Cross Media Publishing Case Study

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.
  • Company
    A Top 50 Leading Supplier
  • Business
    Selling 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. These are:

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 –
1. PO is faxed first and art is emailed later
2. The faxed PO may not have all the necessary information that is critical to process the order
3. E mailed art may or may not meet the specified production guidelines
4. Is the quantity and ordered item in stock or not and can be processed within the stipulated time
5. 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.
6. 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

1. Provide a much faster response and better service to their distributors
2. Reduce iterations leading to greater customer satisfaction.
3. Get all their processes on-line making it visible to all concerned departments. This has helped them improve efficiency, increase co-ordination.
4. As a result people work in a better informed environment
5. Reduce costly investments in people, training, infrastructure, software & hardware.
6. 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 Artwork Services 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 Artwork Services, 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.