Motorola Product Catalogues
The product catalogues were stored as individual Excel sheets online on the intranet
There were a large number of these excel sheets active:
– 10 Regions (plus additional foreign language versions)
– There were approximately 30 Excel Workbooks per region (each
workbook often containing several worksheets)
– Therefore there were approximately 300 Excel workbooks to be
Pricing data came from a manually run pricing report that was then transferred to Excel. This report had to run into several issues due to limitations of Excel. Unfortunately an Excel sheet could not show the full portfolio to be available.
For distribution to customers these Excel pages had to be made into a PDF and then either distributed electronically, or added to the resource centre (customer accessible file sharing on Motorola On Line (MOL))
The process was unwieldly and was taking up far too much time of the marketing staff.
Using APS, an interface was created and was driven by the taxonomy XML generated by Motorola. Each time Motorola uploaded a new XML file the system was reloaded to match the structure within it. This governed the options available to the user. At the same time the textual components were processed to XHTML and stored locally. This ensured precise conversion to APS XML for the final PDFs and also allowed users to amend the text and make final refinements if needed.
As several XML outputs were required (one for each currency), the system allowed them to be upload individually and then processed. The system extracted all the price information and created a streamlined version that was more manageable. Currently there are six currencies – 3 dollar, Euro, sterling, and Swedish krona, but the system has been designed so that more could easily be added as and when required.
The interface was a three-tiered design corresponding to the top three levels of the taxonomy in the XML. Selecting an option moved the user to the next level. At the third level the user was able to select the components required for publishing. In addition to the levels the user could select whether or not to include pricing and in which currency.
They could then simply press the publish button to create the PDF on demand. The outputs were generated from the information in the XML input. Access to the system was restricted to 3 System Managers and Motorola Product Managers.
There were 14 Portfolios, comprising of 80 products and 462 models (including accessories). In all there were approximately 10,000 individual items (including old options and accessories) each with 6 different prices, but the system still published a catalogue within minutes.