What’s the difference between PIM and MDM?

Can not figure out which system: Product Information management (PIM) or Master Data Management (MDM) is more suitable for the business? Both systems aim at simplifying and automating data management, but their objectives are quite different.

  • What is Master Data Management (MDM)?
  • What is Product Information management (PIM)?
  • PIM and  MDM: What’s the difference?
  • Which is the right solution for you? PIM or MDM?
  • FAQ

What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

Master Data Management (MDM) – a system that consolidates all the master data within the company. Provides the single source of master and reference data including product, vendor, location, finance, customer and more information related to the organisation. MDM combines the set of tools and processes for collecting, processing, transforming and sharing the data to create one reliable and available source for everyone in the company. Thus, many problems that are connected with updating by different departments, at different times, by different people, and often in different information systems are eliminated. An example of a powerful MDM platform is the Pimcore MDM system.


  • Reducing master data complexity
  • Reducing master data inconsistencies due to one trustworthy source
  • Allowing to make changes, supplement and remove data globally no matter the volume and variety of critical business data
  • Using master data across multiple channels and satisfy the requirements of a specific industry or domain
  • Improving processes and workflows, speeding-up time-to-market of products

What is Product Data Management (PIM)?

Product Information Management (PIM) –  a software solution that manages and centralises all the data related to products in order to provide qualitative and accurate product information. It is a single source of trusted product data that allows simple catalogues, channels, families, attributes and images creating, provides data quality control and builds a close relationship with distributors, suppliers and company members. An example of an advanced PIM platform is KennerPIM.


  • Reducing product information complexity and improves data quality
  • Improving catalogues and product data management
  • Decreasing time for manual work by managing globally
  • Boosting collaboration
  • Speeding-up time-to-market
  • Simple product integrating with new marketplaces
  • Increasing sales and reduce returns due to full and qualitative product data


PIM and MDM: What’s the difference?

It can be easy to see basic similarities and differences between PIM and MDM systems.

As was mentioned below, the PIM system is aimed to collect product data from all the sources to transform it into clear data pieces by simple processing and enrichment. Mostly, PIM is required by manufacturers, retailers, distributors for marketing and selling within enterprise sales channels including business expansion within new marketplaces. It is worth noting that the amount of product data can be extremely large as it consists of numerous:

  • Product’s descriptions (material, size, colour, model, technical specifications etc.)
  • images
  • description in different languages
  • prices, discounts, special offers
  • product’s lifecycles
  • etc.

It is Product Information Management (PIM) software that is used to collect, enrich and publish this type of data, not a Master Data Management (MDM) system.

Master Data Management (MDM) also covers product data but not in so complex and exclusive way like PIM.

MDM products manage vendors, distributors, customers, partners, products, suppliers, locations data. It gathers any domain’s data in one source enables to clean, connect, reform and then distribute accurate data to operational and analytical systems.

The main difference lies in the scale. PIM focuses on centralising, collecting, enriching and publishing product data while MDM focuses on centralising and managing the domain’s data requiring significant resources to implement and sometimes including different business objectives.


Which is the right solution for business?

PIM or MDM? 

To determine which system is more suitable for the business it will be easier to consider by examples of use cases:




Adding numerous SKUs

PIM automates product data enrichment and allows correcting it by bulk actions saving time on manual filling


Managing different domains


MDM systems synchronise data from various domains to prevent differences and errors throughout the company

Increasing sales

PIM allows organizing and planning sales and marketing. The ability to determine the most popular channel to make others match increases sales. Meta descriptions and tags improve SEO


Efficient data analysis


MDM merges domain’s data in the uniform system and provides consistent analysis across the company 

Entering new channels or marketplaces

PIM provides simple product data integrating within the world-known marketplaces and speed-up the time-to-market 


Linking different data like customer and product


MDM allows linking different data like customer and product to generate customer experience

If the main focus of the company is on improving product data, increasing sales, optimising the process of adding SKUs and expanding to the new marketplaces – PIM is the right solution.

PIM is an omnichannel marketing system that offers faster deployment and ROI increasing in comparison with an enterprise-wide MDM system.

If this article persuaded you that PIM is what you need, reach out to KennerSoft for one of the most advanced solutions – KennerPIM.

However, if the aim is to collect different domain’s data in one error-free source for the whole company, and it is enough time and resources for deployment – MDM products will lay the foundation. An example of leading MDM systems is Pimcore MDM.



  •   What is the function of Master Data Management MDM?

The main function of MDM systems is to centralise master data:  product, vendor, location, finance, customer, suppliers and others in one error-free source for the whole company.

  •   What is the PIM system?

PIM system is a set of tools and processes for centralising, collecting, enriching and publishing product information. PIM system minimises manual errors, helps to keep in touch with partners and improve marketing strategies.

  •   What is the MDM process?

MDM process creates a uniform source of data to ensure qualitative coordination across the company.

  •   What is the difference between MDM and PIM?

The difference between MDM and PIM is that MDM systems work with master data like customers, vendors, distributors, partners, products, suppliers while PIM systems are concentrated on centralising, collecting, enriching and publishing product data.

  •   Why PIM is required?

PIM is required to prevent the spreading of false product data, speed up product data uploading, increase sales due to improved marketing.

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