Complex product catalogue, automated preparation
For the Productronica 2003 exhibition, the medium-sized industrial company Fischer Elektronik was able to provide the printing shop with an automatically generated catalogue of connecters. The interactive catalogue, available online and on CD-ROM is based on one single system, so that the data has to be entered just once. The catalogue, which has quite a complex structure, has been prepared to suit all media using the catalogue software ANTEROSpk by INCONY.
LÜDENSCHEID / PADERBORN
Fischer Elektronik break new ground in the field of product catalogue preparation. In the past, the manufacturer of electronic components headquartered in Lüdenscheid had his catalogue printed conventionally, i.e. in co-operation with agencies and printing shops; and the CD-ROM catalogue contained pdf-files of the paper version. However, by the end of 2001 Thomas Fischer, the owner of the company, already realised that a means of catalogue preparation which would suit all media would yield significant benefits in terms of cost and quality. His vision was to use product data very efficiently and to enter the data only once, i.e. for print, CD-ROM and Internet, to enter the large number of technical parameters with numerical values only once for all languages, to type parameters for various product lines only once etc.. He strived to provide a greater degree of interactivity though, particularly for the CD-ROM and the internet catalogue, and he wanted to give potential customers a chance to browse through the large range of more than 1,000 products easily and conveniently.
In 2002, Thomas Fischer checked various suppliers providing catalogue systems to suit all media, and he invited more than five of them to give a presentation. Eventually, he decided in favour of INCONY AG and their catalogue software ANTEROSpk.
Following completion of the project Thomas Fischer said: “ANTEROSpk permits an enormous degree of automation. Especially in the case of printed catalogues no costs are generated for agencies; modifications can be checked immediately at the print preview stage, and at the push of a button either the complete catalogue or parts of it can be prepared as preliminary printing stage. Nevertheless, we have been able to design our large product range quite individually in terms of layout, which is possible using the flexibly adaptable ANTEROSpk print templates. In our opinion, no other software suppliers such offered complex catalogues with such a high quality level. In the field of Internet/CD-ROM we are able to provide very comfortable browse features for our products.“
The two major elements of this project were first to process product data for the catalogue system and second to adapt the templates for a manufacturer-specific product on the Internet/CD-ROM and in the printed version.
Fischer Elektronik anticipated that data preparation would take quite a long time, as most of the product data was only available in the form of pdf-files or EXCEL spread sheets. However, with the ANTEROSdet software component offered by INCONY existing data could be read, displayed and imported into the catalogue system. Using this feature, it was for example possible to introduce 650 different types of PCB holders (approx. 100 catalogue sheets) into the catalogue system in just 2 hours. The printed catalogue can be adapted using print templates very flexibly. For Fischer Elektronik, most of the different catalogue sheets were automatically generated in the pdf-format. Generation is carried out by Fischer Elektronik's own members of staff for both, the general catalogue and individual product lines and categories. Catalogue sheets are quickly generated, e.g. for PCB holders, 90 pages are prepared in about 4 minutes. Comparing this fast method with the lengthy processes involving agencies and printing shops, the saving of time is considerable. Furthermore, data can be flexibly amended using the print preview feature. Individual pages like the cover sheet are subsequently added to the final catalogue version using a pdf-tool, before the file is transmitted to the printing shop.
Fischer Elektronik wanted the extensive product range to be browsed more easily on the internet and on CD-ROM than was the case for the existing pdf-catalogue. Using the comfortable ANTEROSpk search functions, the customer is quickly guided to the product. A search result of zero is avoided by automatic adaptation of the list of values. In the case of very general search requests, the customer is guided step by step from the product line to the products. Using a shopping basket, the customer can place an order with no need to change the medium.
For catalogue system management, Fischer Elektronik have trained a member of the PR staff on the ANTEROSpk software. She has been responsible for data processing right from the beginning. Following completion of the printed German catalogue, she managed to prepare the English and the French versions in just one week using ANTEROSpk, including entering of the translated product descriptions and names. Her statement: "ANTEROSpk reduces the time spent and the costs incurred in preparation of catalogues by 50%."
Fischer Elektronik GmbH
GERMANY / DEUTSCHLAND
Phone: +49 2351 435-0
Fax: +49 2351 457-54
Fischer Elektronik GmbH:
Fischer Elektronik is an important manufacturer of mechanical components for the electronics industry. During 34 years of activity in this industry, they have become renowned for their quality, short delivery times and their innovative products. By purchasing neighbouring premises at the Lüdenscheid site in 2002, more than 15,500 m² of floor area are now available for production and for further expansion. The three product lines are:
1) Heatsinks for semiconductors and accessories 2) PCB, connectors and accessories and
3) 19“ technology and case technology.
Dr. Elke Radeke
GERMANY / DEUTSCHLAND
Phone.: +49 5251 877 390
Fax: +49 5251 877 3911
About INCONY AG:
INCONY AG is a software manufacturer and provider for innovative catalogue automation, XML data preparation and linkage, product classification, product search systems, e-procurement as well as e-business in general.
With the ANTEROS family of products, the company's "Product" division offers innovative standard software for catalogue automation, preparation and integration of existing data as well as cross-manufacturer catalogue preparation, product search systems and market places. The many years of experience of the INCONY team with industries such as machine construction, electrical engineering, and automotive have been incorporated into the standard software function. With the company's "Solutions" division, INCONY supports it’s customers with help ranging from advice to software adaptation to integration, support, servicing, and hosting.