Efficient Data Maintenance and Automated Print Generation as well as Online Catalogs

User Report by Simona - Manufacturer of Thermoplastic Products

SIMONA AG manufactures thermoplastic products and has production and sales locations all around the globe. Over 35,000 products for a wide range of industries are manufactured in Germany and abroad.

Replacing the Product Database

Due to the variety of products, each of which is published in multiple languages, SIMONA introduced a product database as early as the end of the 1990s. The product data could be maintained centrally in this database. However, the output to print catalogs or the online catalog was still subject to manual postprocessing. The level of automation of this database no longer met the increased requirements for print publications. In order to respond more quickly to the market by providing data sheets, catalogs and price lists, and to keep the online catalog up to date at all times, SIMONA decided to introduce the technologically leading PIM system ANTEROS in 2008.

“After intensive market research concerning PIM systems, we opted for ANTEROS and have now significantly optimized our processes. With ANTEROS, we can now create up-to-date material and safety data sheets in several languages at the touch of a button. The product pages and tables of contents in the catalogs can be derived fully automatically and without InDesign post-processing, despite the highly complex structure. We maintain the product data centrally and efficiently and use it for our various print publications and web catalogs. INCONY supported us competently and with great customer service.”

Eric Schönel,
Head of Marketing, Communication & Corporate Development at Simona

Catalogs with Cross Tables

The automation of the semi-finished product catalog posed a variety of challenges, prompting SIMONA to use the InDesign plug-in from ANTEROS to derive and rework this catalog at the start of the project. Once the simpler catalog for pipes and finished parts had been fully automated by ANTEROS, confidence in the powerful rules and regulations of ANTEROS.print had grown. And so the project team first worked out the systematization of the semi-finished product catalog in writing in a print concept. This included rules such as "whenever certain values are set in the products, a footer should automatically appear below the corresponding product table" or "if a given text is present in a product parameter, print the corresponding icon for this and if several text modules are stored in the parameter, display multiple icons". A further challenge was the transfer of the data from SAP to the proven structure of the catalog. Rules have been defined for ANTEROS.print such as "split the products of an SAP group into several tables if the products have different colors" or "display products of different SAP groups in one table if they have the same product series name in ANTEROS" so that the master data can be transferred regularly from SAP. The product tables had as further intricacy not only parameters as columns in different numbers, but required cross tables. Here, too, rules could be defined to flexibly control SIMONA via the ANTEROS web interface. It is now sufficient to define a parameter definition in ANTEROS as pivot-spanning and then the current values of the products are automatically displayed as pivot columns in the print. In addition, parameters can be defined as pivot control columns, which then appear on the left of the table and "control" the structure of the cross table. Multiple nested cross tables have also been implemented: The print rules are evaluated with each print generation and still it takes less than an hour to generate the complete catalog with all the rules.

Automatically generated catalog pages

Online Seminar: Customized Price Lists and Catalogs at the Touch of a Button

These days, catalogs, price lists and data sheets are highly important, both in electronic and often in printed form. Furthermore, new customers often expect increasingly customized content. One catalog is no longer enough; in fact, many customers want customer group- or market-specific print documents, as well as specific catalogs for new product. This seminar will demonstrate how you could create all these print documents quickly and 100% automatically.

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ANTEROS Online Catalog

SIMONA had clear specifications for the online catalog: the previous layout was to be implemented with ANTEROS. However, the updates were to become significantly more efficient for SIMONA. This includes not only directly using the centrally maintained product data, but also automating the material and safety data sheets: If a customer clicks on the link, then the ANTEROS print engine starts and a current data sheet is generated in PDF format at that time. In addition, the web pages were integrated into SIMONA‘s content management system. In product submenus, ANTEROS displays an excerpt of the search tree for the respective target group, e.g. only industry products.

Web catalog for technical products

Software Demo of the PIM System ANTEROS - Convince Yourself!

Are you interested in introducing a PIM system in order to perform efficient data maintenance even more efficiently? Are you interested in what is possible with the technologically leading PIM system ANTEROS and how far you can optimize your processes with it? Then request your free software demo now!

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