Supplier of Home & Garden Products Automates Catalog Creation
The Austrian company Windhager Handelsgesellschaft m.b.H. sells a variety of products for a beautiful garden and a more comfortable home life. The range includes insect stops, pest control, sun and privacy screens and gardening accessories. Products are exported to 25 European countries.
Windhager presents its wide range of products in elaborately designed, over 200-page catalogs. The manual creation of this extensive advertising material is very time-consuming, expensive and error-prone. Windhager therefore was looking for a more efficient, automated solution for catalog production.
In order to create a structured and central database for this, the company had already put the open-source framework Pimcore into operation and linked it with its other systems: Technical product data is transferred from an ERP system via web services into the PIM database of Pimcore. The images and videos stored in an external DAM are also synchronized with Pimcore. All marketing texts are entered, translated and stored directly via the user-friendly Pimcore backend.
To help Windhager implement an automated catalog production, Blackbit used Pimcore's integrated web-to-print module. As a first step, we analyzed Windhager's product data and checked the data model. Then the Pimcore controller was configured to export the product data for catalog creation. At the same time, we started building HTML templates according to the catalog layouts provided by Windhager. The first project we realized was an extensive garden catalog, followed by a table cover catalog for the brand Vénilia.
After integrating the catalog templates into Pimcore, we matched the product data (product numbers, dimensions, barcodes, images, descriptive texts, etc.) with the templates. Finally, the PDFreactor rendering tool was used to transform each HTML file into a compact PDF file for web download and a printable PDF file with print marks, high-resolution images, and CMYK color space compatibility.
Errors, efforts and costs of catalog production were significantly reduced by using Pimcore's web-to-print solution. This is because large parts of the catalog pages, including all print-relevant marks, are now generated within seconds based on the data stored in Pimcore. Changes are implemented quickly and without an additional layout program: Using the Pimcore backend, the Windhager team can conveniently update product data at any time and transfer it into the respective catalog file. Furthermore, the automatically produced catalogs are of the same high quality as manually created catalogs.
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