The premier supplier of equestrian supplies in the UK business to consumer market, Robinsons produce 5-8 publications annually of up to 300 pages each. In addition to the catalogue, products are sold through their superstores at Ashton and Cannock. A true multi-channel retailer, Robinsons need consistency of description, pricing and photography and a single source managing the core data. Catalog’nTime was chosen because of its ability to take data from other systems, helping Robinsons maintain a central repository for catalogue and web. Everything from catalogues to shelf-edge labels are done in-house, including photography, copy writing and proofing.
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The brief to Lockside was to populate the system from existing catalogues and to have it live and able to produce the Spring catalogue. The system was installed in December 2006 and went live in early January 2007. Data not in the core system resides in Catalog’nTime but core price, description and legal data is taken from Robinson’s core business system, Maginus. Products are selected for a catalogue by merchandisers using Maginus which updates Catalog’nTime at which point the catalogue manager takes over. Images reside on an image server and are managed by Catalog’nTime. Using the Asset Manager, images are selected for product groups.
How they use the software
The catalogue manager drags and drops product groups, including images on the paste up (white board) area. A single drag takes text and images for a picture/product group automatically applying setting the occupancy according to the template of choice for 1/4 page, 1/2 page, 1/3 page with two inset pictures etc. The templates are generally designed as part of the implementation process but are refined altered or added to at any time. Instructions and notes relating to the final layout are added by the catalogue manager as instructions to the graphics department, who do the final layout and proof. A simple two button action outputs spreads to Quark XPress already formatted with images in place ready for designers to apply their skills. Changes made to content, whether, text, prices or images automatically update XPress pages without disturbing the designers’ layout work.