Case Study: Automated Catalogue Production with Dynamic Layouts.
Onison International Corporation provides SportMedia, part of the world’s largest sporting goods retail franchising network, with fully automated catalogue production capabilities. The solution of Onison’s service creates clear competitive advantages for the giant sporting retail in terms of time to market and cost. The product information is imported into the Product Information System (PIM) of ImageDirector where it can be managed and modified. Suppliers can add individual products through the PIM interface. Users can quickly access the information and produce full featured colour catalogues, individualized shortlist catalogues, price lists, and PDF files.
As the leading franchise retail organization, SportMedia needs to produce printed catalogues for its retailers from which the local stores select their individual product assortments. Their continuously growing product portfolio results in an expanding database of product information that needs to be arranged as clearly as possible. Product variations need to be displayed, and products must be arranged in groups and sorted in sections. Each section has its individual layout, and for each product, the retail customer is provided with in-depth technical information. The printed catalogue thus remains a relevant tool for the communication between the organization’s sales departments and its local retail customers. As an important image media, catalogues provide the customers with a feeling of relevance that communicates care and attention to customer needs. In these catalogues, the essential product information can be found in order to make the decisions for the successive seasonal pre-orders and stocking purchases. It also informs the local retailer about impending marketing activities respective to the individual products or product groups. The retail customers still favor print catalogues as the most important communication medium.
The Product Information System (PIM) in ImageDirector contains the product data for all channels such as online catalogues, mobile, and print publications. With this data, seasonal and special catalogues are produced with hundreds of pages and thousands of products in a single publication run. The catalogues are divided into product groups, and products are associated with product variations, and specific markers for marketing activities and indicators for seasonal price variations. The barcodes are produced on-demand within the Product Information System (PIM). With this setup, SportMedia can generate catalogues that are specifically targeted for local niche groups with different interests.
The need for catalogue automation arose from a traditional workflow that took months in preparation to produce catalogues. New in-house brands and a steadily increasing product portfolio added to the complexity of the production process. Furthermore, revisions to catalogues were difficult to push through the existing workflow.
SportMedia uses ImageDirector’s cataloguing and PIM features in a fully automated catalogue production workflow. Revisions can be implemented at the last second and the time-to-market has decreased from months to minutes while the pre-press cost have largely been eliminated. The product information is then exported into the catalogue templates in order to automatically create the dynamic pages of their catalogues. SportMedia is now able to address its retail customers’ requirements more dynamically with a drastically reduced budget.
The initial catalogue templates are created in cooperation between Onison and SportMedia’s catalogue production department. The complex data structure is intelligently mapped to the dynamic catalogue pages. Following the implementation, the team at SportMedia could immediately reap the benefits of creating fully automated catalogues. Besides the professional pre-press output, the system also produces lower resolution versions that enable the product management to check the catalogues in one-to-one preview format that corresponds exactly to the export of the final catalogue. Errors can be identified immediately and corrected without delaying the market launch of the catalogue. After the final run, the automated pages are merged with the manual insets and the catalogue cover. In the future, Onison will offer in-system integration of insets and cover pages in order to further simplify the catalogue production process.
Without automation, such complex catalogues cannot be produced fast enough, and the time-to-market substantially suffers. Onison’s catalogue automation stands out with its flexibility to deal with product complexity in a diverse, dynamic and efficient manner. The layouts are as variable as the customers’ imagination.
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