Still mailing a print catalog? Here’s how one company went digital.


For more than 80 years, Schneider Electric has produced a 1,000-page catalog of electrical parts and supplies, called the Digest. With more than 22,000 products, producing a catalog of that size takes a big investment of both time and money. In fact, because the catalog is so big and complicated, they could only release a new version every three years. In today’s business environment, that’s an eternity.

Schneider Electric also offered its customers a PDF version of the Digest, but that proved frustrating for customers to use. It wasn’t mobile-friendly, it wasn’t searchable, and it was a huge file that took ages to download. They knew they had to offer their customers a better way to search for their products.

Taking Schneider Electric’s Digest digital

Schneider Electric had already moved its technical documentation to a MOTIF environment. MOTIF is based on DITA, an XML language that makes it easy for producers of complex content to reuse that content in different kinds of environments. Because Schneider Electric was already having success with using MOTIF for documentation, it made sense to use it for product data, too.

The Digest team took a year to move their product data over to the MOTIF environment. From there, they worked with a consulting company to build the new digital Digest using PTC’s content creation solutions and a cloud-based portal. In just 35 days, they turned 22,000 products into a searchable product catalog that is viewable on any kind of computer or mobile device. And they can give their customers the technical content they need along with the product information.

While Schneider Electric still puts out a print digest every three years, it can now make quarterly updates to the digital version of the Digest. And because the Digest is searchable and mobile-friendly, it offers their customers a much better user experience than the old PDFs they used to publish. The benefits of going digital are clear to Kevin Habel, global product manager for the MOTIF environment at Schneider Electric. “We can add content and fix errors in a timely manner. Responsive content on mobile has enabled us to leapfrog our competitors.”

Learn more about how PTC helped Schneider Electric

Are you still offering your customers a physical catalog because it’s too complicated to go digital? PTC’s content authoring and management tools can help you the same way they helped Schneider Electric. Read this case study to learn more about how to move your company's product catalog from the 19th century to the 21st.

 

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