Case Study: Single Source Database for Petware Wholesaler

Vadigran is a petware wholesaler in several European countries (6 languages). It carries a large assortment (5.000 articles) of pet-related accessories and food. Vadigran sells B2B to integrated chains and retail stores. Paper and Ipad catalogs are an essential part of the Vadigran sales kit.

Business Needs

Due to the several new projects that needed to be united to a specific singular product database, customizing the ERP software wasn’t an acceptable solution for such demanding undertakings:

  1.  For starters, the existing website was outdated. There was a need for a new site that would include a next to full-text search,  parametric search, and filtering. Therefore, products needed better documentation than the existing ERP system.
  2. The market share was in danger; the company faced fierce new competition that contained more attractive sale materials. The company had already a low-cost database publishing software for automating monthly catalog generation, but it wasn’t able to keep up with the requested changes.
  3. Large customers agreed to an industry-wide shift from computer to computer data exchange through the GS1 data pools. Managing all the necessary data for each product category required a dedicated PIM database.

Eliminating lots of specific Excel files made on request for individual customers. Vadigran decided to invest in a PIM database as a single source for all processes (link to marketplaces, website, publishing system). The Pimcore based solution was selected because the Pimcore implementation partner, could propose an outstanding price/features ratio.

Pimcore Solution

„Our new Pimcore database allows us to enrich our product data in order to interface to our new website, catalog system and marketplaces like GS1 or Amazon.“
Willem Van Diest, CTO, Vadigran

Pimcore was installed by Tetrasoft whois also known for its database publishing software called “Leaflet.” Leaflet can connect live to the Pimcore database and publish documents of any size and complexity on demand.

Thanks to the dynamic templates of Leaflet most of the pages can be generated automatically. The few pages that need some manual finishing are exported to Indesign.

Initially, the flatplan of the document (consisting of about 3500 products plus their variants) is generated by uploading an Excel sheet to the database. In a second stage, flatplan generation is to be integrated into Pimcore to ease the synchronization between successive editions of the same document. Usually, product rotation is about 15% of the range. Changes in product assortment (additions, deletions, and other status changes) can instantly be traced and confirmed through dashboard panels. With these tools, it is possible to publish a monthly refresh of the catalog of the full assortment (+- 850 pages) in a couple of days by one single person. And, it all happens without compromising the quality of the publication or accuracy. Moreover, in at least 3 languages…

The DAM module of Pimcore stores and converts the thousands of images necessary for all purposes (Hi-res CMYK for catalogs, Lo-res Png thumbnails for the website)

Product inheritance is used to speed-up and simplify input of all descriptive attributes for the webshop. Classification stores are used extensively to define 40 categories of products. A specific set of attributes defines each category. All these data are interfaced to the website in real time through the built-in web services functionality of Pimcore.

A similar set of attribute categories will be set up for GS1 data pool interface. As there are a lot of standard messages and replies to monitor to be sure all products are delivered successfully to all participants, a specific plugin will be developed

The project stages

  • Feasibility analysis and scope of the whole project
  • Definition and timing of 3 separate subprojects
  • The interface between ERP and Pimcore, and Pimcore and new Webshop
  • Definition of the new layout of the general catalog and draw of the Leaflet templates connected to Pimcore
  • First edition of the general catalog with Pimcore as the master database
  • Enrich all products with descriptive attributes and integration tests with the webshop
  • New webshop launch
  • Develop and test GS1 plugin
  • Exchange GS1 messages

Business Results

Installing Pimcore as a PIM database serving 3 new or to be upgraded subsystems was key to project success and faculty productivity. This project was completed with very few people and was not anticipated to require additional personnel to keep the new systems running.

The new webshop and the new catalogs give the sales team the best up to date tools to conquer new markets and to resist new competitors in the domestic market.

GS1 interface is a welcome requirement from the primary customers. It’s a mandatory productivity booster.

Pimcore Silver Partner
  • Vadigran
Solution Partner
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