Which solution is actually the right one? Here is the story of how at Porsche AG, the search for an editorial system turned into the implementation of a PIM system, together with a&f systems. In Part 1 of our article, you can ready about the background to the project and Porsche’s requirements for the new system.
a&f systems has been supporting Porsche AG with the implementation of a PIM system for about a year now. Yet Porsche had originally been searching for an editorial system. At Contentserv’s Digital Readiness Virtual Summit, a6F systems, as a gold partner, presented the joint project with an exciting interview – together with Jürgen Schäfer who is responsible for marketing and communication processes and systems at Porsche AG.
Porsche and a&f – cooperation with detours
How does a major corporation with several thousand employees, such as Porsche AG, hot on a comparatively small company, such as a&f systems in Switzerland? When searching for an editorial systems, Porsche AG initially found WoodWing in the Netherlands. After requesting a system demo, WoodWing referred Porsche Ag to its partner in Switzerland – a&f systems. After intensive talks with the manufacturers, however, it emerged that a PIM system would better meet Porsche AG’s requirements. In this case, Contentserv was the right tool.
Porsche and a&f – expectations and requirements
By switching to the new system, Porsche AG aimed to change from manual processes to the centralised creation of customer information on a neutral medium. The requirements varied between markets and countries, especially in terms of applicable laws. The integrity of technical data was also crucial for the vehicle manufacturer. Automatic data transfers to the individual systems eliminate incorrect manual transfer processes. The continued use of InDesign was also essential for work in the Creative Agency department. Including internal staff, around 300 persons will be working with the new system, from the creative, text and final artwork departments to the language team which localises customer communications for the individual markets. All contents from the German original documents that are published in individual markets have to be locally converted into the corresponding versions and released by the individual markets. The new PIM system will support Porsche AG in all customer information creation and publication processes. Release, translation and publication processes are therefore part of individual system-based workflows.
«Something special has been created: Great cooperation and a deep understanding for one another. There will always be issues during projects, but together we can reach our goals. I continue to look forward to a brilliant working relationship that will result in great things!»Jürgen Schäfer, Head of Processes and Systems, Marketing and Communications, Porsche AG
Porsche and a&f – obstacles and solutions
Obstacles are unavoidable in a project of this size. Certain requirements often only emerge as the project progresses. Porsche had three specific challenges. Firstly, the company produces numerous models and therefore also different data for both models and products derived thereof. This means that Porsche has to very specifically align its technical data communications for each derivative product. By importing the technical vehicle data at derivative level, it must be possible to pass on the imported values from the bottom to the top using a so-called “pull-up logic”.
Aggregated values (from-to values) in the data model were another important point to consider. Emission and consumption values do not have to be individually stated when advertising three to four vehicle derivatives. A from-to range is enough for this purpose. This makes it unnecessary to list individual values for each and every derivative.
The third, and largest, challenge was passing on the dynamic layout. Publication in 15 different languages means that a lot of time and effort is required for this process. Automation which passes on the layout changes in the InDesign master document to the individual InDesign language variants is a crucial tool.
The different markets require a correspondingly large number of adjustments. Changes made in the original German document must be accounted for in all documents in all languages.
The video below shows how the corresponding adjustments are being used in Porsche AG’s PIM system.
Porsche and a&f – outlook
The joint project between Porsche AG and a&f systems has not yet been completed. There will always be issues during projects, but in this case, the additional developments led to an even closer cooperation. Christoph Krinninger, a&f’s project manager, and Jürgen Schäfer have developed a great working relationship and both look forward to successfully completing the project together.
Jürgen Schäfer, Head of Processes and Systems, Marketing and Communications, Porsche AG