In this article, I will focus on the cost of implementing one of the most popular Product Information Management systems, Akeneo.
How much does it cost to implement Akeneo’s PIM?
What is PIM?
Product data management systems
PIM system models
How is the work billed for implementing a PIM?
What affects the cost of implementing a PIM?
3 ways to implement PIM
How much does it cost to implement Akeneo’s PIM?
What is not included in this implementation cost?
Summary – How much does it cost to implement Akeneo?
As usual, I present a simple answer to this difficult business question at the very beginning. The cost of implementing Akeneo in the open-source version ranges from 4,200 EUR/USD to 22,400 EUR/USD.
If you are interested in where these costs come from and what elements of implementation I have included in this budget, I invite you to continue reading.
Let me remind you that PIM, or Product Information Management, is an application used to manage product data.
Examples of such data include product descriptions, technical specifications, or product images. Data, which changes slowly, is an important element in the ecosystem of various tools and systems companies use.
Rapidly variable data, called “hot data” are, for example, product availability or product price. We manage them with an ERP system or a warehouse and accounting system.
On the other hand, slow-variable data, referred to as “cold data” are managed in a PIM (Product Information Management) system.
We can acquire or develop such PIM systems in many models. On the one hand, we have SaaS; on the other, open source.
One of the most popular PIMs is those in the open-source model. The most popular solutions are Akeneo and Pimcore.
Akeneo is an easier tool to configure and implement, so this entire post will focus on the cost of implementing Akeneo in the open-source version, where there are no license fees.
Most often, open-source PIMs are implemented under the Time&Material billing model.
If you choose an e-commerce agency or a software house to implement a given open-source PIM, in 95% of cases, it will settle in the Time&Material model, i.e., you will pay for the hours worked in implementing such an application.
The cost of implementing a PIM system, in this case Akeneo, depends on 2 factors:
Let’s assume that the current average hourly rate for PIM system implementation work is 70 EUR/USD (as of October 2023). Of course, the actual amount may be slightly lower or higher, but for this post, 70 EUR/USD will be acceptable.
The second element is determining the number of hours needed to implement PIM. This number mainly depends on the number of PIM system integrations you want to have. Depending on the placement/role of the PIM system in the e-commerce ecosystem. For example, we may have such PIM integrations:
1. PIM can be integrated with an e-commerce system
2. It can also be connected to a third-party wholesaler to “enlist” product offerings and leapfrog your range of offerings.
For example, if a supplier offers 200,000 different products, it is possible to enlist all product descriptions and images from them. Then, with the help of automation, you can quickly process them in PIM to create unique descriptions and images for display on your e-commerce site. Magic.
3. PIM can also be linked to an ERP system.
4. PIM can be combined with an OMS (that, is, Order Management System)
The more integrations you decide to do, the higher the cost of implementing PIM will be.
I have prepared descriptions of the three most common PIM implementations on the market. I will describe roughly how it is positioned in the system and what it is integrated with so that you can relate your situation to one of the 3 described below.
This is the most common implementation, which is that the PIM (in this case, Akeneo) is only integrated with the e-commerce system, and the e-commerce system already has a ready-made connector for this PIM.
An excellent example would be Magento, for which a ready-made connector with Akeneo has been created. The implementation involves integrating Akeneo exclusively with Magento. We configure Akeneo, and that ends the process.
The second, very popular scope of implementation is one where we connect PIM only with e-commerce, but in this case, there is no ready-made connector between e-commerce and PIM.
In this situation, the connector must be created. So, if you have an e-commerce platform that does not have a ready-made connector, the implementation costs will be higher. By how much higher? I will describe this later in the article.
It involves a situation where Akeneo has a ready-made integration with a given e-commerce platform.
For example, let’s take Magento again. Here, we have a ready-made integrator with Akeneo. Of course, it is necessary to configure Akeneo. In addition, we decided to connect our Akeneo with ERP since it is in ERP that the product development process begins.
It’s where the first SKU is created, and it’s from there that we receive information about a new product in our offerings. So, we need to provide a link between the ERP and Akeneo. In Akeneo, we complete all the product descriptions, images, and technical parameters, and categorize the product, and this information is transferred to Magento through a ready-made integration.
So here, we already have 3 systems: Akeneo, ERP, and Magento.
In addition to the standard offer, we have access to the wholesale of one of the companies we work with. This company offers a wide selection of products – as many as 300,000!
We don’t intend to stock all these products immediately, but we want customers to see that they can buy them in our online shop. If we consider connecting to our supplier’s database to integrate these 300,000 products into our store, we are in for another integration.
We have decided that our online store should work not only for the US market but also for the foreign market. We don’t want to manually create product descriptions, technical specifications, and the like for foreign markets (languages). We would like Akeneo to use ready-made automation and automatically translate all this information into, for example, Spanish.
If this is the case, it will cost more to implement a PIM system than in a situation where we only connect Akeneo with e-commerce and have a ready-made connector for that commerce.
However, the business benefits from this third solution are quite different from the former. Increasing our online store’s product offerings brings a significant increase in revenue. In addition, automatic translations enable us to enter foreign markets, which translates into labor and time savings.
Now, let’s turn to costs. We consider 3 sample scopes of Akeneo implementation, determining roughly the hourly range we should assume and, therefore, the budget.
In the case of combining Akeneo with e-commerce, with a ready-made connector, the entire implementation with configuration should fit us in 60-90 hours. At an hourly rate of 70 EUR/USD, the budget will be between 4,200 and 6,300 EUR/USD.
When we connect Akeneo only with an e-commerce engine, for which there is no ready-made connector, the cost of implementation will be higher. We can assume that it will be between 140 and 190 hours, translating into 9,800 to 13,300 EUR/USD.
Let’s assume the situation from the last example, where we connect Akeneo with ERP, with an external vendor from whom we download the entire database of 300,000 products, and where we have automatic translations into Spanish. In this case, the cost of implementing Akeneo and doing all the integrations will oscillate between 235 and 320 hours. This gives us a budget of between 16,520 and 22,400 EUR/USD.
The amounts listed do not include the cost of maintaining the Akeneo system after implementation.
I have also not included the costs associated with the automation fee. For example, if you want to implement a module for automatic translations, this usually involves additional fees. You can write the module yourself from start to finish, but purchasing a ready-made solution on the Akeneo marketplace is also possible. In this case, you will incur the cost of implementing this solution in Akeneo and the subsequent license fee for using the module.
For example, an auto-translation application called Translator App by Andworks GmbH costs about 560 EUR/USD per month. Included in this amount are all costs associated with the use of DeepL for automatic translations.
Is this a lot or a little? On a larger scale or for expansion into foreign markets, these costs are very low. The cost and time to produce these translations by a human will be much higher.
In summary, Akeneo PIM implementation, depending on the scope, requires 60 to 320 hours.
Assuming a rate (as of October 2023) of about 70 EUR/USD, Akeneo implementation will cost us between 4,200 EUR/USD and 22,400 EUR/USD.