PIM System and Table Configurator Tame Heterogeneous Product Data
Founded in 1925, Rohde AG now supplies industrial companies worldwide with a wide range of surface technology and industrial handles. The company has 135 employees and an annual turnover of 15 million euros.
For Rohde, its broad product range means a large amount of different product information, which has to be maintained for website, catalogues etc. The company therefore wanted a data model for its new website, including an online catalogue. This data model should ensure structure, order and clarity of the product information and enable easy central maintenance of the information, taking into account the characteristics of the products.
The company commissioned the digital commerce agency Blackbit to develop the data model and create the new website. After a thorough analysis of Rohde's database, Blackbit's developers were able to identify the following requirements:
The heterogeneous product range posed a particular challenge: Only a few products have identical properties. A data model had to be found that would enable effective and efficient maintenance of the various product information and allow the editor to maintain selected technical attributes individually for each product in tabular form. Each table requires a different number of columns and rows. Rohde wanted an intuitive interface to easily configure the tables for output according to the requirements.
Due to the international target group, the website should be translatable into 13 languages.
At the same time, the responsiveness of the content – the optimal presentation on different screen formats – should be guaranteed.
The company also wanted a white label solution for its dealers, who sell Rohde products internationally.
To implement the web project, Blackbit used the open source framework Pimcore. Pimcore makes it easy to set up websites or online shops in multiple languages and to maintain and display very heterogeneous article data. After defining a flexible data model, Blackbit coordinated the conceptual design of the new website with Rohde and created wireframes of all important page types. Existing product information from a no longer updated MS-SQL database was migrated to Pimcore objects and a classification store. Data and model errors were corrected and data quality was assured.
In order to master the comparative presentation of different product variants in responsive tables in the online catalog, Blackbit developed a table generator that precisely controls how the data is displayed on the website. Despite the high complexity of the data, the tables can be easily maintained by Rohde's employees using this generator. The responsive web design was developed according to the requirements and usage habits of (potential) Rohde customers. Blackbit optimized the usability at the critical contact points of the buyer's journey.
The central element of Rohde's new website is an online catalogue, which answers almost all questions about the products, offers model data for download and a contact option including a form for requesting samples. In order to implement the desired white label solution, objects for the international sales partners were created and configured in Pimcore. By assigning the corresponding company logos, standard language and contact data, dealers can use the functionality of the online catalogue to sell Rohde products under their own name.
With the relaunch based on Pimcore, a responsive, stable and high-performance website was created that meets the expectations of the target group. The integrated product information management system simplifies operational processes and creates a single point of information for all product information. Pimcore's intuitive user interface is well accepted by business users, so that new product groups were added to the online catalogue after only a short time. The possibility to order samples of the offered industrial handles conveniently via a form is a source for a continuous stream of new business contacts.
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