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.
Which publications are you concerned about?
Technical data sheets
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Keep formatted price lists up to date with a single click
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.
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.
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DAM versus PIM
Digital Asset Management
Digital Assets are all the pieces of content (copy, photos, videos, graphic designs, audio files etc.) that an organization has. A DAM system helps you preserve, manage and share them from one central location. In the DAM system, the digital assets are organized based on the specific needs of an organization. All stakeholders (employees, customers, partners etc.) have controlled, secure access and can find what they need quickly and easily.
Differences and similarities between DAM and PIM
Nice! So DAM manages our digital assets and PIM our product information. Two different worlds. Right?
No, they are not! For example, anyone who has to set up a marketing campaign likes to have attractive, creative content and the right product specifications.
Each company, each organization has its own specific needs. These determine whether your organization will benefit from a DAM or a PIM system, or both. Let’s put them side by side for a moment.
Central management of
Mainly used by
The overview above clearly shows that DAM and PIM have different purposes, they work with different data and are essentially used by different departments within an organization. But bottom line they do the same thing: managing data and making sure it is easily accessible and used optimally with the right permissions.
A manufacturing company that works white label and doesn’t market any of its own products might benefit much more from a PIM than a DAM system. A retail organization that distributes a new folder every week with different products on sale each time, cannot do without DAM (and will benefit greatly from integration with a PIM). So the needs depend on the nature of the business.
Integrating DAM and PIM
The major problem in many organizations is the use of different stand-alone systems, from which data must be transferred from one to the other. Often the right data is hard to find and people have to work in systems they are not familiar with. If they do find the desired data, it is sometimes stored locally on a computer. Data gets scattered and control and management (and the value of the management systems) is lost.
An integration of DAM and PIM prevents this. It also offers additional benefits and makes 1+1 more than 2! By connecting DAM and PIM, organizations integrate all their product information with all their digital assets. This can be automated to a large extent according to the needs of the users. It goes without saying that the marketing person finds peace of mind when they no longer have to worry whether the information they are broadcasting is correct.
Because DAM optimizes the storage and searchability of the asset library, it also helps categorize products in the PIM system. In this way, both systems become fully searchable in the same way and different users can be given the correct access rights. A good taxonomy and metadata are the key to success.
With an integration of DAM and PIM, collaboration improves, efficiency increases and your brands become stronger in the market. Both your employees and your customers will benefit!
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Get more out of your digital assets with a good taxonomy and metadata
PIM, DAM, taxonomy, metadata
A designer who needs to create a publication needs product information and digital assets.
- The product information is collected in a PIM or Product Information Management system
- Digital assets (photos, videos, logos, illustrations etc.) are managed in a DAM or Digital Asset Management system
Taxonomy and metadata are the keys to success in these solutions. They speed up the designer’s workflow and ensure that you get the most out of your digital assets.
- Taxonomy is a form of classification. For example, look at biology, where animals are classified into species and subspecies. The subspecies have all the characteristics of the species, but differ from each other. So too in computer science. Taxonomy defines a classification and a hierarchy, making information from different systems easier to exchange.
- Metadata is data about data, about digital assets in this case.
Investing in taxonomy and metadata pays off
So the major benefits of a good taxonomy and metadata are that you:
- find the right digital assets faster
- get a much higher ROI from your DAM because you can use the digital assets much more effectively.
“Do I have to provide all those digital assets with metadata manually?! Another tedious job…”
Well, no! Catena Company analyzes your data and digital assets and together we determine the optimal taxonomy and metadata strategy for your DAM. The assignment of metadata to your digital assets can then be automated to a large extent, just like the management of these assets.
Thanks to this automation, we can apply metadata at a much deeper level, without it costing you any extra effort.
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