Product Information Management or PIM databases are at the heart of major retail operations. They contain most business information about each product sold and are essential for ordering, tracking, shipping, and warehousing potentially millions of different products. Sometimes, they include pricing and inventory levels, which can fluctuate at a moment’s notice and vary by season, region, or even unforeseen circumstances—like hurricanes or pandemics.
Product marketing managers use PIM data to plan each sales campaign for most major retailers—usually well in advance. LAGO’s software allows them to continue using their existing PIM, creating a visual whiteboard of the featured products. They can even prioritize products with higher margins, excess inventory levels, or products specific to a season or geographic region. These campaign plans automatically generate “blocks” of related information in a template for the InDesign user. They even include product imagery from a Digital Asset Management or DAM system (see #3, next). Once the catalog is done, the product manager can track the sales performance of a particular product specified for a catalog campaign.
While Comosoft’s LAGO often integrates a retailer’s existing PIM database with its separate pricing and inventory databases, it also offers its own PIM. As a result, they have years of experience integrating and automating data input from product manufacturers. Fortunately for InDesign users, however, all those torrents of product data are managed in the background so that they can focus on sound design.