Can Price Style in AutoPrice Update Automatically?

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

AutoPrice Technical Support FAQ

I have a Price Style applied to a placeholder in AutoPrice, but it is not styling the price when it updates the document. Am I doing something wrong?

AutoPrice is strict on interpreting prices in the fields of the database. The format it looks for is digits/radix/digits (example:000.00).  In order for it to see and style a price, the data field must match that format. The first thing to do is check that the field contains only the expected data; if there are any other characters before or following the price in  that field, then AutoPrice may just think that it is regular text-data.

AutoPrice Automates Catalog Production For Dultmeier Sales!

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AutoPrice, Testimonial 

Dultmeier Sales, LLC located in Omaha, Nebraska has been a distributor and supplier to the Car & Truck Wash industries for over 25 years, and a supplier of equipment to Industrial and Agri-Business customers for over 75 years. They are a small company with 70 employees and two locations, serving the Great Plains market in the U.S.

Dultmeier prides itself on attention to customer service. In fact their company motto is “To have the products and supplies you need, when you need them and to get them to you in a fast and courteous manner.”  Their customers know that they come first, and as a result Dultmeier enjoys a very loyal customer base.

Following is a short interview with Rich Long, Advertising Manager for Dultmeier Sales, discusing how AutoPrice software has helped meet their business challenges, resulting in increased profits and expanded business opportunities.  Rich states that, “AutoPrice has been a godsend!”  We produce four catalogs per year with over 400 pages each, representing 75,000 different products.”

What business challenges have you faced in the catalog production market?

Our catalog production department uses Adobe InDesign on Macintosh computers for layout work.  Our biggest challenge was how to efficiently price our catalogs.  Prior to AutoPrice, it took eight salespeople, two catalog production people, and about four weeks to price and proof just one catalog!

Before implementing AutoPrice, we had numerous discussions with our programmers on how to automate the pricing process of our catalogs. Their answer was always the same, “since our descriptions and pricing are not uniform, it is virtually impossible to do.” It was even suggested that we redo all of the pricing and part numbers in the catalogs to conform with a table format that InDesign could handle. Then, we were told, a program could be written that would transfer pricing from our mainframe to the catalog pages. However restricting the catalog layouts to the InDesign table format would not have allowed us the flexibility requires to design our pages.

Why did you choose AutoPrice to be a part of your catalog service offering?

I spoke to Meadows Publishing Solutions regarding their AutoPrice catalog software. Our Meadows representative explained that the AutoPrice solution was already fully integrated with InDesign.  Implementing it would completely automate our price updates accurately and efficiently while still allowing for complete flexibility in designing our pages.  He was right! After reviewing the AutoPrice software demonstration, we were convinced that it was the solution we had been seeking.

What were the results of your AutoPrice integration?

We easily integrated AutoPrice into our existing InDesign catalog pages. After receiving pricing from our mainframe we run the AutoPrice batch system. The built-in reporting feature provides immediate feedback, flagging any errors or missing data that it may encounter.  The only errors we find are ones attributed to human error and improper tagging, and not from the AutoPrice pricing procedures.  I can now price one of my 400 page catalogs in about 25 minutes instead of the three and a half weeks that it took previously.

New Features in DesignMerge for Adobe InDesign!

July 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

The recent release of DesignMerge Pro v3.10, v4.10, and v5.10 software for Adobe InDesign introduces many new features that will help you deliver the best in your variable data printing jobs. Following is a quick overview of some of these new features which we  know you will enjoy using in your VDP jobs:

* MPS Group Picture module + the DesignMerge GroupPicture Link Type

The new MPS GroupPicture module and DesignMerge GroupPicture Link Type let you save InDesign groups of content for quick re-use and also to merge these groups as variables in your VDP jobs.

* Consecutive Numbering Utility + Consecutive Number Keyword Variable Link

These two new features make it easy to include a consecutive number in your printing jobs, regardless whether your VDP job includes other variable content.

* New Variable Picture Position Options

The latest version of DesignMerge for Adobe InDesign introduces new Variable Picture Position options, giving you even more control over the position and size of any VDP job’s variable pictures.

* MPS Scripting and MPS Print Automation optional modules

With the addition of these two new optional modules for the latest version of DesignMerge for InDesign, you can automate your VDP jobs. Also, when the MPS Scripting module is present, any type of DesignMerge Rule can launch external scripts, allowing your VDP jobs to achieve an even higher level of custom results.

* Master Page Variables

By being able to place both fixed and variable content on Master Pages that a Page Rule applies while merging, you can now set up a document to swap any of the content, both fixed and variable, that will appear on a page when the document is merged.

* MPS Tags

MPS Tags are a custom set of easy style tags that can be included in text files which the new MPS Tags Utility can process when importing the file, or embedded in data for Variable Links to provide pinpoint, character-to-character control over the styling of the text when DesignMerge merges that data into a Variable Text Link.

* MPS Tags Converter Utility

This new feature helps you retain DesignMerge Text Links when converting InDesign documents to a format that does not support DesignMerge Text Links (for example, the INX InDesign Interchange format or the IDML InDesign Markup format).

For more information on these new features, please see the DesignMerge v3.10/v4.1o/v5.10 Release Notes, available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder that the installer places in your Macintosh Applications or Windows Program Files folder.

C & A Marketing Empowers Their Clients With AutoPrice Expertise

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AutoPrice, General, Testimonial 

C & A Marketing  Corp. is a full-service studio in Elmhurst, IL providing creative and production services to national and multi-national clients for 15 years.  Their specialties include packaging, product manuals, catalogs, photography, retouching, illustration and production consulting. In 2006 C & A took a leap forward in serving their direct-marketing clients by adding catalog database technology to their suite of services.

Following is a short interview with Steve Bailey, Creative Partner for C & A Marketing, discussing how AutoPrice publishing software has helped meet their unique challenges and resulted in increased profits and expanded business opportunities.  Steve states that “With a solution using innovative mix of homegrown content management and AutoPrice catalog publishing software, C & A Marketing has found a profitable balance of supporting catalog production with AutoPrice catalog publishing integration services.”

What business challenges have you faced in the Catalog Production market?

The biggest challenge in catalog production is, quite frankly, making a profit. Catalogers are always looking for faster, lower cost and better. This does not exactly meet the profit goals of an agency where faster means expensive technology and more employees, lower cost means lower margins, and better means hiring top talent. Fortunately C & A Marketing has found a way out of this conundrum.  By offering a catalog solution, rather than simply catalog production, we are able to compete on value, instead of racing for the lowest price. Our clients who purchase catalog solutions find that the service transforms their operations, simplifying their daily business and realizing a net ROI that is greatly in their favor.

For example: A client of ours was entering a new market and needed content collected and published quickly in both print and web channels.  After reviewing their business needs, we determined the best solution was a content portal combined with a method for publishing the content quickly and accurately.

C & A Marketing developed the portal, allowing their client’s 100+ vendors easy access to upload catalog content, images and choice of template. The online portal provides easy status reporting, registrant information and a convenient interface for managing content. Using a combination of proprietary methods, extraordinary service and AutoPrice catalog publishing software, C & A Marketing provided a turnkey solution. The portal provides cross-channel content for both print and web, and has now been in use for five years.

This complete solution includes Content Portal Development, Portal Hosting, Help Desk Support, Content Management, Production Management, Design, Catalog Production and Print Services.

Why did you choose AutoPrice to be a part of your catalog service offering?

AutoPrice catalog publishing software is extremely flexible, and the support from Meadows Publishing Solutions, Inc. is unequaled.  They offer world-class products with service typically reserved for software boutiques.  We were confident that purchasing AutoPrice would mean more than completing our suite of catalog services.  It would allow us to compete as a solution provider rather than just offering standard production services, and we could help clients integrate their own in-house solution.

Whether our client wants to outsource their catalog, or needs help integrating their own solution, C & A Marketing can help.  Our catalog solutions can provide a complete turnkey operation, consulting services for integrating AutoPrice internally, or any combination therein.

What were the results of your AutoPrice integration?

Implementing AutoPrice has improved our service offerings and expanded our business, enabling us to compete as a catalog solution provider rather than a run-of-the-mill production house. Our expanded catalog database capabilities have allowed us to compete with much larger production houses and our linear organization is known for flexibility that others just can not match.

In addition to rounding out our catalog database solutions, we have assisted numerous clients with in-house production departments, in integrating AutoPrice. Our production team has an incredible knowledge base in implementing AutoPrice solutions that empowers our clients with confidence and expertise.