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Cyril Dorogan
Written by
Cyril Dorogan
CCO at Gepard
CONTENTS

PIM vs. DAM: How To Make The Right Choice

9 min read
November 19, 2021

Data is the fuel and power for the modern business world. The more the companies expand their horizons, the more information they have to handle. The technology solved this problem by offering numerous data management solutions, and yet it’s easy to get confused among the variety of options.

In this article, we’ll give you answers to what is Digital Asset Management, what are product information management systems, what differentiates these solutions from each other, how they work together, and how to choose the right solution for your business.

What Is DAM

DAM (Digital Assets Management platform) is a solution for businesses that allows uploading, organizing, editing and sharing digital files within an organization, while all the digital assets are stored and accessible at one place. Basically, it is a hub with mainly visual elements within the company’s internal data organization system. Some of the examples of DAM are: Adobe digital asset management, Canto, Bynder and FileCamp.

What Is PIM?

Product Information Management is a system used as a central repository for gathering, enrichment, and management of a company’s product data, with the capabilities of data validation, standardization, synchronization, and distribution to various sales channels and eCommerce platforms.

PIM and DAM: What Are the Main Differences?

It’s easy to get lost in a wide range of data organization solutions for enterprises. Business owners and stakeholders can get stuck when choosing the right option, wondering if they can implement PIM and DAM simultaneously or integrate product information management into their already existing DAM software. Let’s examine closely the difference between PIM and DAM.

Type of information:

Product information management is mostly focused on product information, while DAM enables you to work closely with the digital assets of your business: graphics, videos, company’s logos, and large amounts of other digital content.

Main goal:

Product information management system aims to establish product consistency, high quality, and verified and standardized product information that can be regularly updated with an opportunity to integrate with multiple online and offline sales channels and enable flawless data push to different eCommerce platforms.

DAM is focused on the digital resources of the enterprise, giving vast opportunities for editing by different business teams. Its broad capacities allow its users to handle large amounts of digital data. This is especially valuable for those who want to manage their own visual assets (high-quality videos, in-house photoshoots that require editing, and similar types of information).

Data transformation capabilities:

DAM users can benefit from a wide range of functions and flows for digital content management. Namely, It’s a solution for storing and editing rich media files, where different teams can participate in content editing. While DAM offers many options for visual asset management, it does not allow a user to syndicate data (synchronize it with different sales channels and marketplaces).

It’s a significant drawback for businesses that sell a large number of products and want to do it on multiple platforms. Yet, DAM can satisfy companies that require minimum data export processes. With that being said, it’s not possible to push data from DAM to retail platforms, webshops, and other points of sales.

A PIM solution has fewer features for managing specifically digital multimedia and focuses more on managing product data and establishing its consistency within the enterprise. It ensures that product data is stored at one central location, validated, and updated on time. Then the data can be seamlessly integrated with various sales channels and easily pushed to marketplaces while being adjusted to retailers’ specific requirements and data structure. With the help of this system, product content is streamlined across multiple platforms, enabling businesses to build an efficient omnichannel strategy.

What Is The Difference Between PIM And DAM

PIM And DAM: What Users Do They Serve?

It’s difficult to choose one single industry that profits the most from digital asset management software or product information management solutions. However, the features of each platform can be especially helpful for certain business fields.

The benefits of digital asset management are especially noticeable in construction and real estate companies, higher educational institutions (colleges and universities), manufacturing, agencies, technology industries, and especially eCommerce and retail. These are the spheres where there is a lot of work related to digital data collection and management, and that’s where digital asset management tools facilitate the creative data-related processes (extensive boards for teams, digital assets editing, and more).

When it comes to the PIM system, it is especially beneficial for retail industries: global brands and manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers and distributors. The businesses that work with middle-sized, big, or extremely large amounts of products for sure need product information management software to solve the biggest challenges of online retail: pushing high-quality and validated product data to multiple sales platforms, meeting their data requirements, establishing product taxonomy structure and providing customers with truthful, complete and attractive product information.

Digital Asset Management Software: The Best Solutions Comparison

There are many versatile DAM solutions on the market, each of them has its own set of features and specifications. They suit different market segments, include asset creating and sharing features, and might have pre-built integrations and workflow configurations, mobile applications, API connections, and many other functionalities. Here’s a comparison table of some of the most popular digital asset management systems.

Feature Bynder Filecamp Brandfolder Canto
Market segment All sizes: from small to large enterprises All sizes: from small to large enterprises Mid-size and large enterprises All sizes: from small to large enterprises
Industries industry-agnostic industry-agnostic industry-agnostic industry-agnostic
Deployment Cloud-based Cloud-based Cloud-based Cloud-based

On-premise (Cumulus)

Branded look and feel Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
Create and share collections Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
Configurable workflows Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
Asset sharing easy-sharing both internally and externally (with partners, distributors, clients, etc.) easy-sharing both internally and externally (with partners, distributors, clients, etc.) easy-sharing both internally and externally (with partners, distributors, clients, etc.) easy-sharing both internally and externally (with partners, distributors, clients, etc.)
Permissions management Yes  Yes  Yes Yes, administrators,
Contributors & consumers
Pre-built integrations Yes  No  Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes No No Yes
API Yes No Yes Yes
Free Trial Yes Yes No Yes
Approx. timeline to go live / Onboarding time 4 months N/a 2 months 2 months

PIM Solutions Comparison

eCommerce businesses work with such large amounts of product information, to the point that using PIM for retail becomes not just advisable but unavoidable. The market of product information management solutions is steadily growing. Thus every eCommerce market player can find the right solution to cater to their business needs. Here’s an extended comparison of PIM systems, highlighting their main features for brands, manufacturers, and retailers.

Feature Gepard Pimcore Akeneo Treopim(Atropim)
Bulk Import/Export – automatically via an established connection (API/FTP)
– manually by uploading files in supported formats (CSV, XLSX, XML, JSON)
Yes Yes in CSV/XLSX format Via paid extension
Multimedia support Images, media files, attachments, pdfs, etc. Images, hotspot images, PDFs, and videos. Demo version supports only a single image. However, the Enterprise version supports other formats. Demo version only supports images. Separate paid extensions are available that support other multimedia formats.
Product Preview Yes, via demo request Yes No No
APIs API-push is standard
Import/Export through API/is configurable/might need development for a specific connection.
API is deprecated, but its data-hub is offered for web services. Yes, with good documentation. Product Access Manager (PAM) is offered as a separate system. Yes, but unstable at the moment.
Mapping of products Powerful mapping engine with flexible transformation rules support. There’s a team of taxonomists. Should be implemented as a separate function Offered as an extension. Field mapping is possible, but it needs to be done manually.
Roles 4 standard roles and optionally new roles can be created via UI. Can be set up. Defining roles is possible. Can be set up.
Data restriction Possible according to role-based permissions settings. Possible according to roles. User level defines the data level access. Possible according to roles.
Permission at field level No, permissions are at entity level. Yes Not possible at field level. Yes
Flexible data model Yes, new entities can be introduced within a tenant setup. Yes, relationships between entities can be defined. No Yes, relationships between entities can be defined.
Custom fields Yes Possible Yes Yes
Data quality and completeness Data validation types:

– field type and input validation (i.e. text-text, numerical-numerical)
– product data import validation (Brand+MPN)
– required fields and attributes validation
– format check
– length check
– lookup checks
– “required” field
– range check

 

Data validation and quality reports are provided for ensuring data quality and completeness. Individual rules can be set up. A completeness score is provided and the rules can be set up according to the individual company. Data quality and completeness is not provided, but a paid extension is available
Configurable dashboard Can be set up. Can be set up. No Can be set up.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) supported Can be additionally set up. Yes No, but a paid extension is available. No
Open source License is required. Most features are available for free. Very limited in features. The Enterprise version provides most common features. Most features are free in the demo, but some of them are not working.
Technologies used PHP 7.2-7.4, MongoDB 3.6-4.0, RabbitMQ, ElasticSearch. Javascript, PHP MySQL/Maria DB. PHP, HTML, CSS, Python, MySQL/ Maria DB. PHP, MySQL/Maria DB.

What to Choose?

Now that you know the difference between PIM and DAM, it’s easier to choose the right solution to manage your data assets. So what software should you choose: a digital asset management system or a product information management software?

PIM And DAM Benefits For Different Industries

When to Choose DAM

A digital asset management platform is beneficial for:

  • Companies with large amounts of digital assets that need to be stored in one centralized place;
  • Organizations that create their own digital content (video and photoshoots, high-quality graphics) and need a set of tools with multiple functions for content editing;
  • Businesses with many departments and teams involved in digital content creation and management who need an enterprise digital management solution to access the rich media in one single place;
  • Companies with multiple teams that need to keep up with the single-brand business strategy;
  • Organizations that are particularly focused on marketing strategies and branding rather than product data push to different eCommerce platforms and sales channels.

When to Choose PIM

A product information management solution is valuable for:

  • Businesses that have a dynamic product assortment and need to have it constantly updated and shared across different retail platforms;
  • Retail companies that want to develop an omnichannel sales strategy and get to market faster;
  • Brands that need their product portfolio to be regularly updated according to the requirements and product taxonomy of the various marketplaces;
  • Retailers who want to easily collect syndicated and verified product data from numerous brands and manufacturers and increase their sales;
  • Businesses that want to set up seamless integrations with content providers and flawlessly enrich their product data, to provide their customers with large-scale and accurate product content.

Digital Asset Management FAQ

What Is a Digital Asset?

Digital assets are any company or individual-owned digital materials, containing text data, graphics, video, audio materials, and other rich media. Digital assets’ definition is not limited to videos or photos and can include any other files in digital format, such as datasheets, presentations, and more.

What Are the Main DAM Features?

The key characteristics of digital asset management tools are wide capabilities for bulk digital content upload and extended functionalities for asset manipulations, multiple editing tools, advanced search through metadata, operational workflows and digital assets collections, high standards of data security, and user management.

Who Needs DAM?

Digital asset management solutions bring value to enterprises that work with large amounts of digital information, managed by different departments and teams, where there’s a high demand for brand consistency and positioning. DAM systems are useful in educational organizations, real estate, and construction companies, technology industries, tourism and recreation businesses, agencies, and retail.

Do I Need DAM If I Already Have a PIM System?

Some business stakeholders raise the question of DAM integrations with a product information management system. While both PIM and DAM are valuable for companies, they serve different purposes and cannot be interchanged. If your company already has a product information management system, then DAM is relevant only if you have a lot of digital assets (especially owned by your organization) and you need extended content creation tools. Otherwise, implementing DAM can be quite costly and not reasonable.

Do I Need PIM If I Already Have a DAM Software?

The significant drawback of digital asset management is the lack of syndication and DAM integrations with marketplaces and sales channels. If your company operates in eCommerce and plans to develop an omnichannel strategy, then there’s a huge demand for integrations with sales platforms. For this purpose, even if you already have a DAM solution, it’s advisable to implement a product information management software with syndication and validation modules to be able to easily integrate product information with numerous marketplaces, verify and standardize the data, and adjust it to the requirements and taxonomy of various sales platforms.

Do I Need PIM If I Have DAM System

Gepard PIM: Enhanced Product Data for Your Business

Pursuing business goals becomes much easier when all of your data assets are well organized and aligned with your business strategies. The market offers a lot of data management solutions with PIM and DAM being the key software. You already know the differences between PIM and DAM systems, their main features, and their advantages and downsides. Having a state-of-the-art digital asset management tool is not enough if you want to extend your retail business and grow your omnichannel strategy. This is where a product information management system should be incorporated to enhance your sales potential.

Gepard’s PIM wide functionality allows brands to enrich their product content, syndicate and validate it, modify the data in accordance with the ever-changing requirements of marketplaces and automatically push enriched product content to multiple sales platforms. Retailers can get flawless automated data collection from brands and manufacturers, to guarantee the highest quality of product content, improve customer experience and outpace competitors.

Reach out to our dedicated specialists to learn more about our product information management solution, its main features and integrations, and discuss what value product information management can bring to your business.

PIM or DAM: What To Choose

Cyril Dorogan
Written by Cyril Dorogan
CCO at Gepard
Dedicated professional with more than 15 years of professional background in the eCommerce domain. Helping companies with Product Data syndication and eCommerce solutions, striving for success, and focusing on dedicated customer service. Cyril has implemented a range of eCommerce solutions for a variety of companies as Amazon, GS1, HP, Dell, Rakuten, Elkjop, Lazada. He is passionate about making business processes streamlined and growing the companies' operational efficiency by fulfilling eCommerce automation.

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