Centralized Content Streamlines Creative
Problem: Office supplies cataloger Corporate Express Canada needed to centralize its copy and images to enable easier multichannel publishing.
Solution: Executives implemented a content management system that allows product data to be repurposed across multiple marketing channels.
Results: Corporate Express Canada streamlined its processes by, for example, reducing its number of applicable databases from eight to two and reducing its head count.
Corporate Express Canada, the Canadian division of U.S.-based office supplies cataloger Corporate Express, needed an easy and efficient way to manage its product information. Executives at this business-to-business catalog wanted the ability to store images and merchandise descriptions for easy retrieval by those creating the printed catalog, e-commerce site, flyers, and other marketing and operations materials.
In 2003, they implemented Flow Content Factory, a product information management solution from Flow Systems. The application allows users to: manage all product information across an enterprise from one central application; reuse product data across all channels and systems; synchronize product data with partners and internal systems; and more.
Luc Marotte, vice president of information technology (IT) at Mississauga, Ontario-based Corporate Express Canada, says the solution was a must. “Previously, we had up to eight different [product information] databases, one each for the catalog, flyers, Web site, operations, etc. We wanted to centralize all of that data into one or two databases so that we could publish any content to any output.”
By implementing the Flow Systems’ solution, Marotte and his team reduced the number of databases from eight to two: an enterprise resource planning system and Flow Content Factory. “And those two databases now are synchronized,” Marotte adds.
Today, product information and images are reused across the cataloger’s channels. Moreover, the solution enabled the merchant to reduce its head count by two, one each in IT and marketing. “We were going to have to hire someone to help with content management, and [with this solution], we don’t have to,” says Marotte. “And we’re now able to have one less person in marketing, someone who was working with the databases.”