Schmidt's customer catalog created with crossbase for the first time

We were able to successfully merge our two existing systems into crossbase. With this modern tool we can deliver media-compatible output for all channels and are ready for future requirements.

Kurt Wohlgenannt
CIO, Head of IT and Logistics, Authorized Signatory, Schmidt’s Handelsgesellschaft mbH

Böblingen, 01-30-2020: The company founded by Josef Schmidt in 1887 in Bludenz (Austria) is one of the oldest and most successful hardware wholesale companies in Europe. It is a full-range supplier of construction, civil engineering products, fittings, tools, machines, factory equipment, chemical and technical products, work clothing, fastening technology and garden and power tools. SCHMIDT'S employs around 720 people at 14 Austrian locations and is 100% family-owned.

The current "Trade Catalog 2019" and the customer catalog "Abau 2019" have now been created with the crossbase solution for the first time. Further customer catalogs, main catalogs and brochures will follow.

Central functions of the solution

Interface to the ERP system SAP

Currently, more than 200,000 items are continuously transferred via the XML interface from the ERP system to the crossbase database, where they are structured, enriched with further contents and prepared for output in print and online media. Most product information is maintained at master product level. For this reason, the inheritance concept is used. This "inherits" defined content to the subordinate levels and thus minimizes the maintenance effort. In addition, some of the data maintained in crossbase is returned to the ERP system via the API interface, so that the data is always identical.

Interface to web systems

The existing shop systems of the Schmidts Group are connected via the API server of crossbase and obtain contents such as product features, texts and images from the crossbase database.

Data maintenance of product data and media assets in PIM

More than 2,000 product characteristics are maintained for the master products, which are managed in approx. 700 attribute classes. Due to the quantity of items and suppliers and the resulting permanent updates, product data is obtained directly from the suppliers, transferred to the system and compared with the database. In addition, descriptive texts for the master products are added and used for the print catalogs or output via the API interface.

About 42,000 media assets with derivatives for the master products are maintained. Visual elements such as product images, application images, product drawings, symbols, manufacturer logos and videos can be added and then assigned to the product structure or marketing structure. Documents such as operating instructions or assembly instructions are also managed.

Functions for Output in the Print Area

Another focus is the production of print media. This could be implemented easily and quickly with the crossbase solution, despite a sophisticated layout. In addition to the regularly produced catalogs and brochures, special customer catalogs with individual volumes and special prices are produced for larger customers.

Functions used in the production of printed catalogs

The catalogs contain between 50 and 500 pages and the degree of automation is around 90%. As "interrupters", advertisements or image pages are sometimes integrated into the page flow. The product tables are created in one step with mass functions for all master products of a page line. The creation of flow frames and universal tables with automatic table extension and predefined attribute sets is also used. Matrix tables with automatic table extension are also produced. When finishing the catalogs, the Schmidt's layout or the Weyland-Steiner layout can be chosen for the pages.

In the product tables, hyperlinks are dynamically set to the item numbers, which then refer to the Schmidt's online shop or the Weyland-Steiner online shop, depending on the finishing. These hyperlinks are displayed in the browse catalog. In future, the product tables will be created in a "general catalog" directly when the master products are created and will be reused in the "output catalogs". This further minimizes the amount of work involved in creating and producing the catalogs.

Solution details

The application modules and further information

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