Today we have deployed some important enhancements to Geni-Sys page automation. A simple drag and drop process lets users change the position of a group of products on a page without access to dtp. Users can now auto-paginate a DataChannel (collection of grouped products) and then quickly review the layout and adjust in on screen without the need for DTP skills or software. Any modifications made are automatically transferred to InDesign or Quark XPress the next time the page is published.
Users can also change the look of a product group and the space it takes on a page by selecting a group template from a drop down. The system automatically paginates with full control over back fill or knock on.
We have also deployed new tools to configure complex product tables where simple rows and columns are insufficient to present the products in their clearest form, which will please those with complex technical products. The tables format can be defined in Geni-Sys and the correct table format will be built in InDesign or Quark XPress, automatically.
Cromwell is Europe’s leading independent supplier of maintenance, repair and operations type products, offering the widest choice to all industries, professions and trades. They have a stockholding in excess of £50M spread throughout the world. 54 UK branches offer a Trade Counter/Collection Service and a daily delivery to local Industry.
Lockside is working with Cromwell to implement Geni-Sys to supplement in-house systems developed by Cromwell’s development team.
The marketing department is responsible for multi-channel marketing of hundreds of thousands of products via catalogues ranging from 10s of pages to the main 2000 page catalogue, produced in different versions and languages. The web site is a vital channel and carries products that are not in catalogues and vice versa.
Managing such a vast range, of sometimes highly technical products, needs a system that can manage multiple channels, multiple languages, product specifications, images, attachments, prices and much more besides. It also has to work with other systems such as ERP and web shops.
Critical to the project, and the reason Lockside was chosen is to automate much of the production of catalogue pages. The work flow involves product selection, image attachment, grouping of products in to families together with their images and building pages in Quark XPress.
Catalogue production used to take us a good 18-20 weeks – including a lot of late nights – from starting product selection through to sending the completed artwork to the printers. Thankfully that all changed when we opted to automate our catalogue production with the implementation of Catalog’nTime.
It changed the way we worked for the better, without imposing any creative restrictions. It now only takes us 8-10 weeks to complete a catalogue and that’s with a smaller team of people working on it.
Catalog’nTime software builds catalogue pages using Quark XPress or InDesign and uses product data stored in your SQL database, which has helped to reduce the risk of errors as we’re using database driven content directly.
The software is designed to manage large numbers of products for eventual display in a catalogue, on a website or both. . It achieves this by allowing you to create group templates that you then apply to whatever groups of products you wish.
The Quark/InDesign attributes are defined in these group templates, which allows tasks such as image placement, box lines, backgrounds, font and colour selection to be automated.
It wasn’t always plain sailing but luckily there’s a great support team to mither, as well as online support, video tuition and a manual.
Lockside is excellent at innovating and coming up with solutions for data layout. In the past five years we haven’t come against a problem they can’t solve and I would have no hesitation recommending Lockside or Catalogue’nTime. Promed has been working with Catalog’nTime since 2007. We chose the package because we wanted a system which was flexible enough to handle all our data and still speed up the laborious process of creating a bespoke catalogue spread by spread. Lockside provided the levels of support we needed. Catalogue production used to be a seriously time intensive process and now, not only have we increased the number of catalogue pages, we have also reduced the layout and turnaround time from approximately four months down to six weeks.