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XC VISION WITH TEMPLATES
We have talked a lot about Templates and how to implement them at XCircular. Let’s understand why Templates are so important in the road map of XC. Before we start let’s set some visionary objectives.
We have decided that XC PIM & DAM is the flagship product of XC, everything else is built on this platform. PIM comes first as it is more difficult to develop and there are only 20 competitors in the market. DAM is secondary because there are over 250 DAM vendors in the market and we think that DAM without PIM is really less than half the solution required.
One thing PIM providers don’t do well is easily sharing product information down the supply channel. XC has some ideas for product showrooms or templates that will facilitate the encapsulation of Product data and assets for reuse and update down the supply channel. This document explains how it could be done in a viral way through usage of templates.
Activate the voice command on your smartphone: “Send ProductX to a Person”.
For example, “Send Product Universal Dimmer to Aviel [or to XCircular Marketing Group]”.
10 years ago such a requirement would have been considered science-fiction, nowadays this seems reasonable. Let’s see what this vision means. A sales person receives a call from a customer to know more about a product or to promote a product. Instead of telling the customer go to the web site and find what you need, or “I’ll get to my office tonight and I’ll send you some info about the product”, a simple voice command does the job.
This requires the following to happen:
⦁ All products information was pre-loaded on XC PIM and DAM system (we can do that)
⦁ App – XC PIM and DAM has a smartphone app that allows searching products
⦁ Voice Activation – Siri (Voice recognition) knows XC app and transfers the command to the app
⦁ Encapsulation – The product information and assets could be encapsulated in one vehicle
⦁ Share – The product vehicle could be emailed or shared via social media, text, link, etc.
I see the encapsulation step #4 as the most critical one along the process and to do that I am proposing templates.
SMART TEMPLATES ENABLING VIRAL DISTRIBUTION
Template definition – An efficient, graphically pleasing design that populates repeatedly input data and media.
Template formats – An HTML format is our format of choice to email, embed and control a template.
We will also continue creating and using InDesign templates for print jobs. We should invest in graphic design to create pretty templates that will excite and inspire customers using them.
The entry Templates should show third after – Items | Assets | Templates – in the top line. When clicking on Templates you see the template library with template types and layouts in sequence.
Template types in the library
⦁ HTML Item Template (aka. Showroom or Showcase) – a product capsule including ALL or select Product data and assets according to customer’s needs. Showroom are used for large items such as cars, and Showcases are used for small items such as a PC mouse. Showcases could be shared down the supply chain.
⦁ HTML Asset Template – an asset capsule including all data associated to an asset, usually unlinked asset.
⦁ InDesign Ad Template – A fixed size InDesign Spot Template including data and assets, creating PDF for print
⦁ HTML Page Template – A full web page in HTML laid out from multiple HTML Ad Templates
⦁ InDesign Page Template – A full print page in InDesign laid out from multiple InDesign Ad Templates
Functions on Templates
⦁ Drag’N Drop – All templates shall enable drag ’N drop of an item or an asset over to them to populate the template.
⦁ Templates List – The left panel showing types of templates and preview of templates underneath (accordion view)
⦁ Lean Encapsulation – The product of each populated template shall be a single lean file including all the data and low-resolution media previews when shown offline. Full resolution assets are downloadable by link to XC PIM & DAM.
⦁ Item Panel = On-the-fly Showcase – Enable showing item data by default according to a library showcase. Display is on the fly populating the showcase template, not copying the item into the template.
⦁ Field Mapping – Templates have own fields that accept input fields values. There shall be a mapping process between input and own fields in the template. This process could be a popup during the dragNdrop.
⦁ Validation rules & output format – Each field in a template shall have validation rules to avoid GIGO (garbage-in, garbage-out). For example Price field accepting fraction or integer input values and displaying in $xx.xx format.
⦁ Version control – all changes to field values shall be stored in the item database for traceability and version control
⦁ Where Used (WU) – sharing destinations of items shall be stored to enable automatic data/asset updates in the future
⦁ Sharing Analytics – We shall report Sharing Counts, Version Changes counts and dates, Where Shared counts per item.
⦁ Auto-update – New/Edit/Delete in item data by the product owner are pushed to all WU’s at preset times (e.g. 12am)
⦁ Owner Account – item’s manufacturers who maintain the item’s data and assets. They push updates downstream.
⦁ Reseller Account – item’s distributor who reuses item’s data and assets; and passes updates to their next resellers.
If Owner account sends showcases to a reseller company, these add by link onto the reseller’s created account.
⦁ Custom Fields and values – A subscribed reseller could modify a showcase’s fields values (e.g. price) and use it. In this case custom values override original values. Updates will still reach the replica showcases when pushed by item owner.
⦁ Delete – are only allowed for replicas, not to owner’s original items, these could only be Discontinued not deleted.
⦁ Design 3 templates of each (6) types using customers’ data, including validation and output formats, linked assets defined.
Develop Templates panel and functionalities. HTML s