DOWNERS GROVE , IL — The e-Publisher catalog management system from Vertical Development Inc. (VDI) has given replacement parts supplier ATP-Inc. the capability to generate illustrated parts lists and catalogs internally, bypassing traditional typesetting and desktop publishing services. According to VDI, the system will also allow ATP to produce literature faster and export data mapped in industry-standard formats.
Founded in 1955, ATP is supplier of automatic transmission parts, exhaust manifolds, heat risers, harmonic balancers, timing covers, cables, flywheels, ring gears, interior vent filters and chemicals, covering vehicles dating back to the 1960s. Their extensive coverage allows ATP to supply rare or hard to find replacement parts to installers.
ATP application guides include exploded view diagrams of more than 40 different transmissions, with call-outs identifying each component and listing the pages on which more information can be found. The complexity of these application guides made catalog production extremely time and labor-intensive, as well as expensive, said the company.
“While we’re a small company, we realized that automating our data was the only solution, so we contracted VDI for the project,” said ATP Vice President of Marketing Bruce Richardson. “Unlike competitive vendors, VDI speaks our language. They know the aftermarket, what an interchange is and which formats are needed for mapping. We are very impressed in their capabilities.”
Using its e-Publisher software, VDI input application records supplied by ATP in various files and formats, consolidating and linking the data to create a single relational database consisting of almost 3,000 part numbers with thousands of applications that cover vehicles dating back to the 1960s. Transmission diagrams are built into the database so that ATP can make future updates without affecting the illustrations. The system also features a unique mapping process allowing files to be exported in industry standard formats such as AAIA and Activant Solutions (formerly CCI/Triad) formats.
E-Publisher has already enabled ATP to produce its 2004 Automatic Transmission Parts Catalog, as well as a catalog for a private label customer. “VDI has the technical know-how to understand our data formats and how to put them together into a single database,” said ATP Catalog Manager Will Colleran. “Thanks to VDI, we’ve cut catalog turnaround time significantly. Plus we can update the data here, without the extra cost, time or chance of error from having an outside service re-enter the information,” he added.
Vertical Development’s unique e-Publisher program is ideally suited to businesses like ATP. By consolidating part numbers from multiple spreadsheets into a single user interface, it enables companies to generate print catalogs, CD-ROMs and other informational tools in-house, easily and economically. Solutions in place range from small 32-page catalogs to 3,000-page mega-catalogs. Their new e-WebCatalog system also allows companies to upload AAIA formatted catalogs onto the Internet, quickly and cost effectively.
To find out more about Vertical Development, go to: www.verticaldev.com .
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