Trek Bicycle Corporation

Trek Bicycle Corporation

The challenge

From making hand-built bicycles in Wisconsin, Trek Bicycles has grown from a handful of employees to a global corporation. Now making Tour de France history, Trek Bicycle Corporation turned to EasyCatalog to produce their components and accessories catalogs after switching from QuarkXPress to InDesign.

“We needed a plug-in for InDesign that allowed us to easily paginate our catalog from data coming out of our main product lifecycle management system (PLM), Matrix One. We used to produce our catalogs using a combination of FileMaker Pro, QuarkXPress and a database publishing XTension,” explains Josh Hoover, Marketing IT Manager of Trek Bicycles.

“The process was chaotic at best. Since the database-publishing tool couldn’t handle sophisticated grouping and table building, the information was exported out of FileMaker Pro into a text file, imported into a Quark document and then put together by hand. This process made it nearly impossible to automate database updates and re-pagination. These technical limitations demanded that we have a dedicated graphic designer for the TCG [Trek Components Group] catalog along with taking at least a full month of productivity away from our product managers as they worked non-stop on tedious data entry. The accuracy and completeness of our catalog also suffered as a result of the technical limitations that existed previously.”

Client:

  • Trek Bicycle Corporation

Document:

  • Catalogs in multiple languages

Size:

  • 536 pages

Software:

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Previously, the production of the TCG catalog took about five months. Today we have that time down to one month...
Josh Hoover, Trek Bicycle Corporation

Finding a solution

"We searched long and hard for all of the solutions out there - when one of the InDesign database publishing plug-ins did have the main features we needed, we found it to be unstable and often displayed erratic behavior. We actually tested three other products and researched about five others. We came across 65bit late in our search and found EasyCatalog met most of our needs and was very stable during testing."

Key benefits

"Products that handle the complete catalog lifecycle don't often work well when you already have systems in place and we were not able to invest many months of implementation time to get up and running. The ability to quickly update data and re-paginate was critical and 65bit and the EasyCatalog plug-in came through in a big way for us."

Working with 65bit

65bit Software always strives to ensure that its software meets the needs of its customers, offering support and minor modifications to the software as required. "There were a few minor features we needed added and 65bit was extremely responsive in getting those features added quickly and allowing us to test them out right away. It was amazing to get new builds with new features that were so stable!"

Trek Bikes Sample Catalog

PDF sample of the catalog

Saving time & Money

Using EasyCatalog, the TCG catalog no longer requires a dedicated graphic designer, and the workload on Product Managers has also been dramatically reduced - from spending up to a month entering and proofing data down to a couple of days. "Previously, the production of the TCG catalog took about five months. Today we have that time down to one month and that includes producing the bulk of the work for our European catalogs, which have far fewer pages but have multiple languages and pricing. Plus, today we have around 200 additional pages of product and information that we didn't have prior to using EasyCatalog."

Improving accuracy

In addition to being a tremendous time-saver, EasyCatalog has also increased the quality of the final catalog. Communicating effectively and accurately through its catalog is something Trek takes very seriously, explains Josh. "The accuracy and completeness of the TCG catalog is based on the number of errors caught (and information deemed to be 'missing') after the catalog is printed and satisfaction surveys of our independent dealer base and Trek's own sales staff. The accuracy and completeness of our catalogs today is dramatically better than before we started using EasyCatalog."

The future

After seeing the substantial benefits of using EasyCatalog to produce their catalog, Trek are now exploring the possibilities of further automating the production of the catalog using the Scripting Module. Trek are also looking at implementing an EasyCatalog solution to produce one of their other brand's catalog. Taking data directly from their Content Management System, Josh anticipates that "...this would allow us to more reliably maintain the data for the catalog and speed up the production process substantially as well."

There were a few minor features we needed added and 65bit was extremely responsive in getting those features added quickly and allowing us to test them out right away. It was amazing to get new builds with new features that were so stable!
Josh Hoover, Trek Bicycle Corporation

About Trek Bicycle Corporation

Founded in a small barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1976, Trek Bicycle Corporation is a privately held corporation that still resides in Waterloo. Begun with just five employees making hand-built bicycle frames, Trek has grown into a globally orientated corporation with sales over $500 million in 2005. Trek presently employs 1500 people around the world and has gone on to make Tour de France history with their proprietary OCLV Carbon road bikes.