ALMA LITTERA GROUP – PIM SOLUTION

Alma Littera Group is the largest publishing group in the Baltics, connecting Alma Littera and Šviesa publishing houses, Pegasas network of bookshops and e-bookstore Knygų Klubas. For over 30 years Alma Littera has been a major publishing house in Lithuania with specialization in a wide range of both local and foreign literature: textbooks, science, books for children, fiction, non-fiction, research and other publications.

Challenge

Alma Littera owns and operates a variety of publishing-related companies. This means that the AL Group has to manage tens of thousands of products, attributes, information channels, warehouses and so on.

The main task for Adeo Web in this case was to create an efficient way to manage all product information across different databases, channels, vendors and online systems.

The key challenges presented by AL Group included:
– A need for a unified information management system
– Connect and integrate all information channels
– Integrate PIM with Magento eCommerce system
– Create a single platform to control all product information across the board

Solution

In our experience the best solution for this challenge was to implement the Akeneo Community Edition – an open-source product information management (PIM) solution. In the next steps we worked to connect and integrate all required information channels; automate and optimize as much of the information management process as possible, while also improving the ways that end-users (AL Group staff) could upload, edit and make use of the information in various forms.

Unified data management. Now the client has a single unified database, where all data is transferred directly from their ERP, via integration with SAP. Akeneo works best as a centralized database to collect, process and distribute all product information.

One-stop for all product information. AL Group staff no longer need to go through various channels to add, edit or manage product information. After all product information is imported to Akeneo, they have a single platform to add all required images, annotations and attributes to each product. Most accounting systems are not well-suited to manage information across multiple channels, multiple companies and multiple teams. Akeneo is perfect for this.

Exporting information directly to other companies and sales channels. After all product information is imported, processed and ready to be distributed, that’s when Akeneo shines the brightest. There is no need for the AL Group team to export, send and import Excel spreadsheets or CSV files. By implementing the right integrations, most of these processes are not only automated, but take only a couple of seconds to complete. And since Akeneo platform has a very refined API, the integrations are easier to implement and maintain as well.

Custom functionality. The client had some specific needs that required minor customization, such as:
– Gallery and adding images to product cards. The client wanted to have more control over which images are enabled/disabled, set a specific image as the product cover and so on.
– Now users can add assets and assign their attribution: which image will be the cover, which one will be the published image, etc. Users can also add alternative text or upload the whole product image gallery and have it exported automatically to other channels (such as Magento).
– Adding custom attributes with personalities. For example, each book has specific authors, publishing houses, illustrators – all of these custom attributes can now be assigned to the product.
– Product prices and stock levels are imported from SAP to Akeneo via API, while products are imported via XML – the client wanted to import information in specific ways, that would be easier for them to both integrate and manage later on.

Result

The result of Akeneo PIM implementation for AL Group – a centralized product information database and unified system that can be used by all companies in the client’s group. This means that there is no need to continue integrating multiple systems both internally and externally – the product information management system is adapted across the board.

Post-release development

After the initial implementation and release of Akeneo solution for AL Group we have continued further development of the product information management system:
– Integrated additional channels (currently 5 channels – more can be added easily, without any development)
– Improved the availability of the system for more users across different channels
– Created functionality for access limitations and permissions for specific data sets
– Automated personality import from SAP to Akeneo
– Easier configuration for additional channel creations, integrations, exports/imports