In the past, ROTHENBERGER already relied on PIM systems for product data maintenance. The previous approach saw data transferred from the ROTHENBERGER Group’s leading SAP ERP system to the PIM system via interfaces, if available. Product managers in different departments and national subsidiaries would then handle data enrichment and marketing information.
Missing information entailed research activities and internal coordination, which frequently caused a higher workload and delayed the time-to-market.
The need to map product classifications in the system, both those established in the tool industry and those newly added continuously, could not be resolved in a viable manner in the existing PIM system. In the past, this particular additional information was generated through extensive customization or via alternative systems and documents that were not integrated into the process.
Requests from trading partners for product information meant that data first had to be compiled across different systems, often with specific data submitted later, which resulted in an error-prone process. Data exports for trading partners had to be created case-by-case, which overcomplicated processes and took a lot of time.
The existing PIM system and established procedures were increasingly reaching capacity limits as the company continued to grow. The Group needed a digitalization strategy that offered standardized business processes, a sustainable data inventory, and a single point of truth to maintain its market positioning in an increasingly data-driven global market and gain further competitive advantages.
The goals set for the ROTHENBERGER and Parsionate team were ambitious:
- Reduced internal maintenance efforts in terms of processing time and costs through a system that supports the holistic maintenance process in day-to-day operations;
- Reliable and complete product information for trading partners and distribution channels;
- Increased data quality through process-controlled data maintenance and regular, system-supported checks;
- Fast adaptability of new classifications and attributes;
- Frictionless internationalization and data maintenance;
- Accelerated time-to-market.
The first step on the path to an efficient, customer-oriented system solution was to conduct a comprehensive inventory of the existing system landscape and established business processes. Numerous workshops were run with Contentserv's partner Parsionate to examine and evaluate various departments' existing product information, workflows, and processes. In addition to an objective evaluation of the data quality, these also yielded information about the infrastructure, with the key finding that the existing PIM system could no longer cover company-specific requirements. There was no way of optimizing already inefficient data flows for the long term. It was time to invest in new technologies. Therefore, ROTHENBERGER decided to replace the existing system with a modern one geared toward future market and customer requirements.
The subsequent process of selecting the best system was also supported by the Parsionate Consulting team, which handled the entire communication and tender process with software providers. The previously determined findings and target requirements from the PIM health check were presented as use cases to provide suitable provider comparison metrics. Based on a vendor longlist, a shortlist of three software providers was created who were invited to present their solutions in a video call. System provider Contentserv presented targeted showcases like the defined use cases, competent solution approaches to open questions, and a user-friendly interface to convince ROTHENBERGER of their PIM solution.
Compared to the previous maintenance process, product data maintenance at ROTHENBERGER is now 60-70% faster.
As early as the requirement analysis, ROTHENBERGER decided on a cloud-based implementation of the new PIM system, allowing the company to benefit in the long term from advantages such as reducing internal expenditure and ensuring future viability through easy scaling. In the first step, the ROTHENBERGER brand was the first ROTHENBERGER Group brand (which unites eight strong brands under its umbrella) to go live in Contentserv's Product Experience Cloud.
Results that matter
By using the Contentserv PIM solution as a central source for all product information and digital assets, ROTHENBERGER has significantly reduced the effort for data maintenance in line with the goals of cutting processing time and costs.
The new targeted use of automated inheritance structures and a data-model-specific class model will also reduce the future error rate in data maintenance, further increasing the data quality of product information.
The previous procedures were put to the test across departments in the implementation project, and defined workflows specified the system-supported collaboration within the team. A uniform understanding of the maintenance process helps to generate product data more efficiently and with a high level of data quality throughout the company. For example, translations from national subsidiaries are now translated and released directly in the system. This way, the responsibility lies now with native speakers in the relevant countries, and content always remains within the PIM system.
More than 4,000 articles and approx. 50 GB of assets were migrated from the old system and the product maintenance process was revised.
Another PIM system connection exists to ecatDesigner from Semaino Technologies, a software application that automatically creates electronic catalogs according to common classification standards, such as BMEcat, GS1, and DATANORM. It enables ROTHENBERGER to derive product data in any classification format applicable now or in the future.
Data for different channels and specialized trade can thus be provided proactively instead of reactively with Contentserv's syndication functionality. Instead of the previous on-demand data search, all product data and assets can now be pooled and offered proactively through a one-time export.
Exports for trading partners are entirely derived in the desired technology-based classification format.
- Automatically generated data sheets (Smart Documents) can be created depending on the workflow status, and product information can be passed on in a high-quality layout.
- The semi-automatic print output for catalogs, provided to the layout team in InDesign, has also already been implemented.
- The derivation of product information into the e-commerce channels was implemented by connecting Storyblok and has already been completed for 27 languages.
PIM System was implemented in record time of 4 months
By using an accompanied implementation model in which the customer contributed a large extent of the work tasks, ROTHENBERGER could work productively in the cloud-based system directly from the start of the project. The "train-the-trainer" concept also meant that the ROTHENBERGER team was already capable of confidently operating the system at a very early stage in the project. This allowed the company to train its employees and handle the onboarding process independently.
Today, the system is designed to be media-neutral, enjoys a high level of acceptance among the departments, and is well-positioned for future market requirements. Following the implementation of the Contentserv PIM system for the ROTHENBERGER brand, other brands and national companies from the brand group will be onboarded to the system shortly.