How to choose the right PIM system – Best-of-breed or integrated solution?

January 5, 2021

When opting for a Product Information Management system, also called a PIM system, a key choice is whether to go for an independent best-of-breed solution or an integrated solution that is built into a CMS or an ERP solution. Fortunately, this decision is not as complex as it may seem.


Here’s what you need to know:

Best-of-Breed PIM Solution

The Pros:

  • Today, many product and marketing managers use best-of-breed PIM solutions, because they offer the most features and are a fully customizable solution complete with a partner-driven support structure.
  • Best-of-breed solutions are built to function as stand-alone solutions, meaning they offer a stronger platform than an integrated solution, which must live within the constraints of another solution.
  • This also means that you will be able to upgrade or change any of your systems integrated with your PIM system without having to make any changes to the PIM system itself.
  • Even though a best-of-breed solution is not integrated with a CMS or an ERP system, it is easy to access. And if you choose a cloud-based solution, it’s available from anywhere.


The Cons:

  • Best-of-breed solutions are typically more expensive than integrated solutions. It’s wise to bear in mind, though, that this depends on a host of factors and that any company that implements a best-of-breed PIM solution will also enjoy savings in areas like time spent on different systems and hours lost correcting errors made.


Do you need a PIM system?

Integrated PIM solution

The Pros:

  • Integrated PIM solutions are solutions built to live within other systems, and they tend to be less expensive than best-of-breed solutions.
  • Oftentimes the setup and implementation to work with your current system is easier than best-of-breed solutions.


The Cons:

  • Integrated PIM solutions offer fewer features and can be difficult to use.
  • Since Integrated PIM solutions were built to function within a certain system, they don’t offer the same level of functionality and agility as their more advanced cousins.
  • As the integrated PIM system lives within a CMS or an ERP system, you will have to update or change the PIM module as well, if you were to make any major changes to “the host”.

What's Your Ideal Solution?

If you’re trying to choose between a best-of-breed and an integrated solution, the first word you’ll want to bear in mind is “balance.” For marketing and IT managers, a balance has to be struck between complexity in implementation and complexity in operation.

If you’re still struggling to figure out which solution is best for you – or whether a PIM system is right for you at all – you can start by answering 9 simple questions in our PIM test and get a clear indication of whether a PIM system is worth the investment for your company.


Take the PIM test


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