, etc., into your DAM. From there, they can tag those new assets with correct product identifiers. Now the product teams will immediately access this content in the DAM and be ready to publish further help to different channels.

Inversely, when the product teams make updates on their end, such as product naming, descriptions, etc., these changes will be automatically updated in the DAM. Your creative teams can now search and identify assets using this latest and most accurate product data.

One of the big reasons we use this integration platform is it allows us to complete the integration in weeks compared to the traditional months. Without this technology, you can expect to take a minimum of three months to integrate your DAM and PIM. For some businesses, this could take closer to six months to complete. Does your team want to keep their manual, human-error-prone processes for another six months? We’re willing to bet they are not.

During the discovery phase, our team of skilled and experienced consultants and integrators will work with you to identify the critical data and content that needs to go downstream to your different distribution channels. This information forms the basis for the integration.

The CyanGate Difference

Over the past 15 years, our teams have implemented DAM solutions for many companies, including Consumer Packaged Goods and Manufacturing. Our clients have seen massive success as a result of the system integrations. They have improved their time to market, reduced waste, and as a result, maintained vital team members and hired even more.

If you’d like to learn more about the CyanGate difference, please visit our website, cyangate.com, and fill out our contact form. We offer a free consultation to discuss your current pain points and how this type of integration can help improve your business.

If you’re not ready to speak with anyone at this time, make sure to check out our blog. We have many other helpful articles that can help you and your team.