The transformation of price book production at Hansgrohe
Timo Zimmermann and Simon Wacker
The history of Hansgrohe, a renowned manufacturer from the sanitary segment, is characterized by continuous innovation and the ambition to inspire customers worldwide with first-class sanitary products and unforgettable shower experiences. In this article, we present the exciting transformation of price production at Hansgrohe - from a classic price list to modern price catalogs.
Architecture development: from PrintCockpit to priint:suite
In the past, Hansgrohe produced price lists that depicted the product range in tabular form. With the introduction of the printCockpit from hybris, the first more comprehensive price books were generated. However, despite a relatively high degree of automation, this layout process still required a lot of manual work, as chapters were merged manually, for example. It was an extremely time-consuming, laborious and error-prone process.
In 2016, PrintCockpit was discontinued and the move to priint:suite 4.0 began with the introduction of priint:planner. In this module, the complete price book planning was carried out, chapter structures were mapped and editorial pages were integrated. The introduction of an InDesign server was to round off the technical equipment. The switch to the priint:suite proved to be a milestone, as the change offered the opportunity to include the constantly growing product portfolio into the price books and to design them in an appealing and space-optimized way.
However, it was not only the products of Hansgrohe SE that continued to develop, but also the priint:suite. In 2022, priint:suite 4.0 was replaced by priint:suite 4.2. The experiences from the previous version were taken into account for the new price book productions.
From product growth to a multidimensional challenge: diverse content for diverse markets
One of the biggest challenges was to present the constantly growing product categories clearly in the price works. But how do you deal with new requirements resulting from the new categories? This was a completely new task for the marketing, IT, content management and product management departments. A completely new approach had to be found to accommodate this wealth of products and information without sacrificing clarity and user-friendliness. This began the start of the price book development with the definition of product groups and planning. To do this, more than 2,500 product groups had to be carefully maintained and coordinated in order to correctly display the desired product information. The changeover from the maintenance of individual models to the maintenance of models and product groups brought new challenges that had to be overcome.
Additionally, the individual requirements of Hansgrohe's various subsidiaries made the task more difficult. Each country had specific ideas about what information and details should be presented in the price books. These diverse requirements necessitated close cooperation with the countries to ensure that the price books met their respective needs and standards.
For the internal teams, these requirements also meant a deep understanding of data maintenance and management. It was necessary to learn how to optimally maintain the data for later use in the catalog or integration via the priint:suite to ensure an automated, smooth and efficient production of the price books. It was a time of learning and adapting to meet the new challenges and create a high-quality, consistent product that meets even the highest demands.
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A peek behind the scenes and success factors
The success of the implementation of the price book transformation is based on a number of decisive factors and proven methods. The development of stories enabled requirements to be clearly structured and addressed step by step. The Kanban Board was used to visualize processes, assign tasks efficiently and track progress transparently.
Matrix tables proved to be a key and efficient way to clearly display the ever-growing product categories and to make the best use of the available space in the pricing work.
Clever was also the compilation of product groups to combine the same features and therefore present several models on one page. This resulted in an efficient and appealing presentation of the products. The development and implementation of customized scripts also played an important role.
In addition to the technical aspects, the excellent cooperation of various teams played a decisive role. The close coordination of all those responsible ensured that the project ran smoothly. The integration of foreign companies into the process was also of great importance to ensure that the price books met local needs and standards. These various components of the successful implementation formed an impressive overall package that was created through a mixture of smart planning, technical expertise and dedicated teamwork.
Successful transformation: from price lists to price catalogs
With the completion of the project, a product catalog was created for each of the hansgrohe and AXOR brands, using the same process and no longer duplicated. The price books are now not only always available up-to-date for industry events, but also for installers, for whom the price books remain indispensable standard works. The first interactive PDF version has already been developed, allowing readers to access the price catalogs quickly and easily from virtually anywhere.