Fast and efficient: Kärcher produces catalogues with InBetween
As a leading worldwide provider, the name Kärcher, is synonymous with highly professional cleaning technology. With an extensive product range of high pressure and ultra-high pressure cleaners, vacuum and steam cleaners, pumps, sweepers and scrubbing machines, and even car washes, cleaning products, drinking and water treatment plants, a telematics based fleet management as well as pumps and watering systems for the home and garden, the family business generated record sales of 2,5 billion EUR in 67 countries in 2017.
Numerous product innovations are the basis of the company‘s exceptional success: about 90 per cent of all products have only been on the market for 5 years or less. To market these products across all available channels is the key task of the marketing team in Winnenden.
Innovative approaches for the production of the various marketing materials were also key in the search for an automation solution for Kärcher’s challenging catalogues. Over the years, the existing, historically evolved solution for the creation of catalogues had become increasingly cumbersome, slow and complex.
A study specifically commissioned for that purpose among dealers in Germany, England and Spain revealed that catalogues are still of crucial importance. The result was clear-cut: Catalogues are still very important reference books for all technical data and, hence, indispensable in the sales process.
Initially, with the introduction of the InBetween Dynamic Publishing Software, Kärcher aimed to produce the new Trademarketing catalogue in a fully automated manner directly from the Viamedici EPIM system. The Trademarketing catalogue offers potential trading partners and foreign subsidiaries a compact overview of the current range of promotional items, including all product properties, variants and prices. With the aid of the InBetween automation software, the catalogue is now being created 100% automated both in German and English, and is initially being distributed as a PDF.
Some central aspects of the InBetween Software were essential for the implementation of Kärcher’s international product catalogues: the fact that the solution can also deal with complicated table presentations, as well as the complete separation of content and layout. This made it possible to reduce the many small manual tasks to a minimum and, thus, to greatly simplify working procedures.
By automating several other catalogues such as the ‚Home & Garden‘ catalogue with cleaning devices for private use, the ‚Special Tools‘ catalogue and the approximately 900 page main catalogue ‚Professional‘ for products for industrial uses in the two variants for different current frequency countries, Kärcher would like to go even further regarding process optimization. With the InBetween solution, the foreign subsidiaries will, in future, be able to automatically create their own catalogues based on their individual product portfolio directly from the PIM system. „Only a short time after the introduction of the new print solution, the results were already quite obvious: If, in the past it took us up to one day to generate and output the largest of our catalogue chapters, we are now able to do this in less than an hour, “summarizes Monika Reinhardt, PIM specialist at Kärcher their initial experiences. „Furthermore, we are now able to make small changes to the templates on our own, without having to place an order with an external service provider every time,“
Despite the tight time frame and demanding requirements, the automation project was implemented in time thanks to an open and targeted communication on both sides. „We really enjoyed working with InBetween and implementing this very ambitious project. The project management was very competent, taking all the relevant aspects into consideration“adds the second PIM specialist at Kärcher, Sonja Majer.
„We are very proud to have won such a well-known international company as a customer,“, comments Alexander Dressler, managing director at InBetween Deutschland GmbH. „What makes us even happier, tough, is the fact that we were able to really satisfy our new customer right from the start and produce measurable results very quickly. The cooperation was excellent also for us. The constructive attitude of the entire Kärcher team and a high level of know-how on the tecnical side have certainly contributed to the success“
Further expansion scenarios for the future relate to the creation of a high number of data sheets which can be generated in regular intervals during the night in a batch process as well as the automated generation of technical documentation in PowerPoint format for Kärcher’s training academy.