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Cavok in E-commerce: Perfect resource management for bicycle component provider


At Paul Lange & Co. OHG in Stuttgart/Germany, everything revolves around cycling – the company has been distributing everything a cyclist desires for well over 50 years, from bicycle components to accessories, clothing, and bicycle electronics. With its nearly 900 employees across Europe, Paul Lange is considered one of the leading companies in the European bicycle industry. Since 1967, Paul Lange has also been the general representative of the Japanese component manufacturer Shimano. 

When it comes to distributing its products, the trading company primarily relies on its own webshop, which offers extensive digital material such as product images, videos, catalogues, and promotional images. This allows customers to get a precise idea of the products before actually making a purchase decision. The extensive digital material, which is used not only for the customer portal but also for the website and social media channels, naturally requires management.

The world at Paul Lange before Cavok – from a self-built solution to Cavok 

Long before the introduction of Cavok at Paul Lange, it was clear that such a flood of digital images and videos could not be managed manually, especially since customer inquiries are almost always time-critical. For years, the company managed its customer portal for product images with a do-it-yourself solution, which uploaded a defined folder structure overnight and created a search filter from an export of the internal Medapro enterprise resource planning system. However, with the company's growth, it became apparent that this solution was not practical and efficient in the long run, not only because of the cumbersome search function and frequent file download failures. Due to time constraints, it is simply not feasible in everyday work to download each image individually. Additionally, the requirements for image rights had changed in the meantime. For example, it must now be traceable where an image comes from, who owns the rights, who downloads which image internally or externally, and this information should be marked.

Initially, the company's desire was to alleviate the situation with a professional but cost-effective image database solution. However, during research, the in-house photographer found that particularly inexpensive solutions would require too much manual work, and also additional internal wishes for further features arose during the research process. Although Paul Lange is a medium-sized company, the requirements and guidelines are just as high as those of large corporations. Among them were requirements that were purely specific to Paul Lange and could not have been covered by an off-the-shelf solution.

After obtaining several offers and some product presentations, the choice ultimately fell on the DAM system Cavok, which offered by far the best functionalities for the existing needs in the company. The PEAK-14 GmbH, the company behind Cavok, convinced with a complete package that covers the entire requirement catalogue of Paul Lange. A requirement of the in-house IT department was also a solution without a cloud. However, most competitors simply do not offer such solutions. Cavok, on the other hand, offers an on-premise solution, i.e., the option to store the data on the company's own internal server rather than in a cloud, and finally PEAK-14 won the contract.

How Cavok manages the data overload at Paul Lange

By the end of 2022, Cavok was installed at Paul Lange and, following an introductory phase involving customizations, data migration, and maintenance, it was launched as an online download portal for customers in March 2023. Cavok streamlines daily operations by automating workflows, centrally storing data, and avoiding duplicates. Its architecture allows it to access the web shop or customer portal via the Medapro enterprise resource planning system, making it the central management hub for all digital assets in the company.

At Paul Lange, Cavok is utilized as a download portal by over 2500 customers who were integrated into the system during the implementation process. A one-time initial registration is required for use. By November 2023, 2,000 of these registrations had already been completed, with customers using the portal on a regular basis. Nearly 3,000 downloads of assets were recorded in the first two months after the launch. Approximately 80 percent of the downloaded assets are product images, while the remaining 20 percent consist of product videos and other assets such as catalogues, promotional images, or event photos.

Product images at Paul Lange are now equipped with metadata and regularly updated to reflect the latest information: the respective article number or product name is automatically transferred from the enterprise resource planning system to Cavok on a weekly basis. Keywords associated with the article, such as model year or product category, are automatically inserted into predetermined fields in the metadata of the corresponding product images in Cavok and made available for download.

External and internal users are happy with their daily work

For customers searching products in the shop has become much easier, as Cavok now outputs the requested article numbers all at once. However, internal tagging is still not available for image files, videos, and PDF documents. However, demand for these files is low anyway, as indicated by the percentages mentioned above. For instance, only slightly more than 20 downloads of catalogues in PDF format were made between March and November 2023. Product videos are directly linked with Cavok; after inserting the link in the Medapro enterprise resource planning system, the link is displayed directly below the respective product images in the web shop and can be played in any browser from there. This process has replaced the previous YouTube solution.

However, at Paul Lange, Cavok is not only used to provide image data for download in various formats such as .jpg, .tiff, or Adobe formats, or product videos for the online shop for customers. Internally, assets are also used by a total of 16 individuals, with 12 individuals working in brand management primarily using the assets for storage. They also provide content to customers or use the assets for presentations. In marketing, Cavok is used by three graphic designers and one staff member responsible for data maintenance. Since the introduction of Cavok, data exchange within the graphics team has been seamless, strengthening teamwork. The goal is to introduce more departments and employees to Cavok and to change internally entrenched processes.

"This is a truley comprehensive solution."

Marion Glaser, in-house photographer at Paul Lange

A resounding success

Both the in-house photographer and her colleagues are very happy with Cavok and provide positive feedback. Marion Glaser, internal photographer at Paul Lange emphasizes: "The system runs smoothly, and the interface is user-friendly, which is well-received by us. The standard interface is dark, but some also use the light version. Support from PEAK-14 is only needed when someone in the company has an idea for a new feature to add or automate. In case of need, I require a timely solution, with emphasis on timely and solution. Both are provided by PEAK-14; we receive fast and professional support whenever needed. The collaboration is always open and constructive, making it a truly comprehensive solution."

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