From the slipstream into the fast lane: revolution in catalog production at ROTHENBERGER

Bastian Seib and Patrick Nonnweiler

Dive into the world of semi-automated catalog creation. At ROTHENBERGER, this pragmatic approach, which combines automation and creative design, led to a significant transformation of the catalog creation process. This project vividly illustrates how companies can master the challenge of catalog production in a progressive way.

Requirements & analysis

ROTHENBERGER, a leading manufacturer of pipe tools and machines with over 70 years of experience, was faced with a major challenge: How can the extensive product range for heating, plumbing, air conditioning, etc. be presented efficiently and also attractively in catalogs? The previous manual catalog creation process led to parallel processes and inconsistencies. How can the processes be sustainably improved?

Faced with the challenge of finding a more efficient method for catalog creation, ROTHENBERGER turned to Parsionate. Prior to this step, the company had already been using a PIM system, but it was no longer able to keep up with the growing requirements. The creation of 27 different language and country versions proved problematic, as these not only had language differences, but also differed in terms of the product range.

The collaboration with Parsionate led to the implementation of the Contentserv PIM system, which helped ROTHENBERGER to optimize its catalog creation. To approach this process in the best possible way, the company focused on a thorough analysis of three crucial areas at the start of the project:

The collaboration with Parsionate led to the implementation of the Contentserv PIM system, which helped ROTHENBERGER to optimize its catalog creation. To approach this process in the best possible way, the company focused on a thorough analysis of three crucial areas at the start of the project:

Process

Previous catalog creation often ran in parallel. The graphics team created the catalog, and the online team worked with the PIM team to create the web pages. This led to a duplication of effort. To pave the way for a sustainable solution, it was essential to redefine the existing process.

Technology

The information available for the analog and digital media was different. Due to the article-specific structure of the online media, more information was available than for the product-specific structure. The following tasks resulted from this for the selection of the later Contentserv PIM system:

  • Customization of the catalog structure with Contentserv PIM in cooperation with Parsionate
  • Differentiation of product-specific and variant-specific content
  • Overcoming the data inconsistencies between PIM and print
  • Avoidance of data redundancy and multiple maintenance of the same information in the PIM and in print
  • Accelerated time-to-market and catalog creation cycles

Human factor

Marketing and product management staff were a central role in the success of the project. In any scenario, it is critical to practice change management and prepare users for changing processes. All stakeholders were involved in the process and potential concerns were resolved. Today, the employees are very satisfied with the solution.

Our catalog creation used to be quite complex, but with the new approach we have added clarity and efficiency, which I am very excited about.

Optimization of catalog creation at ROTHENBERGER

In order to increase the efficiency and quality of catalog production, ROTHENBERGER formulated clear goals together with Parsionate:

Automation:

  • Implementation of publishing automation through connection to the PIM system
  • Realization of (semi-)automatic creation of three different catalog types
  • Enabling output in different channels, both channels, both analog and online

Standardization:

  • Definition of uniform templates and placeholders for catalog content

Optimization:

  • Improvement of the process for catalog creation, maintenance and correction
  • Creation of a more efficient workflow for the entire catalog creation phase

Scalability:

  • Strive for scalability of the system in order to transfer the successful model from the pilot project through country subsidiaries to different brands

Achieved goals and project progress

The semi-automated catalog creation project at ROTHENBERGER has made significant progress. With a degree of automation of around 75%, product pages and catalogs have been designed much more efficiently. Additionally, templates, dynamic grids and placeholders were successfully implemented to ensure consistent content presentation.

By integrating DeepL as a pre-translation tool, the translation processes were optimized and directly integrated into the PIM system. The solution is scalable and enables ROTHENBERGER to perform catalog creation in several countries and for different brands in a centralized way.

In addition, the introduction of the Grid Planning of the priint:suite is planned, in order to carry out the scheduling of the products on the individual sites directly in the Neowise interface.

The project has successfully contributed to optimizing catalog production, improving processes, and enhancing the quality of catalogs. Although digitization is constantly being driven forward, the printed catalog is and remains an essential medium, especially for B2B customers.

Would you like to gain insights into other projects?

Then take a look at our success stories, in which our customers talk about various projects.

Conclusion: catalog creation on a new level with international enthusiasm

ROTHENBERGER has mastered the balancing act between automation and manual activities with semi-automatic catalog creation. The success of this approach is reflected not only in smooth catalog management, but also in the integration of the national subsidiaries into the publishing process.

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