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Spaas is a well-known candle manufacturer. The company sells candles in every conceivable scent and colour to supermarkets, homeware shops, online shopping sites and garden centres. These customers want to know all about the candles they are buying and selling, including information such as the colour, the materials used and the burn time. To be able to provide customers with the required information, Ctac helped Spaas implement the inriver production information management system.
Spaas started out in 1853 as a small local candlemaker in Hamont (Belgium). The company now features a
workforce of over 250 employees and has become one of Europe’s leading candle manufacturers. Spaas leads the market in Belgium and is a widely-respected European supplier. This family business currently has its fifth generation at the helm and encompasses a production site in Hamont, a factory in Poland and a European sales organisation.
Spaas sells its candles to retailers and online shops. These customers in their turn sell the candles to consumers through various channels, including websites, marketplaces, flyers and even by e-mail. To provide all these channels with correct production information, customers require accurate product specifications for the candles. Gert Hazevoets, CFO of Spaas, explains how this was handled until recently. “To obtain this information, customers contacted our customer service directly. Our CS agents then had to look up the right data for each candle, such as the colour or burn time. It was a laborious process, as all this product information was not stored in one central location. They had to collate information and images from spreadsheets, the ERP and various network drives. Providing customers with accurate, complete product information required a lot of time and effort, in other words. To streamline this process, we asked Ctac to set up a central platform with consistent production information for us.”
“We decided to implement the inriver product information management platform (PIM)”, says Danny Pieters, Business Consultant at Ctac. “This solution allows Spaas to collect and manage all its product information in one central location. They can also easily disseminate up-to-date product information through different channels. The platform collects information from various external systems. This basic product information can be supplemented by media files and product descriptions. Users can then adapt the product information depending on the channel to ensure that the information fits each channel’s requirements seamlessly. If Spaas wants to amend the product information, they only need to do so in inriver. The changes are reflected in real-time across all linked channels.”
Spaas makes use of two supplementary inriver add-onsas well, namely the Content Store and the Print app. Hazevoets: “The Content Store works like an online shop, offering our retail customers, partners and re-sellers product information that they can obtain for themselves. All they need to do is log on to the store and download the information themselves in a format that they can upload to their own system. This helps them promote and sell Spaas candles through their own channels.”
The inriver Print add-on makes it easier for Spaas to include up-to-date and correct product information in their paper catalogues. Thanks to the handy integration with Adobe InDesign, the software that Spaas uses to create its print materials, inriver automatically enters the correct information in the designs’ relevant fields.
Thanks to inriver, Spaas can ensure that the product is represented identically across all channels and matches the actual product as well as possible. In addition to the company’s customer base, Spaas sales reps stand to benefit in the field as well. Hazevoets: “Our sales reps use a sales app to pitch our products and draw up quotes. This app works with the user-friendly SAP Fiori interface and links to the inriver PIM platform to collect all the digital assets in real-time, ensuring the latest relevant product information is always just a few clicks away.”
Ctac and Spaas have collaborated on SAP and business consultancy for many years now. Hazevoets explains why they turned to Ctac for this project. “Based on our wishes, Ctac recommended inriver PIM. Our marketing department is very pleased with the tool and the process. I think that this is largely due to the fact that inriver was designed from a marketing perspective, rather than from an IT angle. We are contacted regularly by Ctac customers who are considering adopting this system. I’m happy to discuss how we use the system with them, as we are so satisfied with it. And with our collaboration with Ctac, of course.”
“A direct connection will enable us to feed this data pool directly from inriver, reducing our time to market.
All from one central source.”
Gert Hazevoets, CFO at Spaas
Hazevoets thinks inRiver PIM will play an even more important role in the future: “Once we have finished overhauling our website, we want to start feeding our website and online store with information from inRiver. We also want to establish a direct connection with the GS1 data pool. We use this central data pool to share standardised product information with multiple customers. A direct connection will enable us to feed this data pool directly from inRiver, reducing our time to market. All from one central source.”