Katun revives in-house catalog production with Catalog Builder®
Software cuts graphic design time, simplifies updates

(2006 April 03) --Katun, the world’s largest supplier of OEM-compatible imaging supplies, photoreceptors, and parts, was searching for a more effective way to publish and update their Accessory Products Catalog. They needed an efficient way to produce new catalogs, realizing that with ten versions in multiple languages, it would be a challenge to produce catalogs on time and within budget.

While copier and printer technicians could logon to Katun’s online accessory products catalog, the company knew that an up-to-date printed catalog, with product photography, was an important resource for technicians on the road without access to the Internet.

Challenge

Katun needed a more efficient production method to allow for more frequent catalog revisions. In the past they had used graphic design software and manually performed all the steps, including page layout, data input, and table of contents generation. It was a labor-intensive process, and the accessory products team couldn’t justify the resources to update the catalog at the optimal frequency.

So a task force was formed to investigate alternatives. Betsy Hedstrom, manager of accessory product suppliers, was one member of the task force with a decidedly keen interest: she’d be the primary user of whatever solution was chosen.

Solution

“We were looking for software that would basically design our catalog for us,” explained Hedstrom. After a little searching they found Catalog Builder® software.

Catalog Builder® is a catalog design and management software system from Minnesota-based Computer Pundits Corporation. It automates the process of creating catalogs for output in multiple formats including print catalogs, Adobe PDF files, and interactive CD-ROM and e-commerce catalogs.

Catalog Builder® would streamline the catalog production process at Katun from start to finish. Most importantly it would eliminate the need for manual graphic design: the extensive but user-friendly layout options integrated into Catalog Builder® can completely automate the design process.

Another thing that made Catalog Builder® attractive to the task force was its modular pricing. “Catalog Builder® was a good value, because we only had to buy the modules we were going to use. The other software products were less flexible in that regard. You paid for all the capabilities whether you wanted them or not,” said Hedstrom.

Results

In just three-month’s time, Hedstrom had the North American version of the catalog set up and ready to publish digitally and send to the printer. During that time, Hedstrom and team learned to use Catalog Builder®, cleaned up the data in the accessory products database to get it catalog-ready, set up the catalog and sub catalogs, imported the data, and generated both a print and PDF version of the catalog.

“Setup still takes time,” explains Hedstrom, “but it’s nothing like the effort we had to put into the old method.” The accessory products team can produce catalogs much more efficiently than in the past.

Next, she’ll tackle seven other versions of the catalog to serve the accessory line’s global markets in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Each of these versions is produced in multiple languages. “It’s still a lot of work, but it makes it a lot easier having Catalog Builder®,” says Hedstrom.

Benefits

One feature in particular that helps make Hedstrom’s job a little easier is that Catalog Builder® automatically generates the catalog’s table of contents. That task was a big headache in the past.

Not only is it easier to create new catalogs with Catalog Builder®, it’s easier to keep them updated. Products can be added and prices changed at any time. Generating updated product catalogs in the future will require just a few clicks rather than months of work.

And since Catalog Builder® can output catalogs as searchable PDF files, now the accessory product catalogs can easily be emailed as well. “We’ve been emailing our catalog, we have it on our website, and we love that we can just go in and click a box and tell Catalog Builder® to run a non-priced version of the catalog. Then we can go back in and click another box and have it run a priced version.”

Catalog Builder® is a feature-rich product. And while Katun is taking advantage of only a subset of those features now, they have plans to do more in the future. Like tying their catalogs into their ERP system, for example. According to Computer Pundits president Prashubh Batham, that’s the beauty of the software. “Catalog Builder® is designed to be flexible—in both its technology and its pricing—to allow for the continual evolution of our customers’ catalogs to address their business needs now and in the future.”

Computer Pundits Corporation is revolutionizing the business to business cataloging industry and saving companies around the world thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars over traditional catalog production methods.

For more information about Catalog Builder® or Computer Pundits Corporation, call 952-854-2422 or visit http://www.catalogbuilder.com/.