Wilkhahn: PIM provides product data from SAP and OFML for marketing purposes

About Wilkhahn

With high-quality office and conference furniture that set standards for an entire industry, Wilkhahn stands for "Design made in Germany" unlike virtually any other German furniture manufacturer.
For decades, the company has been committed to the goal of combining better utility value, long-lasting design and durability. Wilkhahn is best known for office chair classics that have shaped the way offices have evolved. The latest examples of their groundbreaking innovations are the three-dimensionally movable office chairs ON and IN, which leading experts currently consider the world’s best office cha

Wilkhahn Produktionshallen entworfen von Thomas Herzog

Wilkhahn production halls designed by Thomas Herzog


As a manufacturer of high-quality, individual furniture, Wilkhahn relies on software-supported planning and control of production processes. Like many companies of the successful German SME sector, they rely on SAP – especially for configurable product variants (Variant Configuration). Every Wilkhahn model with its usually wide variety of specifications and the required parts lists are available in the company's ERP system. In addition, there is photographic material as well as various 3D graphic data necessary for the project planning of interior designers or architect.

Wilkhahn ist bekannt für seine Büromöbelklassiker

Wilkhahn is known for its office furniture classics.

Requirement: one holistic solution instead of many parts

When looking at the situation from a holistic perspective, it became apparent that each of the existing data pools, considered separately, was extensive. However, there was no connection between the individual databases, files and systems.  If someone had to create product information for a certain product, they had to manually merge all the bits of information from these individual areas. The IT department realized that the individual sources of information could be linked via a professional Product Information Management System. This would make it possible to establish the missing link between the SAP variant configuration, the image data pool and the 3D data, and to automatically create product-related information such as product price lists.

Better product data for all channels

The goal of being able to publish better product data should be achieved at Wilkhahn by implementing the following functions and processes:

  • Transfer and consolidation of product data from the source systems (SAP, OFML database, DAM)
  • Data Quality Management (DQM), in particular for product-related texts
  • Translations by synchronization via XML
  • Multi-channel marketing from a single data source
  • Extensive automation of the output of product information in price lists and on websites
  • Use product data with many variants directly for eCommerce

Wilkhahns konfigurerbare Konferenzstühle

Wilkhahn's configurable conference chairs

Implementation: the PIM system puts the puzzle together

In an intensive selection process, Wilkhahn decided to use Alterra PIM as the new central data hub for product information.Key arguments for Alterra were the software's way to handle complex configurable products, but also the competence of the project team in taking into account industry-specific features such as the import and handling of data in OFML (Office Furniture Modelling Language) format. At Wilkhahn, Alterra was to combine and optimize SAP price data, OFML data, 3D data, 2D data, and also multilingual product-related texts on one platform.




Wilkhahns Preisliste kommt aus dem PIM System

Wilkhahn's price list as it comes from the PIM system

Conclusion: measurable success with PIM

The success of the project is measurable: Data that was previously maintained individually for each output channel with no consideration of their relation to other areas can now be combined and transferred in a differentiated way. The OFML database previously only used in special, manufacturer-specific applications is now the basis for the output of a large number of price lists use in an international context. In the future, this database can also be used, for instance, for 3D product configuration via Sepia WebCatalog. Michael Siekmeier (Head of IT at Wilkhahn): “The accuracy of the presentation of the new product documentation is impressive. Especially when you consider the enormous variety of our models. I am particularly pleased that we finally have access to our OFML data via PIM and can use it for many different purposes". handling of data in OFML (Office Furniture Modelling Language) format.  At Wilkhahn, Alterra was to combine and optimize SAP price data, OFML data, 3D data, 2D data, and also multilingual product-related texts on one platform.



3D-Produktkonfiguration ist bei Wilkhahn zukünftig auch über Alterra möglich


3D product configuration at Wilkhahn: in the future, also be possible via Alterra

With the clearly structured database now ensured by Alterra PIM, Wilkhahn is ideally positioned for current and future challenges in marketing and sales.  Against the background of an increasing digitalization, Wilkhahn will in future be able to configure, display and distribute product data with no limitations.

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