Stibo Systems Helps Brady France To Implement A Multichannel Approach And Improve Productivity

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Brady is an American corporation, first established in 1914 and a world leader in security and identification solutions with more than 500,000 customers worldwide. It supplies the industry, medical and IT sectors and in Europe, the Direct Marketing division manages around thirty websites with brands such as Seton, Securimed and Safetyshop.

In 2010, Gregory Tocut was appointed to take charge of the new Direct Marketing Europe e-commerce platform. At the time, Brady was distributing over 45 million paper catalogues per year, accounting for some 600,000 items and 100,000 product data-sheets with almost 300 features. The goal was to find a communal e-commerce solution for the whole of Europe, trans-brand and trans-country (9 brands, 15 countries, 30 websites) to improve services, user experience and global visibility. The main challenge was to find a way to merge printed and web-based data so that the day-to-day management could be performed from a single location, with focus on managing the product enrichment, data maintenance, data quality and more.

Brady’s product database was being managed under Stibo Systems’ product information management (PIM) software STEP 4.7. Serving primarily as a CAP tool to generate paper catalogues, this was only being used for storing data at only 10% of its capacity. In its migration towards STEP 5.2, Brady discovered the richness and possibilities available and decided that the company can implement a truly multi-channel approach with STEP.

In order for the migration project to be successful, Brady decided to start from scratch. Based on a master data management approach, rather than a paper catalogue approach, Brady implemented a solution combining SAP ERP and STEP for the product management element and Magento for the e-commerce element. SAP sends the data to STEP (references, prices, etc.) and all further enrichment work (descriptions, features, etc.) is performed in STEP. The teams responsible for catalogue editing can then quickly finalise their project in Adobe InDesign on the basis of selections made directly in STEP.

Stibo Systems’ STEP was chosen because it enables a master data strategy to be implemented with a unique product approach and it can be centralised at a corporate level. The high flexibility of the software also enables an advanced level of customisation.

Brady now benefits from clear and well-organised websites, with easily accessible categories and features. Despite the considerable number of references, the Magento site remains very fast as STEP manages the data. In 2012, after four months of operation, Brady was able to note a significant improvement in traffic and average basket size on the e-commerce site for France.

One of STEP’s assets is its high level of flexibility. “The true strength of STEP lies in the fact that you can pretty much do everything with it. However, you need a clear vision of where you want to go”, says Gregory Tocut, the European e-business Platform Manager.

“The tool has enabled the creation of corporate products truly adapted to the way the teams work. Similarly, it has been possible to recreate products in STEP that we needed in Magento.”

“Another of STEP’s great assets is its hierarchical structure. New products automatically inherit features from parent products”, says Gregory Tocut who sees therein substantial time savings during updates.

“Previously, modifications to web-based product data-sheets were carried out in quick succession, twice annually, for catalogue production. Today, an amendment only takes a few seconds and is executed for both print and web”. Catalogue production speed has risen by approximately 30% and synergies have been created, facilitating the production of small catalogues. As for the “time-tomarket”, this has gone from a year to a few days for the web. By harnessing the power and flexibility of STEP, Brady has been able to realise its multichannel approach and take on the digital by sustaining its foundation. All this has been achieved whilst increasing its productivity both on the web and in catalogue publishing.