In our blog, Building Better B2B Commerce Experiences with CPQ, we explored how companies can benefit from implementing a CPQ system. To take it a step further, we’ll now explore how pairing a product information management (PIM) system with CPQ strengthens your tech strategy so you can build an effective B2B commerce experience.
A PIM system is designed to hold product data and information so it can be leveraged as product content across various channels. CPQ is designed to hold business rules that correlate complex products to their respective pricing. Essentially PIM is a single source of truth for various product data, whereas CPQ is a single source of truth for various product configurations.
When it comes to integration, it is recommended to build a single directional data flow from PIM to CPQ. For example, PIM would store all items/components (SKUs), bill of materials (BOM), unit of measurement (UOM), country of origin, and many other related product attributes. The CPQ would then leverage this detailed product information and the product relations, such as related items, features, assets, and images, and make that information available for the user, whether they be external buyers or a sales rep, so that they can configure products and request price quotes.
In addition to individual item information, PIM can also help create and maintain pre-configured bundles. The creation of bundles can be a tedious task, and the goal is to avoid delays during the buyer experience. Hence, a back-end system like PIM helps to streamline the process by sending the bundles to CPQ, along with all the information within that bundle, such as images, links, digital assets, etc. This helps to mitigate errors and assist with a faster turnaround time when providing quotes.
Another key aspect to consider when it comes to integrations is the sourcing of images and their availability for product configurations. PIM systems are designed to house product-related images, and it can store variations of product images along with the product content and provide that to the CPQ system. Alternatively, companies can consider using an external tool (for example, Adobe Dynamic Media Classic, formerly Scene7) to dynamically render various images based on the user selections through the CPQ as they configure their products to showcase how different configurations look.
Efficient integration between PIM and CPQ systems helps companies to distribute roles and responsibilities from a personnel perspective, as well as leverage the right tools to manage product information and product configuration rules to build efficiency and accuracy in the buying process. For more information on beginning your PIM/CPQ integration, reach out to our experts.