Leading HVAC/R Distributor Solves Print, Web and Content Management Problem using CatalogStudio

The Customer

One of the largest wholesale distributor of HVAC/R equipments in the country, R.E. Michel Company stocks and sells over 25,000 products and parts, and has a 1100-page catalog which is used as the main marketing tool for the company.

The Challenge

R.E. Michel’s catalog was previously built in-house over several years using QuarkXpress software. In order to publish a new catalog every year,R.E. Michel had to go through an elaborate and time consuming task to update and add new products to the catalog, remove the products that were discontinued, and also update the latest price and description in the static Quark pages. This process was inefficient and labor intensive. The customer also maintained pricing information for all the products in an AS400 system but did not have other information about its products in the database.

Since business was growing fast and more companies were acquired, R.E. Michel realized that it was becoming impossible for its staff to keep track of all the information in the static Quark pages and that it would take at least 6 months to get its primary catalog published. They also wanted to take their product information online through their website so customers could have the ability to order products online.

R.E. Michel realized that they were in need of a central database to store all the product information. They also needed tools to get the data published to print and online media quickly and effectively, and also to publish print catalogs every year with minimal effort.

The Solution

Questudio proposed its CatalogStudio solution for publishing print, web, and CD catalogs.

It was easy to get the product SKU and pricing information from the AS 400 system, but the information from Quark could not be imported directly into the Questudio database. To solve this, Questudio, with its robust set of tools and vast experience, extracted, converted, cleaned, normalized, and stored the data to the database from the 1100 Quark pages and linked thousands of image assets to the products within 60 days.

The Result

R.E. Michel, with all the important asset information captured and stored in a Microsoft SQL server database, is now able to use the CatalogStudio & InStudio software for managing product content and publish its catalogs quickly. Every year R.E. Michel publishes its primary catalog and also publishes several small market specific target catalogs and custom catalogs designed specifically for some individual customers.

With the use of Questudio’s software, R.E. Michel Company has achieved the goal of managing its product assets in a central repository database and can make quick and last minute changes to the product information before the catalog is published. They are also using the same database and information for their online catalog where customers have the ability to order directly.