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PIM and cross-media solution in use at asecos

Gründau, 20.05.2015: The name asecos is synonymous with safety and environmental protection when working with and storing hazardous substance and flammable liquids. The products available from the Gründau-based company range from safety cabinets, extraction systems and sump systems to hazardous substance handling. With separate companies in the Netherlands, France, Spain and the UK, Area Sales Managers in other core markets, such as Europe, Asia and North America, and a global sales network of specialist dealers and partners, asecos guarantees good proximity to all markets.

To manage products and automatically produce catalogs, asecos opted for the crossbase PIM and cross-media solution.

Interface to ERP system abas

asecos is using the PIM and cross-media solution to maintain product information. In excess of 15 000 items, around 10 000 of which are item configurations, are continuously imported from abas to PIM via the bi-directional interface. This includes around 50 features from a total of 200 attributes, which are classified in more than 10 product-specific feature lists, e.g. safety cabinets, hazardous substances workstations and smokers' booths. The product hierarchy, the dealer and RRP price lists with around 10 price attributes, and the product relationships are also imported. The product relationships are very complex: An item configuration comprises the empty cabinet, the body in a particular color, the internal equipment with optional equipment package and other, extensive equipment accessories.

Marketing-focused data maintenance

In order to communicate the products with a marketing focus, advertising text and images are added to the imported models and items. To minimize the work involved in updating the text and translations, given the complex product logic, text modules are used and texts automatically generated using product group-specific templates, in all languages. Among other things, this affects the brief description, function text, equipment text and product description. From mid-2015, parts of these generated texts are also to be transferred back from PIM to abas again using an XML interface.

Integrated image database and Illustrator production

Using the integrated image database, product photos, application photos, icons, graphics, drawings and diagrams are imported, automatically converted and linked to the product structure, marketing structure or publication structure. Language-specific Illustrator graphics are generated fully automatically on the basis of placeholders and around 100 text modules. The work involved in maintaining and translating these approx. 200 graphics, each containing on average 5 texts, has therefore been reduced by more than 80%.

All-round solution – controlling all sales channels from one database

To use items as standard items in the catalog or in electronic sales channels, they are referenced in marketing-specific product views. In parallel to this the multi-lingual asecos catalogs are produced and the data is provided for many different trading partners from the catalog and specialist dealer trade.

Highly efficient print production with Adobe InDesign

The multilingual product catalog of some 670 pages is automated with the help of Adobe InDesign and crossbase.print using table and layout templates. The variable configuration tables and icon bars are automated. The icons are linked to product features for this purpose and the corresponding icon is inserted in place of the product feature. This reduces the work involved in data maintenance and production.

The untranslated text for foreign-language markets is determined automatically and forwarded to the translation service provider. It is also possible for the translation costs to be cut drastically because only the texts which have been changed or are new have to be translated.

Feedback from project manager Mr. Sievers

"I was impressed with the presentation from crossbase even when we were at the first stage of selecting new PIM software. None of the other providers were so perfectly prepared for an initial meeting (they had already imported numerous asecos items into the demo system and produced print layouts for the first catalog pages). Later during the workshop phase (around 10 full-day meetings in 6 months) I knew that opting for the crossbase PIM system was the right choice. At this point my colleagues and I were able to work with the crossbase experts to efficiently and gradually produce the new concept for using the PIM system. Issues of great importance to us, such as the new product structure, data import/export, automatic text generation and catalog production/derivation were discussed in depth and a procedure ideal for asecos was defined.

I only have good things to say about the phase after going live too (it took approx. 6 months to maintain our data and set up our first automated main catalog): Working with the new system on a day-to-day basis was simple, our staff quickly got to grips with the user interface and the system proved to be very stable and high-performing.

However, the thing that impressed me most was the perfect support provided by the crossbase team during the whole product roll-out period and the outstanding expertise of the individual consultants.

Of course, we still have a lot of work to do (e.g. provision of data for our trade partners, language adaptations and setting up our next printed items), but I am looking forward to working with the crossbase software…"

Advantages:

  • Introducing the PIM system has consolidated and harmonised the data inventory - all product information in all the required languages is managed in one central database.
  • All media and sales channels can be flexibly served from this one source.
  • Standardization and automation make uniform, up-to-date communication possible while reducing production outlay.

asecos catalog sample

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The applied application modules

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Information about the customer

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Andreas Schork
Project managers
+49 (0)7031 / 714 – 7260
a.schork@crossbase.de

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