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Case Studies

Cross Media Publishing

With Powerweave’s total catalog solution, the supplier has been able to seamlessly integrate their print, cd, and web catalog. This has helped them bring down costs by up to 35% and at the same time, they have been able to free valuable resource at their end for an improved customer service plan.

  • CompanyA Top 50 Leading Supplier
  • BusinessSelling Promotional Products and Premiums

The client is a premier supplier of promotional products and premiums, with a focus on writing instruments, based out of New York. They have an annual turnover of over $6 million. Their business is completely dependent on tradeshows and catalogs. Most of their raw material is sourced from places like China in order to keep costs as low as possible. All printing, processing, shipping and customer support is done out of their office/factory in New York.

The issues at hand and the solution provided by Powerweave:

The client prints up to 90,000 catalogs annually, which are then distributed at trade shows or mailed out to their resellers/distributors/sales representatives. They also have a web version of their catalog which needs to be updated regularly.

The promotional industry is an extremely cost sensitive market and price differentials of even 2 to 5% can sway the order in someone else’s favour. The client had a severe need to cut costs, and yet maintain the same standards of quality and efficiency in all they do. In addition to the print catalogs, a lot of resource and time was going in processes which are not a part of the client’s core business.

Catalog design and development

Powerweave created templates for the multiple pages and linked this to the content management system. The catalog was published across 3 types of media – Print, Web and CD.

All the 3 catalogs were linked to the same system.

  • Print: The 2005 print catalog was designed, proofed, printed and delivered from our tie-ups in Canada (85,000 copies). The whole cycle including data, photography, design and print was completed in 6 weeks. To meet the urgent needs of the first trade show, 5000 copies were delivered within one week of printing.
  • CD: Powerweave created a unique flappable CD rom catalog which allowed users to browse through the catalog on a specially created cd. The CD allows users to zoom into the product of their choice, email relevant details to anyone they might need to inform, print product details and also inquire directly for more info/samples. The CD catalog was completed in 10 days!
  • Web: The new website is designed to promote its wide range of products, many of which are highly innovative and quite complex. And the aim of the website is to have a simple site that avoids complex, cluttered and confusing pages, so that it is easy for visitors to comprehend and navigate. Careful use of graphics communicates important messages to visitors. Powerweave also developed an innovative online product locator designed to help users choose the right product. The site is administered using a bespoke and control panel. This solution allows the site administrators to easily manage the presentation and publishing of existing and new products and content.

WebSite Creation and Maintenance: The client’s complete business is catalog driven – The catalogs are a combination of web and print catalogs. The website development was earlier an outsourced activity from the client to a local provider. Powerweave took the relationship with the client a step further by providing them with a more cost effective solution which met their business needs.

The solution Powerweave has provided places the complete control of the website in the client’s hands and allows them to update and maintain the website (including order procurement, quote requests, sample requests, product updating, and product additions/removals) on their own without any technical know how. This has enabled the client to send out product details including images and prices at the click of a button, schedule marketing programs and offers and have them online on the website within less than an hour. The website has in effect become an enabler to the business rather than just a support mechanism

Artwork: Each order requires production ready artwork to ensure that the imprint is done correctly. Generally, the artwork comes from the client in a variety of formats/shapes/sizes – most of the time not conforming to the requirements of their print/production facility. Every artwork on an average takes up to 45 minutes of valuable resource time.

Powerweave worked out a method, whereby each artwork file being sent would be copied on to our studio in India. We then check each file received for conformance to their print and production requirements. Each artwork is then recreated or retouched to meet the requirements (of file format, size, resolution, colors). Powerweave has over a period of time started managing all their artworks. This has enabled the client to free resource for other needs and reduce overheads on artwork

Back Office Order processing and Artwork Management: As a promotional product supplier, the client had a unique problem –

90% of the distributors send Purchase Orders by fax and artwork by email. To make matters worse imagine this scenario –

  • PO is faxed first and art is emailed later
  • The faxed PO may not have all the necessary information that is critical to process the order
  • E mailed art may or may not meet the specified production guidelines
  • Is the quantity and ordered item in stock or not and can be processed within the stipulated time
  • As a result Customer Service Executives are busy calling distributors for missing information, asking them to mail camera ready art or fixing the art they have sent.
  • The Result – Iterations. Too much time and effort is being spent in processing the order. Orders get cancelled or lost due to delays and process glitches.

Our Solution

Powerweave worked out a complete content, design, catalog management and print solution for Premier Supplier Based in NY.

Data Management

Data: One of the main issues at Premier Supplier Based in NY was the multiple sources from which data had to be gathered – old records, hardcopies, and OEM source documents.

Power Weave created a customized content management system which became the central data repository for all products (linked to inventory). This makes it the single common point for the Catalog team, Management, Warehouse, Customer Service Executive and Production to operate from.

Images: All product photography and retouching was done by Powerweave and all images were stored in the same content management system, linked real time to the product data. This enabled the data team and the design team to work independently, and yet be linked to the same data at all times.

Powerweave’s unique combined offering has enabled the client to

  • Provide a much faster response and better service to their distributors
  • Reduce iterations leading to greater customer satisfaction.
  • Get all their processes on-line making it visible to all concerned departments. This has helped them improve efficiency, increase co-ordination.
  • As a result people work in a better informed environment
  • Reduce costly investments in people, training, infrastructure, software & hardware.
  • Achieve great savings directly affecting their bottom line. Savings in the first year have touched 35% as compared to their costs in the previous year!

The President of the company has this to say about our service:

“I have been using Powerweave for over one year, and find that it has been much more efficient than doing touch-up work in house. The cost and time it takes for us to do it in house are much higher, so by sending it to Powerweave, we are able to save money and be more efficient by freeing up our art department to do other jobs.”

“We are also using their Supplier Solution to speed the processing of orders and artwork, which is enabling us to ship faster and more accurately.”

Publishing

How reduced studio costs, and operational burden/overhead lessened, helped increase profits.

  • CompanyMaritime Publisher
  • BusinessTechnical maritime journals and related events

Maritime Publisher Overview:

A leading maritime publisher based in UK, was established in December 2001. Maritime Publisher publishes a growing portfolio of technical maritime journals and organises related events. The company’s production, sales and administration departments are based in its Enfield office, and editorial in its Torquay office.

Problem:

Due to growing demand of publication subscription and titles, it faced a problem to reduce studio cost and operational overhead. The effect was telling and Maritime Publisher into its 6th year as a publisher would have to incur additional financial burden to produce the work that was constantly growing to match its customer/subscriber base.

Type of Customers/Subscribers:

The customer/subscriber base caters to everyone related to Maritime – which are, engineers, architects, ship personnel, shipping companies and jobs related to shipping/maritime industry.

Solution:

The solution to this was to build a dedicated, expert, hassle-free studio overseas where labour and overhead costs were less. This solution provided Maritime Publisher to seek better avenues to build business locally and internationally along with increased subscription base.

Implementation of Solution:

Powerweave was sought by Maritime Publisher to provide this solution. Initially before the work was to begin, trials to match the process were undertaken. This would help ensure mapping of client-based process and any adjustments that needed to be done to make this work without any issues.

This was a simple 3-step process –

  • Articles: Send articles (text and image files) to Powerweave along with the flat plan of the magazine.
  • Layout: Powerweave works to the guidelines set for each magazine and executes the layouts.
  • Finished Files: Powerweave then sends back the files to Maritime Publisher for review.

Though this process may look simplified, however, the intricate details that were followed helped gain understanding of the client’s work and strict guidelines.

  • Articles: These were written by in-house and external freelancing writers, journalists and editors in UK and sent to Powerweave via FTP by Maritime Publisher. The FTP was the safe way to ensure file transfers. Email communication ensured that each party was informed of any uploads and downloads.
  • Layout: Powerweave followed the instructions to the last minute detail to ensure that the service was impeccable.
  • Finished Files: Powerweave then would transfer the files back to Maritime Publisher and receive editorial, image corrections/amends by same day evening.

The most important factor was time. Since India is 5.30 hours ahead of UK, it has a tactical advantage of delivering before the client is in office in the morning. This advantage was utilized completely by splitting teams for night and day shift. This was done to ensure that the delivery time 9am (UK time) was adhered to. The night shift team would work on the layouts and execute them to the best of their ability. The day shift team would then oversee and QA it thoroughly to ensure that flawless work was delivered to the client.

The cycle for this complete process would begin again in the late afternoon after the files were provided in the morning. Thus establishing a smooth process that was as flexible to cater to any future changes without compromising the quality of work.

The daily communication and operations were managed between single point of contact at Powerweave and Maritime Publisher. This allows clear communication and less disparity in understanding instructions, further honing an error-free work.

Process Diagram:

Results:

The direct result of this was reduced costs, accurate work and a harmonious work process without anything to worry about. This allowed to client to focus more on its other marketing and management efforts.

Pre-press

How graphics studio was better utilized for Marketing driven activities and cost benefit achieved using offshore inexpensive graphics prepress and publishing services.

  • CompanyA World-Leading Auction House
  • BusinessConducting auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries

Overview:

This Auction House is the world’s leading art business – a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766, this Auction House conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. The Auction House has 85 offices in 43 countries and 14 salerooms around the world including London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Problem:

The work involves making clipping paths (cutouts / silhouettes) around the images that they print in their catalogs, populating/laying out catalogs and display online on their website. Their in-house studios work towards achieving these goals. However, this non-core functioning activity was sapping them off their resources that could be better utilized for marketing driven and high level studio activities.

Type of Customers/Subscribers:

Customers for the Auction House vary from rich to big business tycoons.

Solution:

The solution was to provide this prepress service of clipping path and ensure that the studio was free of this non-core repetitive activity.

Also the other studio work that consumed a lot of time was making catalog layouts. Part of this work needed to be transferred to offshore studio to help cost benefits to their overall in-house studios.

Implementation of Solution:

Powerweave was sought by the Auction House to provide this solution. Initially before the work was to begin, trials to match the process were undertaken. These trials went for 2 months and regular clipping path work was seamlessly integrated. New server based technology for file transfer was used to ensure coordinated transfers took place. The web file transfer technology – MassTransit is a legacy system with the Auction House – the only system used to transfer files over continents and different offices over the world.

This was a simple 4-step process –

  • Receive Files: Powerweave received files over MassTransit and the web-based transfer system generated automatic mails to both parties ensuring auto-communication.
  • Downloading Files: Powerweave then downloads the files and stores in a systemized folder structure.
  • Clipping Paths: Studio Powerweave works to the guidelines set for each clipping path and executes them to perfection.
  • Uploading Files: Powerweave then sends back the files to the Auction House via MassTransit to be used for catalogs and web.

Though this process may look simplified, however, the intricate details that were followed helped gain understanding of the client’s work and strict guidelines.

Catalog Page Make-up

  • Receiving Files: The files for page make up were sent via MassTransit.
  • Layout: Powerweave followed the instructions to the last minute detail to ensure that the service was impeccable.
  • Finished Files: Powerweave then transferred the files back through MassTransit. In all cases of page make-up none of the files are returned back because the work was found to be accurate and to the set standards.

The most important factor was time. Since India is 5.30 hours ahead of UK, it has a tactical advantage of delivering before the client is in office in the morning. This advantage was utilized completely and projects delivered without loosing on stringent deadlines.

The daily communication and operations were managed between single point of contact at Powerweave and Maritime Publisher. This allows clear communication and less disparity in understanding instructions, further honing an error-free work.

Results:

The direct result of this was reduced costs and accurate work. This allowed to client to focus more on its other marketing and management efforts knowing fully that an outsourced studio was just like working in-house.

Powerweave has successfully migrated the image management and pre-press process offshore to manage about 500,000 images annually.

Powerweave has moved and migrated to the next level of catalogue page creation using a combination of custom data and image workflow tools. About 80,000 pages are published annually.

We are now working with them in implementing the technology and setting up the services to publish print catalogues on the web and digitally from a common data repository.

Catalog Creator solution (eCAT)

A new Digital Sales Platform to target more customers

  • CompanyBased in Mexico
  • BusinessSelling Promotional Products and Premiums

Clients Requirement

A leading promotional products supplier was in search of a new way to increase product awareness and personalization among potential corporate business customers and open new sales channels to reach them. Although it was successful in selling to enterprise-class clients through their website, it had no direct digital channel to market and sell its products to the corporate customers.

POWERWEAVE Solution

Our CMO had met this client at a promotional show where they discussed the need of an outreach digital program that would help them to showcase their products in a personalized manner with the clients logo embedded on their products.

We instantly felt that our new sales channel – eCAT would be best suited for their needs. It could help their sales rep to create instant digital catalogs in minutes by selecting covers, products, embedding logos and then mailing it to the company concerned. The digital catalog being interactive would allow the client and their internal teams to select products to order, request for quotes and samples right off the catalog. It would also allow them to share the products on social media, rate and add reviews.

More so, it would help our client view analytics of the digital catalog mailed out to the number of times it was opened, products viewed and thus the extent of interest generated in the purchase of the products.

Impact on the client business

Reaching out to potential new customers through the new digital channel has proved successful. As the rollout has progressed over time and the potential audience has widened, the program has seen a substantial growth since the implementation of this digital platform.

Period of Usage Since February 2014
Unique Distributors 140
Unique catalogs Created 773
Catalogs Sent 665
Catalog Clicks 471
Catalog Opens 2778
Products added to the catalogs 73432
Orders received 31
Samples Requested 10
Quotes Requested 36

Just as important, our long-term thinking has led to a digital commerce capability that positions the client to expand its selling capabilities. Send out products personalized to the requirement. Get insights into the interest generated to their product suite. Reach into the customer and not wait for their website visit.