Costly and lengthy process. That’s how anyone who’s ever put together a catalogue would describe its production. The process becomes especially painful when you need to showcase a large number of products with detailed descriptions.
Many companies with a large portfolio have thrown in the towel and stopped producing printed catalogues a while ago. Thick “telephone books” take months to assemble and require a lot of effort from various specialists. To add insult to injury, they age quickly in today’s rapidly changing world. We’ve even heard of cases when pricing in the catalogue became dated at the time of printing the catalogue. Who would want to waste their resources in such a reckless fashion?
That said, a printed brochure is still a worthy marketing tool. A shiny catalogue at a conference table literally invites you to pick it up. Customers can leaf through and come back to it, while even the most beautiful PDFs usually end up hidden in the depths of someone's computer.
How to Produce an Inexpensive but Extensive Catalogue Fast?
With a product information management (PIM) solution! A PIM tool enables you to create a fancy-looking catalogue in just a few days. Or weeks at max — if you have thousands of products. A significant cutdown on time as opposed to putting together a catalogue without a PIM tool (which could easily take months).
What is a Product Information Management Solution?
A PIM solution enables you to manage and store comprehensive product data in one place. It enriches your ERP system. If you’ve ever worked with a large scale of product data, you know very well that keeping it tidy, correct and up-to-date requires quite an effort. A PIM solution does the job for you.
Creating a catalogue with a PIM solution
Sounds too good to be true? It sure is slightly simplified, but only for the sake of making a point. It really does come down to these steps. Let us elaborate on them further.
Use Case: PIMICS
PIMICS is a PIM extension for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, the official partner software, approved and supported by Microsoft. For all Business Central users, getting PIMICS as your PIM system is a smart move — its layout is the same as the one of MS Business Central, and everything is interconnected in a user-friendly way.
Companies who have upgraded from just MS Business Central to the MS Business Central + PIMICS combo confirm that they needed only little time to find their way around in the new tool.
Getting Product Data in PIMICS
How to get extensive product data into PIMICS? This is what the implementation phase is for — when companies implement PIMICS, they get an entire PIMICS team assigned to the task. This team helps with putting the product data together, they aid with data prioritising, formatting, structuring, and many other tasks, depending on what the company needs.
The entire process is customised, to suit the client company perfectly — with the ultimate goal of delivering a functional PIM tool that the client is happy to use.
Choosing Products for the Catalogue
PIMICS enables companies to choose the products they want to showcase in their catalogue or brochure. You can pick them manually or tick entire product categories in the Allocation Tree (which has been put together during the implementation phase). It’s also possible to set filters (according to brand, type of product, etc.) and then assemble a catalogue for each filter.
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Framo SA is a furniture manufacturer that specialises in bathroom furniture and wardrobe systems. The nature of their business requires them to generate a wide range of brochures (both printed and online) for various brands, product types and lines. Without the help of PIMICS, they would hardly be able to generate such a wide variety of marketing materials to support their sales. With PIMICS, they have a new brochure ready within a day.
Choosing a Catalogue Template
During the implementation phase
, the PIMICS team inquires in detail about the most used catalogues and works closely with the company’s graphic designer (if there is one). The goal is to set up catalogue templates that fit the client like a glove. These can be later adjusted, updated, and tweaked to accommodate the client’s changing needs and requirements.
When creating a catalogue, simply pick out a catalogue template in the Publication Management
section of PIMICS. Choose the products you want to include in your new catalogue and that’s pretty much it.
The Publication Management section stores all previously used templates in its library. Publication Management keeps the history — that’s handy in case you want to reuse a previous catalogue template.
Generating a Catalogue
Thanks to comprehensive product data
and interactive catalogue templates
, PIMICS generates a professionally looking catalogue on its own in a matter of minutes. It integrates with Adobe InDesign
— a graphic design tool that all designers are familiar with.
Adding Finishing Touches
If you’re really keen on your visual image, have your graphic designer go through the generated pages — adjusting small details may sometimes enhance the overall visual impression. Or pick products you want to display in a more creative way and let your graphic designer unleash their inner artist — instead of mechanically assembling tedious product data in their assigned boxes.
“Let’s say you sell plumbing equipment and your portfolio consists of thousands and thousands of pipes of various types, lengths, diameters, materials and who knows what else. You need to include all the information in the catalogue because these parameters are important for your customers. But let’s be honest here, this isn't a very creative task that your graphic designer would look forward to.
With PIMICS, the more run-of-the-mill part of the job gets done automatically and your graphic designer can spend more time on pimping up the visual presentation of products that matter — such as your luxurious faucets. ”
Martin Opršal, PIMICS Product Owner
Benefits of Creating a Catalogue with a PIM Solution
To sum up, these are the main benefits of a PIM-generated catalogue:
- PIM tool saves time and resources.
- Prestigious and representative output with minimal effort.
- People can work on the catalogue simultaneously (they don’t have to wait for others to supply data).
- Any change of data gets noticed automatically.
- Reduced time-to-market for new products.