- 1 About The Client
- 2 About the Project
- 3 The Project Requirements
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 What the client had to say…
About The Client
ICS Cool Energy is an international business that manufactures and maintains cooling and heating solutions for a wide range of businesses where heating and cooling is required for that business to operate. They look after a wide range of industries, including food manufacture, plastics and rubber manufacture, engineering, pharmaceutical, scientific laboratories and leisure industries.
About the Project
The ICS Cool Energy marketing team came up with the idea for a bespoke PDF brochure system. The idea behind this system is to make it easy for a sales rep to log in, choose a range of products, add some client details and generate a PDF document that includes product summaries, product photographs, and technical specifications that any given client might be interested in.
This tool is designed to improve the sales process by creating a personalised and professional document to help the sales process and conversation with prospects.
The Project Requirements
- 1. Create an easy-to-use branded business portal for sales reps to log in, where they can add their contact details, select some products and then generate a branded PDF brochure within seconds.
- 2. Create an API for their main website to collect images, category descriptions and technical specification information from all product pages to be used in brochures.
- 3. …and then implement all this in 4 different languages! (English, French, Dutch and German).
Requirement 1 – Creating a branded business portal to generate PDF brochures
The core part of the project was to create an ICS Cool Energy-branded portal where the team can generate a professional branded PDF brochure of the products that they select.
Firstly, once logged in, the team member can update their contact details on their profile page. These details are used in the generated PDF document.
By creating a separate profile page for this information, the team member doesn’t need to re-enter their details each time they create a new brochure. Their details are saved on the system. Their details include their name, email address, contact number, job title and profile photo.
Then the team member can choose the product range and products that they want to appear in the brochure using a simple web form.
Then behind the scenes, we have created some sophisticated PDF generation code that pulls in text, HTML, images and some PDF templates provided by the ICS Cool Energy team.
Requirement 2 – Creating an API for their main website to access technical data
Product information, specification details and product details are kept on the ICS Cool Energy main website as a single point of reference. By creating an API to access this data, we avoided the need for ICS to maintain a second database of data on the portal.
(Where possible, you don’t want to maintain the same data in two places, as discrepancies are likely to occur.)
The API that we created was able to blend data from several locations (including a menu, product pages, specifications data as well as the translated product text) into a single reference that the portal could fetch when needed. And thanks to some simple caching, the portal is able to fetch information from the portal very quickly (even when requesting a large block of data).
Requirement 3 – Providing multi-lingual support for the generated brochures
ICS Cool Energy has teams in 9 countries over 21 locations. Their teams speak English, French, Dutch and German. To ensure all sales teams in all regions can use the tool, we were tasked with adding the capability for generating a PDF in any of the 4 languages.
Since the core technical and product information for their products are already translated on the main website, we extended the API to provide the translated product information to the portal. Then we extended the PDF Tool so that it could generate a brochure in any of the selected languages. That means that all of the following are translated:
- The initial and final pages
- The table of contents
- The product information pages
- The product specification pages
- The page footers
This project blends a business portal, with our PDF generation technology, along with a bespoke API. From a technical perspective, it’s been a fun challenge. From a client perspective, ICS Cool Energy are delighted and have found that their sales teams excitedly wanting to adopt the new capability.
What the client had to say…
Having worked with Dan on previous projects, he was top of mind when we had the idea for an 'online brochure builder'. Our intention was to invest in the creation of a tool which would elevate the sales process and allow sales teams to build bespoke, personalised PDF brochures for clients on the fly, utilising existing content published on our website.
Since launching the tool for one region, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve been inundated with requests to launch to wider regional teams too.
The potential ROI from this project is exceptional, not only in the time saving benefits realised by the sales teams, but also in the heightened conversion rates we're already starting to experience from the ability to deliver personalised, bespoke brochures, specific to client and project needs.