Johnstone Supply Owner taps Catalog Builder® software to customize marketing material for local markets
Catalog Builder® software is key to success of supply catalog

(2006 June 06) -- Johnstone Supply is the leading cooperative HVAC/R distributor in the country, with over 130 members and 300 independently owned stores throughout the United States, Guam and South Korea. These owners enjoy the advantages of being part of a nationally advertised and serviced cooperative while preserving the local individuality of their community-based stores.

Challenge

The Johnstone Supply print and online catalogs feature over 25,000 parts and supplies in addition to heating and cooling equipment. The catalog is a tremendous value to the members of the co-op who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to produce such a high quality catalog. However, many stores carry additional non-Johnstone lines to service niche markets in their area. Consequently, many stores supplement the national catalog with local spreadsheets, manufacturer catalogs and handouts.

In the past, several members have expressed interest in finding a way to incorporate these supplemental materials into a professional-looking catalog they could give to customers. One owner, with 12 stores in Washington, Oregon and northern California, heard about Catalog Builder® and asked the corporate Advertising department if they could help put together a special Installation Supplies catalog.

Solution

“They’d already done some research before they came to me with this project,” stated Linda Farrington, Advertising Manager. “They gave me a Catalog Builder® brochure and said ‘this looks like what we need’.” Farrington realized this would be a great opportunity to test the waters with an outside vendor, since many owners don’t have the time or resources needed to produce these materials locally. She determined that the two most important criteria for a catalog design system were 1) the software must be easy to use, and 2) the vendor must be easy to work with.

Catalog Builder® fits on both accounts . Catalog Builder® is a catalog design and management software system from Minnesota-based Computer Pundits Corporation. It automates the process of producing catalogs that can be output in multiple formats including print, Adobe PDF files, and interactive CD-ROM. It can import data from just about any database or spreadsheet application and format it with its extensive, but user-friendly layout options.

“The software is straightforward and simple to use,” stated Farrington. And is Computer Pundits easy to work with? “Absolutely. Our Account Manager, Bob Metzger, was great to work with and Computer Pundits met or exceeded every deadline we set.”

Benefits

With its intuitive user interface and built-in layout templates, Catalog Builder® keeps production costs and labor to a minimum and provides a means for maintaining a consistent level of catalog quality throughout the stores, regardless of the quality of data provided.

It can also be a great tool for simplifying the order process. In the case of the west coast based Owner group, they customized their catalog with their own unique order numbers. to make it easier for customers to place orders and for the stores to take orders.

Farrington believes these specialty catalogs could become a great tool for demonstrating both local attention to niche markets and the national strength that comes from being part of the Johnstone Supply cooperative.

About Johnstone Supply

With over 300 locally owned and operated stores nationwide, supported by three regional distribution centers, Johnstone Supply provides brand name products, expert technical knowledge and superior customer service to the HVAC/R industry.

For more information about Johnstone Supply, visit them online at www.johnstonesupply.com .

About Computer Pundits

Computer Pundits Corporation supplies catalog software and services to the HVAC market and has amassed the largest HVAC industry parts database available. With its Catalog Builder® software suite, Computer Pundits Corporation is revolutionizing the business to business cataloging industry and saving companies around the world thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars over traditional catalog production methods.

For more information about Catalog Builder® or Computer Pundits Corporation, call 952-854-2422 or visit http://catalogbuilder.com/.