Highlite’s Marketing & Graphic Design Department is now responsible for producing the company’s catalogs, packaging, product-photography, advertising, web-site, corporate design and product manuals. Catalog production started in-house seven years ago, and for the past six years Macromedia Freehand was used to ensure a varied and exciting design could be used.
“Producing the catalog each year was becoming much more demanding,” said Marcel Bahnen, Art Director and Mac OS X System Admin of Highlite International. “This year’s catalog has grown to 576 pages, and using Freehand was no longer an option.”
Changes made to pricing and product information by the Purchasing Department was also putting extra pressure on the Marketing Department, and it was clear a more automated system was required.
We didn’t really need to think about the return on investment: it was immediately clear that we would save a lot of time using EasyCatalog.Marcel Bahnen, Highlite International
Finding a solution
“We evaluated most of the leading plug-in solutions for InDesign, and settled on EasyCatalog. One of the biggest advantages was the user interface – a spreasheet-style panel instead of having to type SKUs. This also allows us to see our data and keep track of the changes made by the Purchasing Department,” said Marcel.
As well as the user interface, EasyCatalog’s integration with FileMaker was also a major benefit for Highlite. “Using FileMaker for OSX we were able to easily create our own Content Management System, tailored to our exact requirements, and take that data straight into the printed page”.
“We were obviously nervous about making a significant investment in new technology, as both InDesign and EasyCatalog were new for us. We didn’t really need to think about the return on investment: it was immediately clear that we would save a lot of time using EasyCatalog.”
Although keen to embrace new technology to help automate the production of the catalog, Marcel was also aware that automation could sometimes mean compromising the design of the publication. “We didn’t want to make a yellow-pages style publication, and EasyCatalog offered us the flexibility to keep the design of our catalog, whilst also getting our product data onto the page”.
Saving time & money
Last year EasyCatalog was used to produce two smaller cataloges to test the new workflow. After a successful trial, EasyCatalog was used to produce this year’s full 576-page catalog.
“Put simply, EasyCatalog has enabled us to become much more efficient – although this year’s catalog took about the same amount of time to produce as last year’s we managed to produce another 194 pages.”
“We will soon be upgrading to InDesign CS2, and FileMaker 8. In August we will be producing an updated catalog, and towards the end of the year we will be starting on our 2007 catalog which should be around 650-675 pages with a distribution of around 70,000 copies. We’re also planning on using EasyCatalog for the production of data-sheets, mailings and multi-lingual product documentation/catalogs.”
Put simply, EasyCatalog has enabled us to become much more efficient.Marcel Bahnen, Highlite International
About Highlite International
In a little over 10 years, Highlite International has established itself as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of show-equipment. Supplying 3500 customers in over 60 countries from a 1000m2 warehouse based in the Netherlands, Highlite International recognizes the importance of reaching its customers through effective marketing.