Time spent on updating one data sheet across 21 languages went from 2-3 hours to 5 minutes
“The previous process to update a single datasheet across all 21 languages was 2-3 hours. Making the same change in Perfion takes 5 minutes – and the accuracy of our customer facing data is much greater." Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group is a UK based manufacturer of positive displacement pumps and a provider of engineering support to a range of industries.
Since 2020, the company manages product information for:
- 5300 part numbers and
- 418 unique product variants
- in 21 separate languages
- for 40+ websites and
- 9000 data sheets
in the Perfion PIM system.
One of Watson-Marlow’s big challenges was the previous website platform. Every single page had manually written copy and code, and content was only correct at the time it was created. When products changed, the process of updating was very labour intensive.
With various data types and a need for extreme accuracy, another huge challenge was to manually keep data sheets up to date with standard desktop publishing software. It would take 2-3 hours to handle one single change in the 21 language versions of one data sheet.
A third challenge was localization. If a new language or market was added, the corresponding website had to be built from scratch.
Solution & Benefits
Watson-Marlow opted for a Single Source of Truth for product data to solve their challenges and the choice fell on the Perfion PIM.
After thoroughly cleaning existing product data, corresponding product data types are now always generated in the same way.
With Perfion, web pages update automatically
Today every product detail web page is based on a single template and automatically populated with technical information stored in Perfion. All data, including images and files, is maintained in Perfion and all language versions of the website automatically update when information changes in Perfion.
The amount of product data is comprehensive and thus accessed via sub menu items like Overview, Performance, Specifications, Literature, and Order Information. The related products that are displayed at the bottom of a product’s web page are also managed from within Perfion.
Complete data sets can now easily be reused. E.g. the English, Spanish and French data sets are used in websites in various countries.
All product information stored in Perfion is automatically published on Watson-Marlow's websites.
Perfion handles ‘abstractions of products” for marketing purposes
Many of Watson-Marlow’s products consist of components that can be combined in innumerable ways and are reused in several products. Not all product variants are presented on the website.
Perfion’s extremely flexible data modeling functionality allows Watson-Marlow to create ‘abstractions of products’, or ‘marketing products’ with all relevant data gathered in one. The PIM system will thus indicate the weight of such a product as e.g. 15-18 kg instead of presenting the weight of all possible product variants separately. In this way the number of products on the website remains manageable. At the abstraction level, Watson-Marlow can also create marketing texts that apply to the marketing products only.
Furthermore, Watson-Marlow never has to enter the same data twice, because Perfion’s data inheritance functionality makes it possible to reuse existing data for diverse products.
“Perfion is an out of the box solution that got a lot of customization as well. It is easy to export and import data and to chase data around and create new features. We cannot think of anything that we want that it cannot do.” Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Automated data sheet creation leads to extreme time savings
Before Perfion, datasheets were combined into a single document per range to reduce the number that had to be maintained manually. Many datasheets were not translated and some older products did not have a datasheet at all.
With Perfion’s built-in report designer, all Watson-Marlow's 9000 data sheets can be created / updated and published on the website automatically in all languages with consistent product data from Perfion. Earlier versions of a data sheet are also archived in Perfion. Handling a change in a data sheet now takes 5 minutes instead of the previous 2-3 hours.
Perfion can also be a repository for many other types of documents that can be served to multiple customer facing platforms. In a later step, Watson-Marlow will publish product data from Perfion in manuals and brochures as well.
Watson-Marlow's recommendations to others facing a PIM project are:
Sort your data out first! Perfion will not fix bad data – it will help you manage your data. Once you have the data right, the import process into Perfion is quick.
Get buy-in from all your teams. The tag line is the Single Source of Truth. This only works when every team is aware of this and does not do their own thing.
About Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Since 1956, Watson-Marlow has been manufacturing positive displacement pumps and providing engineering support to a range of industries. Today the company is formed of 10 leading brands, each a specialist in niche fluid transfer technologies. Watson-Marlow serves over 60 markets worldwide and is part of Spirax Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE100 company.
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