Alterra PIM-System and RealObjects PDFreactor

The Hamburg-based company Market Grounds develops and markets high-quality food products related to coffee. The wide range of products includes beverages, gourmet food, and confectionery as well as the corresponding packaging, appliances, and accessories. In addition to a number of exclusively distributed internationally known brands, Market Grounds also sell products from their own development and production worldwide. Customers include international coffee roasters, coffee shops, bakeries, delicatessens, hotels, convenience stores, and also food retailers.

Food catalog fully automated with RealObjects PDFreactor and Alterra PIM

Food catalog fully automated with RealObjects PDFreactor and Alterra PIM

Before: Many “data pots” and manually created documents

In order to keep customers up to date with the current range of products, Market Grounds must be able to create product information and price lists with focus on their different target groups. In the past, Market Grounds maintained various data repositories for this purpose, each of which was specifically specialized for its output medium. It is easy to imagine that data maintenance alone, not to mention the creation of a catalog for a certain product range, for example, would involve an immense amount of work. Creating a product catalog using a desktop graphics application could mean months of production time.

Food distribution simply better with Alterra PIM as data hub

To reduce production times for the different output channels and to get the effort required for data maintenance under control, the company decided to integrate Alterra PIM as a central product data store for all marketing and sales-relevant product information (texts, product features, image data, videos and much more). This led to a simple, lean and central data management and enabled the company to maintain and enrich its information according to different target groups. Thanks to the integration with Sage ERP, all relevant business data can now be synchronized across all channels.

Easy-to-operate user interface in Alterra PIM

Easy-to-operate user interface in Alterra PIM

Special requirements for printed documents

In addition to digital information from the webshop system and product websites, a heterogeneous customer base requires exactly the right printable documents – if possible, generated fully automatically in the highest quality. Market Grounds customers must have their data at hand at all times to be able to order or reorder quickly and easily. For this purpose, it is particularly important to deliver documents that are always up to date. An outdated catalog would mean less sales.

Printed documents with different templates and product subsets for each target group

Printed documents with different templates and product subsets for each target group

Bypass media breaks completely with PIM and RealObjects PDFreactor

The particular advantage of using an HTML and CSS-based print solution such as RealObjects PDFreactor is that the same data set can be seamlessly used both for web output and printed output. In the simplest case, only one print-optimized stylesheet has to be created for publishing information on the website and concurrently offering it as PDF document. In Market Grounds’ most demanding case, the set-up is, of course, not quite so simple, as the following criteria must also be fulfilled:

  • different depth of information in print and web (print = shorter)
  • different information per target group
  • different layouts per product group and per product
  • automatic generation of a table of contents with page numbers for print
  • automatic generation of info buttons for easy finding of special product highlights

Fully automated food catalog with RealObjects PDFreactor and Alterra PIM

Fully automated food catalog with RealObjects PDFreactor and Alterra PIM

These criteria are fulfilled by storing or calculating all product information in PIM with differentiation by target channel and by matching the template generation exactly to the data structures. If the system fulfills all criteria, as is the case with Market grounds, there is nothing to prevent the generation of even more complex catalogs at the push of a button. The catalog is then generated directly in the Alterra PIM system via a PIM extension.

ERP, website, shop and printing run synchronously

For Marketgrounds Alterra::PIM works as the central data-wheel between Sage ERP and Shopware 6. Additionally the sales department gets high end print catalogs - automatically generated by PDF-Reactor.




Market Grounds use a high-resolution PDF (DIN A4 with control marks, high-resolution images and CMYK color space compatibility) for printing. For downloads and electronic distribution, the catalogs –which are approx. 250 pages strong – are offered in a compressed PDF format. Within the document, each product is connected to the Market Grounds B2B shop via DataMatrix code.

Special features of the RealObjects PDFreactor in this project:

  • Table of contents
  • Multi-column layout
  • CSS transformations
  • Print control marks
  • CMYK colors
  • Cross-references

Table of contents automatically created with RealObjects PDFreactor and Alterra PIM


Alterra PIM combined with RealObjects PDFreactor opens up new ways to build an uncomplicated, lean and fast print automation system – 100% supporting a modern digital strategy. Alterra PIM improves your product data and target channel accuracy; RealObjects PDFreactor is the professional tool for the best possible PDF output. With this state-of-the-art solution, which is quickly implemented and easy to use, your company will reach another milestone on the road to digitalization.

Market Grounds catalogs as PDF for download: “Taste” catalog “Trend” catalog


Sepia GmbH & Co. KG

Ernst-Gnoss-Strasse 22
D-40219 Düsseldorf  - Germany

Phone: +49 211 51 419 75

Phone alternative: +49 211 74 958 712 0


Looking for consultation or a web demo?
Get it here.