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Francfranc undergoes a digital makeover with PIM/DAM integration

The prominent player in the Japanese home decor industry has strengthened its digital transformation by implementing Contentserv's PIM and DAM solutions. This integration has enhanced data access, workflows, and operational efficiency — setting the stage for sustained growth.

Francfranc undergoes a digital makeover with PIM/DAM integration case-study-francfranc-image-cover-v2

About Francfranc

Founded in 1992, Francfranc is a leading furniture and home decor brand with a passion for elevating living spaces. Fueled by a commitment to innovation and excellence, the company offers a varied collection of furniture, home decor, and accessories. With over 1,000 employees and 152 stores across Japan and Hong Kong, Francfranc has a strong presence in the interior design market. Its products are conveniently accessible through both retail outlets and online platforms. With a loyal customer base valuing its unique style and dedication to quality, Francfranc stands as a trusted choice for those seeking both aesthetics and durability.

The challenge

Prior to the introduction of Contentserv, Francfranc managed product information through a legacy ledger system. Originally designed to meet its requirements a decade ago, the system became a hindrance as Francfranc's product portfolio, sales channels, teams, processes, and technology evolved. With the volume of product items reaching hundreds of thousands and the addition of over 1,000 new SKUs annually, it became clear that sustaining this approach in the long term was impractical.

Francfranc's solution began revealing vulnerabilities as it struggled to meet increasing demands, especially regarding data integration and API integration. The system's limited search and integration capabilities, as well as data entry constraints, have made it less effective at managing product information. For example, it restricted the number of input fields available, making the data entry and enrichment process more difficult. To add to the complexity, core information and images were stored separately, leading to a fragmented and time-consuming search process across multiple systems — especially when dealing with large data volumes.

Addressing these challenges required a comprehensive analysis of the status quo and the subsequent introduction of a unified standard. The key objectives were to minimize errors during data entry through predefined workflows and effective access management, and ultimately provide customers with rich, accurate, and consistent product information. In line with its digital transformation initiatives, Francfranc aimed to migrate its product information management to the cloud. It soon became clear that the next step would be to switch to professional cloud-based Product Information Management (PIM) software that was already prepared to handle all essential application scenarios by default.

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With the introduction of Contentserv’s solution, existing processes should be effectively reconsidered, made more efficient, and, above all, centralized and standardized. This strategic approach enables Francfranc to specifically address and eliminate potential sources of error, resulting in a significant enhancement of data quality and a shortened time-to-market. The solution must be able to support the following:

  • Reduced internal maintenance efforts through PIM as a single source of truth
  • Automated workflow functionality to streamline approval processes and data onboarding
  • Easy data enrichment, supported by role and rights management to ensure data governance
  • API integration to enhance connectivity and interoperability with its existing tech stack and other systems
  • Centralized digital assets (photos, illustrations, video, and audio) with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system
  • Quick, one-click search for the latest information on each item
  • Cloud computing capabilities for increased flexibility and scalability
  • System costs
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“Since the implementation of ‘Francfranc PIM,’ consolidating scattered product 
information across various systems has notably enhanced user experience, 
earning positive feedback.”

Hitoshi Takenaka, Manager of the Store Systems Section, Digital Platform Department


Through coordination with DNP as a consulting and implementation partner, the company’s requirements were defined to finally select the most target-oriented PIM and DAM system for rancfranc. In January 2022, Francfranc embarked on the “Francfranc PIM” project with Contentserv’s solution. While the project initially centered around API integration with the core system, Francfranc embraced a cross-functional approach, involving representatives from product development, ecommerce, and brand marketing in defining project goals and requirements. This led to in-depth discussions with DNP to assess the feasibility of integrating these requests into the system, prioritizing features that would have the most impact on overall efficiency.

A rigorous testing phase was conducted to validate the system’s functionality. Identified issues during testing were promptly resolved, ensuring the final implementation adhered to Francfranc’s quality standards. Initial feedback from end-users and stakeholders showed positive responses to the enhanced workflow and streamlined processes. These insights guided additional refinements to improve user experience. The implementation followed a phased approach, accomplishing key milestones at each stage. This encompassed successful API integration, customization of workflow functions, and the implementation of dynamic pricing.

Streamlining collaboration between product registrants and approvers, especially with diverse product categories, was a key task. To achieve this, a customized workflow system was developed that simplified the approver selection process with minimal effort. Moreover, the system was tailored to match the unique categorizations, approval procedures, or other aspects associated with products in each retail channel. Digital assets were also integrated and tagged in the system using Contentserv’s flexible DAM component. Furthermore, the solution was configured to automate price adjustments during sales, streamlining pricing management for promotions and improving efficiency.

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The result

Leveraging Contentserv’s robust PIM and DAM capabilities, Francfranc has successfully centralized data access across the organization, benefiting key departments like product development and marketing. The implementation has strengthened data governance by introducing approval workflows during data onboarding, enhancing data accuracy, and reducing the risk of incorrect entries. By eliminating the complexities associated with accessing multiple systems during item registration or data extraction, the company has achieved greater operational efficiency.

In addition to restructuring and optimizing largely manual processes, PIM’s implementation has triggered numerous development steps. The system’s flexibility enables ongoing enhancements and customization, fostering adaptability with features like API integration, workflow revisions, and automated inheritance structures. With Contentserv’s cloud-based solution, Francfranc can effortlessly manage comprehensive in-store and online product data. Contentserv’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) has optimized the management and distribution of up-to-date digital content for a consistent customer experience.

Beyond product experience, the adoption of Contentserv has streamlined team efficiency. Collaboration across departments and regions improved as workflows became optimized, resulting in efficient task management, and consistent and complete data output. With automated enrichment, customizable workflows, and real-time synchronization, Francfranc is able to ensure data consistency across diverse sources. With version control and access management, the company can track changes, control user permissions, and maintain data integrity.

Thanks to optimized workflows, the online offering can continue to be expanded according to an ambitious schedule. Looking ahead, Francfranc remains aligned with its vision of achieving Offline Merge Online (OMO). PIM is set to play a crucial role as an intermediate server, with plans to effectively share product information on a large scale and distribute even larger quantities of enriched product content to other channels and markets with the support of Contentserv. The ongoing partnership with DNP will provide continued support, contributing to efficient solutions that elevate Francfranc’s presence in the retail sector.

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“The system allows us to centrally manage product information, providing a 
seamless experience during item registration and access, ultimately enhancing 
operational efficiency.”

Hitoshi Takenaka, Manager of the Store Systems Section, Digital Platform Department

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