Web-To-Print automates creation of full featured product catalog
Pollmann & Sohn is a 5th generation family owned business in Germany. It manufactures high-quality metal fittings made out of steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The core assortment is continuously adapted and extended to meet new market requirements. The company is renowned for constant stock of inventory and fast delivery of its products. The competent and experienced sales staff use various tools to present the products to the customers. A very important sales tool is the full featured product catalog.
The main goal of the project was to create a Web-To-Print solution. It had to be flexible - to cover changing requirements. Therefore it was built like a toolbox. It automates the production of the product catalog. At the same time it offers sufficient layout flexibility. The project result was not only a significantly faster time-to-market but also increased quality of the catalog. The business process re-engineering resulted in faster reaction times for changes in product data and increases efficiency thus saving cost.
The company has an inventory of more than 3.000 products. This meant a lot of manual work was required to create the product catalog without automation. It was created in a slow process which required a good deal of time and a lot of coordination with external service providers. After many back-and-forth feedback loops the raw catalog data could be sent to the printing shop finally. After the catalog had been printed, slight changes in product data triggered part of the process again. The process was time-consuming and error-prone.
The effort necessary for coordination between departments and external service providers resulted in a slow time-to-market for the company. Gathering the necessary data for the print material was complicated as well. Proofreading the raw catalog print files took days. Changes in product data easily led to inconsistencies in sales and marketing materials. The business process was ineffective and had to be re-engineered.
Pimcore partner Basilicom advised Pollmann & Sohn. It created a Pimcore based Web-To-Print solution with a set of preconfigured templates, integrated rendering engine and various configurable output formats.
Structured data from the PIM is the foundation to create the catalog now. This is single-source-publishing. The effort required to produce a catalog has decreased significantly. At the same time the quality result is better because it is always based on the latest, complete product data. With the new system the completeness of data records can also be monitored.
In a concept phase a comprehensive set of templates and bricks was developed. With these bricks, the catalog can be configured within the Pimcore drag-and-drop interface. The output is a web optimized PDF and a print version. The single pages of the catalog were designed in a way that they can easily be used for flyers, product sheets, quotes, assembly instructions or price lists. All of these documents are also rendered both as a web and a print version.
The project stages
Analysis of existing product data and product data structure
Requirements specification and identification of edge cases
Setup of the document tree with editable areas
Creation of the new catalog design
Development of a predefined set of templates
Implementation of the templates in Pimcore
Integration of product data and a configuration interface
Integration of the output rendering service
Testing and quality assurance
The implementation of the Web-To-Print solution in Pimcore increased the efficiency of catalog creation a lot. Time-to-market decreased and new products can now immediately be included in marketing and sales material. This keeps the material always up to date. Also, a consistent look, layout, and quality of the print material were achieved.
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