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Charting the course for a digital future with Contentserv

From efficient product data management to an interface built for innovations

Charting the course for a  digital future with Contentserv de-case-study-leitz-image-cover-1140x700

About Leitz

Founded in 1876 as a workshop for hand drills, planer knives, and hatchets, this family-owned business is now the world’s leading manufacturer of precision tools for professional woodworking and plastic processing. With over 8,000 tools in the standard program and numerous special designs, the product range is aimed at a broad target group – from small craft workshops to globally operating industrial companies.

The Leitz Group is present in over 150 countries worldwide — 38 of which has its own subsidiaries. As of 2023, the team currently comprises a total of around 3,000 employees across all subsidiaries.


The challenge

When the company first contacted Contentserv, its main objective was to adequately replace an existing PIM system. Leitz was among the first to recognize and exploit the advantages of product information management back in the early 2000s, but due to consolidation processes, the software it used eventually disappeared from the market. Contentserv was able to quickly fill this gap — not only ensuring the continued existence of central product data maintenance and direct print output, but noticeably simplifying the associated processes and providing additional support with integrated translation management.

A few years later, this led to the next step: integrating a real-time interface, which will enable completely new networking possibilities with other systems in the future, taking the company’s high quality of service to a whole new level.


The path together with Contentserv has (so far) included two evolutionary stages, each of which presented a different set of requirements: First, initial implementation to maintain the status quo — prioritized as follows:

  • Central management of all product information — with connection to the ERP system
  • Print output for printing the catalog/lexicon as well as operating instructions directly from Contentserv
  • Interface to the online shop
  • In addition: simplified processes and increased automation compared to the old system

Next, the second stage a few years later required:

  • Implementing a real-time interface as a central hub for both existing and future source and target systems
  • Connecting a newly set-up Magento store and a service app for existing customers via the same interface


Once a firm decision had been made in favor of Contentserv, implementation began in 2015. This stage was set to take around one year of the core project. With the new possibilities, the product information taken over from the old system could be enriched and structures could be meaningfully expanded. The degree of automation was also noticeably increased. Meanwhile, mapping the comparatively complex print output of the lexicon appropriately via the Comet plug-in and InDesign proved challenging. Here however, thanks to close cooperation with SDZeCOM, Leitz was quickly able to develop a precisely tailored solution to meet the company’s special requirements.

In 2022, a real-time interface was integrated in collaboration with the eCommerce specialist Exconcept, which now represents the next evolutionary step in terms of efficiency, data security, and future viability. Initially, the Leitz team was less concerned with actual real-time synchronization, and was more focused on installing middleware that can be used to connect a wide variety of source and target systems — without having to develop an extra interface to the PIM solution each time. So far, the newly installed store system Magento has been connected, along with a customer app with practical information about product application. Further connections will follow — document management and populating the website directly from Contentserv are currently under discussion.

Results that matter

By deploying the Contentserv solution, Leitz was able to get product information management back on a secure footing, with simplicity and efficiency as an added bonus: Soon after its introduction, Leitz was seeing a time saving of around 50 percent when extracting the catalog. It has also been possible to publish partial catalogs for specific areas such as furniture or plastics manufacturing with only minimal additional effort. The directly integrated translation management system has also proven its worth, leading to far-reaching workload reductions at the company, which is active in a total of 150 countries.

The new real-time interface goes far beyond such directly measurable benefits: Opening the door for many future innovation steps, it is a valuable component of a long-term future strategy in the spirit of constructive digitization. The app connection is a first successful example of how such developments help to make first-class service even more tangible, promoting customer loyalty in the long term. In addition, the middleware developed by Exconcept keeps all data fed in mirrored form and provides precise control mechanisms as to which information is forwarded to which system.

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Why Contentserv?

  • The user-friendly interface and clear structure were big selling points — along with the focus on making the changeover to the new system as easy as possible for employees.
  • Compared to other options on the shortlist, the Contentserv solution performed best overall and was able to meet the company’s requirements across all disciplines.
  • The integrated media asset management was an important factor in the decision — as was Contentserv’s generally integration-oriented approach.
  • Another plus point was the translation management, which is also integrated and can be used without additional tools. This is ideal for a company that still works predominantly in-house.

„With Contentserv and SDZeCOM, we have found two partners who have long provided us with reliable support in our digitization journey. Understanding our requirements, contributing original ideas, and creating opportunities to efficiently solve these are enormously important to us. With Contentserv’s future-proof solution and Exconcept’s integration to the real-time interface, we are taking the next evolutionary step in terms of efficiency, data security and future viability“

Martin Spaney – eCommerce Manager at Leitz GmbH & Co. KG

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