Implementing PIM with Dealer Exports and 100% Catalog Automation

User Report by POLOPLAST - Innovative Pipe Manufacturer

For over sixty years, POLOPLAST has been providing innovative solutions to technological issues relating to plastic pipe systems and polymer compounds. What started in the 50s as a regional niche player for the production of plastic pipes is now an industrial leader in the European pipe industry.

Why does POLOPLAST need a PIM System?

Before first implementing a PIM system, POLOPLAST was faced with increasing challenges in terms of product information. An increasing amount of data was requested in various formats. The increasing requirements resulted in greater maintenance efforts and sometimes data even had to be maintained more than once.

The goal of the PIM project was to centrally manage as well as make use of the product data. Furthermore, the data quality and the service quality were to be aligned with the quality of their premium products.

The Long Road to the Right PIM System

2019

POLOPLAST begins conducting basic research on the subject of PIM systems.

2020

POLOPLAST establish specifications for the PIM project and compile a long list of possible PIM providers. After an initial evaluation of the vendors, the list is reduced to a short list of the best PIM vendors.

POLOPLAST hold presentations with these software companies using predefined use cases and request quotes to determine the best vendor for them.

Functional requirements include maintenance of multi-hierarchies, automatic generation of print price lists, a dynamic web catalog and an optimized use of dealer interfaces. In terms of the software provider, POLOPLAST is keen to find a future-proof partner.

2021

POLOPLAST choose INCONY and their ANTEROS software as their new PIM system.

Reasons for Choosing the ANTEROS PIM System

POLOPLAST considered the following points to be particularly important in their decision in favor of ANTEROS over other PIM systems:

 

  • the high standardization of the ANTEROS software,
  • the wide range of fully integrated modules,
  • the simple mapping of workflows,
  • the highly flexible import and export options, and
  • the 100% print automation - INCONY offers the best automatic print generation of all PIM vendors by far.

"ANTEROS has saved us time and money. The implementation was fast, the data maintenance is very efficient and has increased our data quality and data integrity. We enjoy flexibility using the strong import/export interfaces and the automatic print generation has made many of our colleagues very happy. Our outputs are reliable - be it print, web or exports - hardly any correction loops are needed and the error rate is extremely low "

Quote by Peter Sollak from POLOPLAST
Peter Sollak, POLOPLAST

ANTEROS in the POLOPLAST IT Landscape

At the beginning of the PIM project, the concept phase defined exactly how ANTEROS was to be integrated into POLOPLAST's IT landscape. According to this plan, the appropriate interfaces, imports and exports were then refined and configured. The graphic below visualizes the integration of ANTEROS.

 

 

A key interface to the ERP system of POLOPLAST was established, which is used to regularly and automatically transfer product master data from the ERP to the PIM system. The product data is enriched with texts, parameters, media data and translations in the PIM. The data maintenance processes are controlled by workflows, i.e. predefined task sequences.

 

Another important interface between ANTEROS and the CADClick® technology is used by POLOPLAST. This allows CAD models and finished CAD drawings to be automatically generated and integrated into the web catalog and web store. Moreover, price lists and labels are generated fully automatically from PIM data via the ANTEROS print engine, exported to dealer portals such as Arge, IG Neue Medien and OXOMI via ANTEROS exports and exported as tender texts in BMEcat format.

POLOPLAST IT landscape with the PIM ANTEROS

Functions for Efficient Data Maintenance

POLOPLAST uses a variety of ANTEROS standard functions to minimize the workload for their data maintenance. For example, they use product families to efficiently maintain the identical data in product variants and to increase the clarity of the data. They can enter the data via easy-to-use editors. For increased transparency, data fields are grouped into different tabs.

 

 

ANTEROS also makes it easy to enter product categories, which are structured similarly to a catalog table of contents, structuring products into chapters, subchapters, etc.  POLOPLAST does not only use one category tree, but works with two classifications simultaneously. They have defined one category tree themselves as the company structure, which they can easily add to at any time if product range expansions make it necessary. Furthermore, they use the standard classification ETIM, which is important in their HVAC industry, for dealer exports in the system. The products can therefore be assigned to both their own structure and the ETIM structure at the same time. Depending on the category, parameter definitions and designations, for example, may differ.

 

In order to serve ARGE's market requirements, it is important for POLOPLAST to be able to schedule products and media. For this, they can make use of the standard validity function in ANTEROS, which prevents expired information from being displayed.

 

Another function that significantly reduces the effort required for data maintenance is the use of calculation rules with which POLOPLAST automatically generates article designations. To do this, a text template is first generated using placeholders and then automatically filled with corresponding data at the product. Since the calculation rules use existing data as building blocks, data integrity is guaranteed. POLOPLAST creates and maintains these calculation rules itself, with no programming knowledge required. In the following screenshot, you can see in the data field "Article description complete" (bottom right) that data from three different fields are combined here. However, more extensive queries, fixed filler words, etc. can also be used. The most complex calculation rule that POLOPLAST has created so far is the generation of product description texts from multiple product data fields with queries as to which of the fields are filled.

PIM calculation rules screenshot

Efficient Translation in Six Foreign Languages

All data at POLOPLAST is managed in seven different languages. POLOPLAST uses the ANTEROS dictionary to ensure a clear overview of all texts in the PIM system. This enables the employees to carry out translations in a time-efficient manner. This is possible thanks to the fact that ANTEROS automatically marks all texts with a translation status (in traffic light colors) to allow employees to quickly see which new or changed texts still require translations. Often, there are only a few translations still open in this list, which they specifically translate into the foreign languages.

 


On the one hand, POLOPLAST can perform the translation directly in the system. On the other hand, they can also export the open translations via EXCEL file, send them to a translator and then simply directly import the finished translations. Both translation options always highlight in color the text that has changed since the last translation.

 

The filter for translation-relevant texts and the change marker enable POLOPLAST to save a considerable amount of time and effort in translation.

Wide Range of Generation Possibilities

Automated Generation of Print Price Lists and Assortment Lists

Before the introduction of ANTEROS, POLOPLAST's price and assortment lists had to be manually drawn up in Adobe InDesign with a great deal of effort. Today, with ANTEROS, they make use of the 100% automatic generation of print documents. To automate these documents with ANTEROS, the systematics of the documents in terms of layout and data composition had to be worked out in the form of rules and then configured in the ANTEROS system.

 

Now POLOPLAST can automatically generate print documents with just a few clicks and even has the following variation options for print generation:

  • different markets
  • different languages
  • different assortments
  • with and without prices

 

In addition to the product pages, directories and key notes can also be generated completely automatically, as can the highlighting or marking of new articles. POLOPLAST also adds title pages and links them to the respective publication in ANTEROS.

 

POLOPLAST can thus not only generate complete catalogs for the various markets, but also new product catalogs or any customer excerpts as finished PDF files in ANTEROS with just a few clicks.

Cover sheet automatically generated with ANTEROS
Automatically generated price list with ANTEROS
Automatically generate price lists with ANTEROS

Automatic Creation of Labels with PIM Data

In addition to price lists and assortment lists, POLOPLAST also uses the ANTEROS print engine to automatically create labels. The label editor of ANTEROS.label allows POLOPLAST to create label templates (see figure below, left side). In the template, fixed elements such as the POLOPLAST logo, as well as dynamic elements such as an article number or certain parameters can be specified. It is also possible to define an EAN parameter from which a barcode is automatically generated by ANTEROS and printed on the label.

 

 

Thus POLOPLAST only has to systematize the different label types once via a few templates and can then link these to the products to automatically create product labels with data on the product.

Automatically created labels from Poloplast
Automatically created labels

Web Catalog

POLOPLAST uses its product data not only for print generation, but also for its web catalog, without any additional maintenance effort. The web catalog serves as a central portal for all product data: Product variants with all their technical characteristics, pictures and drawings, but also their accessories, spare parts, documents, videos and CAD data.

 

 

POLOPLAST can decide for each product individually whether it should be presented exclusively in print, exclusively on the web, or in both formats. In addition, publications can be used to differentiate markets and product ranges.

Screenshot of the automatically created web catalog from Poloplast

Dealer Platforms

POLOPLAST uses the sanitary wholesale trade as a 3-tier distribution channel. In recent years, dealers have increasingly requested well-structured product data. In the HVAC industry, some data standards have been established for this purpose, such as ARGE Neue Medien (Building-masterdata.com) or IG Neue Medien. These formats specify exactly which data is to be supplied: in addition to basic data such as price, packaging, EAN, sales texts, accessory and spare part relations, as well as references to images and documents. Moreover, ETIM has established itself as the industry standard for classification.

 

 

ANTEROS meets these requirements and enables an automatic export with a significantly higher speed, fewer errors, the possibility for flexible adjustments and more comprehensive data than ever before.

POLOPLAST has Gained Competitiveness Thanks to ANTEROS

POLOPLAST has significantly increased its competitiveness thanks to the ANTEROS PIM system. In addition to the fast implementation and efficient data maintenance, they benefit especially from the fully automatic print generation. In data maintenance, they have some product data automatically compiled from several data fields via calculation rules. In the dashboard, they have a good overview of the quality of their data and can thus make targeted improvements. POLOPLAST has also gained advantages with their trading partners thanks to flexible exports.

Maintain Product Data Efficiently in International Companies with the ANTEROS PIM System - Try it out for Yourself!

With INCONY's PIM system, you can distribute data maintenance across international teams, control usage via roles, rights and workflows, and specifically check and improve the quality of your data via your own quality reports and quality gates in the dashboard. The centrally maintained data can be exported to customers and partners in various ways, and existing data and systems can be integrated via flexible interfaces and import formats. In addition, data sheets or catalogs can be generated at the push of a button - even in any excerpts - your customers will be amazed!

Has the POLOPLAST customer presentation with ANTEROS convinced you? Then request your free software demo now or find out more about this technology-leading software on our website!

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