How Simple Workspace boots catalog production for electronics manufacturers

The global consumer product conglomerates seem to share a similar organization. For product marketing, whether Chinese or Korean, these companies rely on a few resource centers, divided by market, which collect (often painfully) information before making it “publishable” and submitting it to the sales offices in each of the countries concerned.

This intermediate stage is essential: it allows us to move from a logic, natural for manufacturers, centered on product characteristics to a presentation-oriented towards customer benefits, adapted according to the markets. But the marketing department in charge of this work is caught between the head office, which sends the elements “when it can”, and the local offices, which need them in the language of their country to meet their sales objectives.

Note: From the outside, it’s a mystery how the teams manage to cope with the workload they are given, but you have to admit that these organizations know how to recruit brilliant and resilient people who know how to work under pressure with little means!

How can Simple Workspace help?

In this context, Simple Workspace can first work as an orchestrator to help streamline the editing and translation of data by the various parties involved and thus produce product sheets, as we have already discussed in this article Product sheets, a sales support tool, or in this one Translate, validate, customize existing Adobe InDesign documents.

Then, when the organization has an information system such as a PIM, the data is centralized; the generation of a catalog can then be automated with Simple Workspace in whole or in part. However, this information system must correctly manage the offer to be published, and this is in all the target languages, but there are solutions [1].

More recently, we wanted to go further to help regional marketing departments. It is rare that a catalog only lists new products with a new graphic design. More often, the production flow is as follows:

  • The catalog is an InDesign deliverable provided by headquarters. The marketing department, which cannot influence its production, has to work with it.
  • The catalog contains most of the previous year’s products (we call it a rollover).
  • The content needs to be updated if only to make a few authorial corrections.
  • The charter is refreshed to be up to date, with reworked institutional pages.
  • The old references are removed and the new products must find their place in the whole.
  • Finally, the catalogs must be translated as quickly as possible so that the sales offices can localize them [2] and publish them in their markets.

In the end, it’s a matter of making something new out of something old, but it’s still new!

Building on the past

Taking a step back, when only the InDesign files are the content database, the element that varies the least from version to version is the text content regardless of its formatting.

Simple Workspace offers an approach that respects the existing production process by building on the work of previous years. This consists in identifying what has been modified in the source document to renew what has already been published in the target document translated in the previous year while keeping the style elements of course!

In year 1, the marketing department uploads the new catalog with the pages taken from the previous year into Simple Workspace. This is what we call the master document. The user can activate the mechanics of declining this master in the target language and then trigger the automatic translation of the selected pages, using a solution such as DeepL. Note that glossaries of words or expressions can help improve the quality of the translation. The idea is to save time for country sales offices by providing them with pre-translated documents that they only need to finalize.

The value of a Simple Workspace-based workflow is multiplied tenfold in subsequent years. Indeed, Simple Workspace allows to the renewal of a catalog from the document used the previous year. This renewed document then becomes the master document for the current year. It can then be modified using standard functions such as page output/input. Simple Workspace is then able to highlight the modified parts, alert users in the countries of the changes on the master document thanks to the integrated workflow, and to take back all the unchanged content to reinject it in the translated version.
For new pages or texts that have changed from the previous year, the automatic translation tool can be used again.

The goal: is to save time for all parties involved!

If you also face challenges related to the production of multilingual materials for your sales offices, please contact us!
We will be happy to work with you!

Richard Loubéjac,
Cofounder of J2S

1- Read: Connecting Simple Workspace to PIM, MDM, PLM, CMs: A few tips and solutions.

2- Localization is a translation adjusted according to the targeted country or region.