Workflow

Catena Company supports brand owners who want to create, manage and communicate their own visual marketing materials.

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Digital Asset Management

A good Digital Asset Management (DAM) system makes all files available and searchable.

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Digital Data Publishing

With Digital Data Publishing, you accelerate the creation process of your marketing materials and do so efficiently, error-free and scalably.

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Customized Automation

Through customization, middleware solutions can be developed that provide the missing link between different 3rd party systems.

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Omnichannel publishing

Build your story in one place, publish it on a variety of media types. From a central content system publish texts, photos, videos with 1 click of a button to your website and more.
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How do you create Declaration of Performance documents?

Until recently, all these documents at Soudal were created in Word. A time-consuming and error-prone job, as it turned out. As more different products were released to markets in more countries, the complexity increased rapidly. Further digitization of this process could save a lot of work.

There are some challenges involved in such a digitization, but the content and structure of DOP documents is strictly defined, and that makes it easy to work with templates and enter the product information via a table structure. Automating a process, however, is one thing, collecting the right inputs and immediately exporting the output documents correctly is another.

More than DOP documents

Soudal learned some valuable best practices through the collaboration with Catena and now also relies on the DDP-Suite for other publications. Technical data sheets and labels for the well-known tubes are generated in a similar way, fully automatically. This is easy, because Catena integrated the entire marcom technology stack nicely.

The purchase and integration of technology is a cost/benefit consideration that companies often postpone too long. This is not illogical, as we are naturally afraid of disrupting existing processes, even if they are slow and prone to error. In addition, each employee or team is also trying to solve their own problem. The bottleneck is then easily shifted to another department.

Integration of the technology stack is therefore an absolute must. This is inevitable for large organizations, but also pays off for smaller SMEs. Every company nowadays has to manage numerous publications, both for administrative and marketing & sales purposes.

Voorbeeld technical data sheets Soudal

Which publications are you concerned about?

Program booklets

Packaging

Technical data sheets

Product sheets

Catalogs

Labels

Quotations

Other

DOP Documents

Datasheets

These cases about Digital Data Publishing might interest you

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Keep formatted price lists up to date with a single click

An example

Take for example a company that sells 20 collections and brands through a dealer network in 8 countries. That’s 20 x 8 price lists, another x 2 for purchase and sales prices, cumulating at 320 in other words.

With the continuously changing raw material prices, it is currently common practice to update all price lists monthly. This means that all 320 price lists are updated 12 times a year. Thus, 3840 (!) documents are created in this company every year. That easily requires a full-time employee.

And what is worse, the marketing employee who is assigned this task is rarely happy about it. It is numbing manual copy-paste work, which is extremely error-prone for that very reason.

An example from the cooperation with Wolf Oil

Benefits of the DDP Suite

The DDP Suite frees your marketing staff from many hours of very boring work and from the pressure that sales staff puts on them to deliver updates faster. Don’t forget that sales can’t continue if the right price lists are not available! So your sales people, dealers and customers also get a better service thanks to Catena’s DDP-Suite. The content of your price lists will be error-free (provided they are correctly entered in the linked databases) and the format will be consistent. Your price lists will thus expose your brand identity in a uniform way.

Note that Digital Data Publishing goes much further than automating the publication of price lists. The DDP-Suite technology can be used in exactly the same way for the publication of catalogs, labels, product sheets, technical data sheets, etc.

An example from the cooperation with Libert

These case studies might interest you.

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Peace between IT and Marketing thanks to Digital Data Publishing

Peace between IT and Marketing thanks to Digital Data Publishing

Data Publishing

Database publishing used to be the way to publish data that was nicely organized in databases. With the increased volume and complexity of data, marketers and designers are increasingly forced to fiddle with the data itself if they want to get their input right. IT people don’t like that very much.

Why do we speak of Digital Data Publishing?

We explicitly talk about Digital Data Publishing, and not database publishing, because Digital Data Publishing can handle the complexity of data – as it is available in most organizations – and digitizes the entire publishing process.

Digital Data Publishing thus accelerates the creation process of your marketing materials and does so efficiently, error-free and scalably. Catalogs, technical product sheets, labels, program booklets, insert cards etc. Data Publishing automates the process of collecting data from different sources, the design of your material, until its publication. The designer always remains in control of the end result.

Digital Data Publishing saves time, cost and frustration for every company, every organization, every brand owner who takes control of the creation of the marketing material.

Catena Company unburdens both the Marketing, as well as the IT department with Digital Data Publishing. Our smart Digital Data Publishing solutions transform content creation and touch no data! Not in databases. Not in lists. Not in Excel files. Not anywhere. The integrity of your data is assured and yet the marketer gets the right data automatically on a silver platter. Fast, structured and up-to-date.

Case study: Boss Paints makes packshots with 1 press of a button with our help

How it works

Collecting data quickly, structuring it and processing it intelligently into beautiful publications. That’s what Digital Data Publishing does for you!!

Collecting data

The biggest profit is usually made in that first step: quickly collecting the necessary data.

The question is how accessible all the data is in PIM and ERP systems, Excel sheets or other documents. Don’t forget that this often concerns visual material, which is data with a certain complexity. Often a ‘database connector’ is needed. This never touches the databases and the data itself. So administrators and other users of the data do not need to worry. They can work with the data and update it as they wish. In this way, the designers also always work with the correct information.

Designing data in InDesign

Once all the input data has been collected, it is presented in a structured way in the Digital Data Publishing process and the design phase begins. Here too there is usually a great deal of efficiency to be gained.

Sometimes Adobe InDesign templates are already used. If that is not the case, it is best to create them. Catena Company can train you in this, so you can start working with it yourself. Or you can take a kick-start and outsource it to Howart. Moreover, many repetitive manual actions in InDesign can be automated. Catena Company has the knowledge and skill to integrate with the Creative Cloud apps and services of Adobe by means of scripting, API’s and SDK’s. In this way we free designers from boring work and allow them to unleash their creativity on activities with real added value.

Admire the output

At the end of the design process, the publications are flawlessly sent out in the desired format. To print or digital media, to branches, stores, customers, …

The result of the entire Digital Data Publishing process is a measurable gain in time and a redistribution of tasks and roles. Employees in organizations that use Digital Data Publishing experience a shift to work that is more valuable and more satisfying. The space is created for them to upgrade their skills and move to the next level.

Case study: Zeeman automates visual content creation with our help

Determine your ROI with clear analysis

The ROI of Digital Data Publishing is directly measurable based on the tangible profits, but counts double in the better utilization of the potential of your people.

In the past, we were very much engaged in content correction on premedia. These administrative tasks caused quite a lot of stress. We are very satisfied that with premedia we can concentrate again on the layout and the realization of a nice seasonal brochure.

Patrick Florin, Premedia deSingel (Antwerp)

Patrick Florin
Premedia deSingel (Antwerp)

Whether Digital Data Publishing is also valuable for your company can be assessed with a clear analysis. In this assessment the publishing needs are mapped out, the installed workflow evaluated and potential gains drafted.

  • Which publications are being made?
  • How often?
  • How quickly must they be available?
  • What data is used?
  • But also, who collaborates on the publications?
  • Exactly what tasks are performed?
  • How much time is spent on them?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What is the total cost per publication?

After this analysis, the blueprint for the automated work process is drawn up, a Digital Data Publishing proposal, supported by a transparent business case with a clear ROI.

Digital Data Publishing allows you to make significant efficiency gains. The great strength behind it is the smart integration of IT and design. That way, your company makes a profit and IT and Marketing can work together in peace.

Create catalogs faster with these 10 handy tips

Creating a successful product catalog does not happen overnight. Often a whole team works on it over a long period of time and it requires a lot of effort. What’s your experience? Does it always work as efficiently as it should, or are there ways to save costs? Here are 10 useful tips to increase efficiency and minimize production costs.

 

1. First things first

Above all, a catalog must be a visual gem and the products must be displayed optimally in a pleasing layout. Always ensure that a layout approval is obtained before proceeding with production. After all, layout changes during production can cause huge delays. Design a few pages and present it to the marketing managers, product specialists, sales managers and the board of directors. Only after everyone agrees, you can proceed to design the other pages.

 

2. Determine the right page size

Will the catalog only appear digitally in PDF format or flipping book, or will it also be printed? Choosing the right format is hugely important and the choice of a landscape or portrait layout is an important factor. The overall size can also affect the cost of printing and shipping.

 

3. Collect all content

To get started quickly and efficiently, it is important to have all the content. Often a catalog not only displays products but also includes introductory text, more information about the company, order forms, contact information, … This information must also be available at the time production begins.

 

4. Determine the order of your products

Before producing the catalog, determine the order of the products. How will they be grouped and sorted? According to the application? The target audience? Do not limit to defining the order of items. Also think about what product information should be shown. Which information is relevant to the consumer, and which is not?

 

5. Centralize product information

To get to catalog produced quickly, it is important to centralize all product information. This can be in a simple Microsoft Excel file, a database or a PIM system (Product Information Management system). This way, all product information and/or prices can be brought together.

 

6. Centralize your images

Often, each catalog displays one or more images. It is important that all these images are housed in one central location where the images have a logical name or product number. These images can be housed in a central server location or in a DAM solution. It is recommended that the correct reference of our image is also housed with the product information. This way everyone knows very quickly which image belongs to which product.

 

7. Ensure the correct dimensions of the images

A catalog may contain hundreds or even thousands of images of the products. If the images are displayed very small in the layout, but the original files are much larger, this can greatly slow down production time. It is recommanded to optimize the dimensions of the images for catalogs by resizing them to the appropriate size.

 

8. Use plug-ins for Adobe InDesign

Catalogs are often formatted with Adobe InDesign. By default, this solution has several powerful tools but by using external plug-ins such as EasyCatalog, production gets a huge boost. EasyCatalog can provide a link between the data, and the layout. This allows the designers to have the latest information up to the very last minute. Working with multiple language versions, given the right approach, becomes child’s play. Using such an automated solution is a must for every professional.

 

9. Use templates

Is the layout for each page unique or are the product pages the same? Often the use of templates, which define how products are displayed on a page, can provide huge speed gains. These templates can also be addressed via EasyCatalog to create pages automatically or semi-automatically. The use of different templates is perfectly possible.

 

10. Use styles

Using styles is an absolute must for those who want to get started building catalogs quickly and productively. This basic functionality of Adobe Indesign is still not used by everyone but for efficient production, it is absolutely required.

 

Want to know more about how to boost catalog production? Are you curious about the possibilities of EasyCatalog and how it can add value for you? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Catena Company is not only supplier of EasyCatalog, but also provides customized training and support so you can get started quickly.

Creating pack shots with 1 press of a button?

Manual work with paint pots

For their annual product catalog, website and numerous other communications, Boss Paints creates more than 1000 packshots. Each packshot was created manually by Boss Paints.

 

How did they go about it?

A label was created in Photoshop (with different specifications, icons, designs, languages …), and this was printed. Then the label was placed on the correct paint pot and a packshot was made with a camera. Of course, this packshot always had to be photographed in the same way. It is not always easy to take these pictures with the same quality (in the correct position, with the same lighting and so on).

You guessed it, a very time-consuming activity, especially since updates or corrections require going through the whole process again.

 

What could be improved?

Catena Company has already automated marketing processes for Boss Paints in the past. We were asked to investigate whether the process of creating pack-shots could not be more efficient.

Time and efficiency gains could be realized by:

  • Being able to respond in real time to changes (as soon as there is a new label or tag, the pack is ready)
  • Ensuring consistent quality which then provides a unified product experience, at any time and through any medium.
  • Make the process less dependent on graphic specialists
  • Enable new and modern output formats such as rendering a pdf on a 3D image, for example.

Thus, our workflow specialists not only looked for a solution to simplify this process, but also how the content of the labels could be automatically formatted by providing links to Boss Paints’ PIM and ERP systems.

 

Developing labels at the touch of a button

The time-consuming work of creating labels in Adobe Photoshop was automated.

By linking Adobe InDesign templates to the PIM database, they are formatted automatically. The different layout requirements were taken into account. Different icons are displayed with a different color and adapted text each time. The requirements were checked against the legal requirements and regulations that apply to these specific applications.

As a result, a print-ready PDF of a label is now automatically generated from an online tool using Adobe InDesign templates.

 

Furthermore, automation also eliminated the need for manual packshots.

There are templates per pack in Adobe Photoshop (one template or template per paint pot). Each template is unique (dimensions, diameter, height, etc.). However, variants of a template may exist. A variant is a modification that has no impact on the dimensions such as another color of lid, another color of jar, etc.

To these templates the labels of the product are added afterwards (the packshots), which are delivered in pdf. The output of the result can be chosen: psd, tiff, jpeg. This way they are immediately available for the webshop, publicity, catalog & photo archive, inventory, publications, …

 

How did Boss Paints experience the collaboration?

Stefaan Geeraert: “To do such projects, you don’t need a supplier, but a partner. This role was certainly taken up. Catena thought along, implemented the solution and provided excellent support.

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