How much does it cost to implement PIM?

18.06.2019 Angelika Siczek
pim icon among other e-commerce symbols

PIM, or Product Information Management, is a system that will automatically manage your product information. The process consists in establishing a connection with an external product database. It means downloading data to your products prepared by an external company or community. The main benefit for you is to save time and gain complex and error-free product data. If you have a wide range of products and carry out frequent changes in the assortment – PIM is the solution for you. Once you’ve established that the next question is what is the cost of PIM implementation?

The cost of PIM implementation

This is the most popular question among sellers. How much does it cost to implement a PIM system that makes it easier to run a store on the Internet? It unfortunately depends. The costs can range from a few thousand to even a million PLN (Polish currency). The factors that determine the price of introducing the PIM system is the degree of complexity of the dedicated environment and the client’s environment, data migration, integration, dedicated functionalities and project management. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question about the cost.

The reality of implementing a professional PIM system

The professionally prepared PIM system should include three environments: production, pre-production and testing. This way, it is easier to use the tool created by the customer and the implementation of changes made by the developer is easier as well. However, this means a greater cost than installing a single instance. In addition to constructing the system for long-term and convenient use, it should also be properly secured. It is necessary to set up support systems, such as monitoring environments, log collection, automatic backups and server security. You can, naturally, implement, for example, the Akeneo or Pimcore system without protection. However, the entire infrastructure is vulnerable to hacking the server and theft or deletion of data.

A dedicated or local environment?

The target environment will be another element determining the implementation cost. It is possible to implement the PIM system on the existing customer infrastructure. You will not have to buy additional hardware or cloud resources. It is important, however, that the existing conditions must be at the level of the task of adopting the next system. Additional expenses will be necessary when purchasing and additional configuration of neighboring systems for PIM. However, it is important to make sure that the existing conditions are fine enough and the new system can be implemented without any troubles. Additional expenses will be necessary when purchasing an additional configuration of neighboring systems for PIM.

On the other hand, implementation on a special basis, previously developed and tested, gives other benefits. Following the usual scheme and using proven solutions many times is a potential saving for the customer. Adjusting the system to the platform means adjusting to successive problems during implementation, such as problems with assigning rights or adapting to existing logs. Using the usual path will save time for developers in the long run and, as a result, save finances of the client.

Data migration to the PIM system

This process determines the cost of introducing and maintaining the system to the greatest extent. PIM is created in a way that facilitates the scaling of data and the absorption of already collected data into the new system. However, if the existing database differs from the one applicable for a given PIM, it must be strongly transformed and divided into individual elements. Then the costs of system implementation grow strongly.

However, you can prevent this. If the database is from the beginning similar to the PIM schemes, i.e. it has separated families and their attributes and products, the types are collected into categories and products and media are assigned to them – then the costs of migration decrease. These are preparations that you can make yourself. This work will be done faster by someone with a specific database, who additionally has been working on it for a long time. At the same time, you can save time and cost.

How many PIM systems can be integrated?

The number of systems that should be integrated with the Akeneo or Pimcore system is a number that multiplies costs. It is obvious – the more dependencies in integration, the more work. Here you can see the advantage of using a multistore solution – many stores, but one engine serving stores.

Implementation of a system that includes ERP integration in order to download new product identifiers is also less work than PIM integration with a multistore store with extensive functionalities.

The existing integration module is a great help for the developer. It does not have to construct a base bridge, which reduces costs. However, most of the work when implementing PIM is spent to adapt the system to the client’s business model. Still, the more changes, the higher the cost of PIM implementation. 

Project management

The last element that is potentially able to reduce the implementation costs is proper cooperation with the client. If experienced and aware of own resources Product Owner will be involved in the implementation, task creation, analysis or even an accurate action plan will be faster. The implementer, instead of creating analyzes and doing reconnaissance, will be able to focus on his work, i.e. the integration of the PIM system. Without proper documentation and knowledge about the system, the whole process will be spread over time.

Examples of comparison of valuation of the implementation cost of the PIM system

It’s important to take into account the size and needs of our company, when assessing the value of PIM can bring into our business. Here we listed some examples of the potential PIM implementation prices.

Small company

A shop with elegant shoes, which actively works on the Internet, has an assortment of around 350 pairs of shoes, the list and product description which is in Excel sheets. The client knows the customers’ needs and communication with the developer is good. As a part of the integration, you need to expand the information base and transfer data from Excel to the PIM system and improve them. The system should consist of Akeneo, which generates CSV files that will be imported into the store on the Magento engine. It is therefore an implementation with customer support, no integration, with prepared data, no additional functionalities, on the client’s infrastructure, but without system support. The final cost is about PLN 10,000.

Medium company

A medium-sized industrial store, which sells under several different brands. The product data that the company has is the data in the ERP system and CSV files with the media – about 50,000 products. In the implementation of Pimcore, it is necessary to block the possibility of extending descriptions by employees without rights. The system should be integrated with the price and ERP system and the data should be migrated by the developers. Finally, integrate Pimcore with the multistore. The product owner joins the cooperation. The implementation of the system was estimated at PLN 110,000.

Large company

An international company that distributes monitoring equipment and smart homes. It operates in 25 countries and has a mobile application. The company has 290 thousand product descriptions in catalogs printed in 18 language versions. The developer deals with data transfer, integration with stores, a mobile application, and all this integrates with Pimcore. In addition, integration with ERP, an external manufacturer’s catalog is to be made, and the products are to be assigned to many families at the same time on a dedicated system infrastructure. The Product Owner is missing, which means that the analysis lies on the people who implement the system. The cost is about PLN 850,000.

It’s important to remember that the biggest cost determinant you have to take in implementing a professional PIM system, is the size of the database and the scale of additional work. This in turn means that the bigger the e-Commerce business you run, the higher the cost is. However, if you accept the principle that you already have some product data and you are willing to cooperate, and even perform part of the data migration, this cost can definitely be reduced.

The implementation of the PIM system is the best investment in your store, immediately after the appropriate selection of the sales and inventory system. Assuming your store will only grow, the amount of work on product information will also increase. The implementation of a system that will take care of this work and integration with an already existing environment is a big step, but definitely unavoidable.

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