BLANCO: Smart Dynamic Publishing

Thousands of catalogue pages with the help of strategic production

The BLANCO catalogue production is on a roll! Over the period of just a few months, the company teamed up with Laudert in a joint project establishing a cutting-edge dynamic publishing process – the latest high volume production included 18 catalogues and almost 6,000 pages. The open communication culture between both companies contributed greatly to our success, as the process revealed potential improvements for implementation.

In 2025, BLANCO will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. The internationally active, family-owned company from the German region of Baden stands for innovative solutions in kitchen water units. BLANCO relies on product catalogues to successfully present the range to its customers in a clear, informative and compact manner, including all information necessary for planning. These catalogues are now created in a short and efficient new process.

Visible results are an important step towards the goal

The first BLANCO production round: that all-important Eureka effect!

It took nine months from the start of the project to the first implementation. The tight timing and the resulting necessary parallelisation of many steps were the biggest challenges. And BLANCO opted for the ideal scenario – best practice, which meant that all processes were mapped out and could be successfully adapted and implemented.

In order to secure that Eureka effect early on in the process, Laudert divided the project into different phases. And the first results soon became visible, laying the foundations for influence, participation and healthy communication.

The first five months of the project were spent almost exclusively on IT implementation and transformation. Existing print output processes involving the priint:suite were replaced with new, smart processes designed to use the benefits of WERK II in more efficient ways. Based on the layouts developed, the catalogue pages were produced over the latter four months, with Laudert’s media production experts working on the finish, making use of previously implemented technologies and meeting all printing deadlines.

Laudert Media Consulting took care of the interfaces between IT, media production and the areas involved in both companies, providing comprehensive training and establishing detailed solutions for colour management, correction workflows and data exchange. And the result of our joint efforts: 14 catalogues with over 4,300 pages in several languages – an early, and great, success.

BLANCO Laudert Dynamic

Laudert employees integrated into operations at Blanco

The second BLANCO production round: focus on channel management

Although the second round of catalogue production only really properly got going in early autumn 2021, things had actually started moving at the end of the first round. And despite its success, there was room for improvement. We collected insights in feedback and review discussions and implemented outcomes via change requests, focussing in particular on greater automation. That was the logical thing to do, as the second production round meant an increase in scope to 18 catalogues with almost 6,000 pages and additional country versions.

In order to facilitate internal proceedings for BLANCO as well as make use of Laudert’s technical expertise, Laudert installed two channel managers. They are integrated into operations at BLANCO on an ongoing basis and liaise between the region managers there and media production at Laudert, creating a symbiosis aiming to bring together the best of both partners. The extensive training the channel managers were given upon starting at BLANCO paid off in that they were able to gain a thorough understanding of the company and acquire the necessary knowledge directly from the experts.

Dynamic Publishing – ambitious plans at BLANCO

The third Blanco production round: optimisation

The third catalogue production round is coming up this autumn. Feedback discussions are again taking place, laying the foundations for the next phase of change. Priorities are being set and time management and implementation processes shaped according to the teams’ wishes. And the scope is continuing to increase with the plan for additional country versions – a sign of the far-reaching ambition at BLANCO, but also of the success of our joint dynamic publishing project, which has achieved continuous, streamlined catalogue production.

3 QUESTIONS FOR Kristof Kauhaus

Director / Head of Digital Marketing & E-Commerce at BLANCO

Before working with Laudert, you had already opted for database publishing. What motivated BLANCO to rethink its own dynamic publishing and relaunch it with Laudert?

Director / Head of Digital marketing & E-Commerce bei BLANCO, Kristof Kauhaus

We are constantly looking to improve existing processes and, wherever possible and it makes sense, to automate them. That’s essential in our view, as the number of channels to feed is constantly growing, as is the desire of our consumers and customers to be addressed as personally as possible. We’ve responded by starting to create the technical requirements and by starting to build up the necessary knowledge within the various BLANCO teams.

The channel managers are certainly a key feature of the collaboration between Laudert and BLANCO. How do you rate this particular aspect of the project?

To us, they are an important factor that significantly supported the successful completion of our projects in 2021. What certainly was exciting for us – besides the transfer of knowledge between the Laudert and BLANCO interfaces – is that the channel managers were so close to the technical units at Laudert, who were then able to intervene early whenever obstacles occurred, especially while they were setting up new processes.

The new dynamic publishing process also has a positive impact on the internationalisation of markets for BLANCO. What are BLANCO’s goals and ambitions?

Above all, what’s important to us is that the BLANCO brand experience and the associated communication of our BLANCO UNIT water solutions for kitchens are internationally consistent. At the same time, we also want to make it possible to adequately reflect market specifics, which is certainly not always easy – but that makes it all the more exciting.