The Return of the Printed Catalog
Besides the professional pre-press output, catalog automation systems should also produce lower-resolution versions that enable product management teams to check the catalogs in one-to-one preview format that corresponds exactly to the export of the final catalog. These previews can double as online catalogs. Errors can be identified by product management teams immediately and corrected without delaying the market launch of the catalog. After the final catalog run, the automated pages are merged with the manual insets and catalog cover. Without automation, such complex catalogs can't be produced fast enough, and time to market substantially suffers. Since layouts can be as variable as customers’ imaginations, catalog automation needs to be flexible to deal with product complexity and diversity in a dynamic and efficient manner.
H.R. Tschudi is president of Onison, a provider of enterprise-level brand management solutions with services for catalog automation.