It's rare that I come across anyone who's happy with their catalog production process. If they do it themselves, then they feel they spend too much time on it. If they outsource it, then they feel they spend too much money on it. What's more, outsourcing production of product catalogs has almost always meant giving up control of the content. Once the catalog's done, it's done. Future updates have to wait until the next production run.

The alternative, producing catalogs in-house, can be a highly labor-intensive process. But for those who already have a fairly comprehensive product database, it can make a lot of sense. By designing and maintaining catalogs in-house, they save thousands of dollars they would otherwise have to pay an outsourcer every time they updated the content.

Today, many HVACR distributors and manufacturers are realizing that with the right combination of catalog-designing software and development services, it's possible to get the best of both worlds: the ease of outsourcing and the control and cost savings of in-house catalog production.

Trane and Baker Distributing Co. are just a few of the hundreds of businesses that have already revived or revamped their catalog production processes with Catalog Builder software and catalog services from Computer Pundits Corp.

Over the years, we've worked to develop the HVACR industry's largest catalog-ready database of up-to-date, fully attributed data in combination with the database-driven catalog production capabilities of Catalog Builder software.

For the do-it-yourselfers, Catalog Builder automates the process of designing, populating and managing catalogs in-house. But for those who prefer to have someone else gather and input their catalog content or set up their catalogs, Computer Pundits offers content development and turnkey catalog production services.

The final turnkey catalogs that Computer Pundits delivers really aren't “final” at all. Yes, they're ready for full-color output to paper, PDF, CD-ROM and Web pages, but users can modify pricing, part numbers and so on at any time and output updated full-line and mini catalogs whenever they need them.

That means catalogs are more up-to-date and therefore more useful to the people who use them, from internal product managers and marketing and sales teams to customers, distributors and dealers in the field.

Prashubh Batham is president of Computer Pundits Corp. In an effort to make it easier for HVACR distributors to create comprehensive, user-friendly catalogs, Computer Pundits has worked to develop the industry's largest catalog-ready database of up-to-date, fully attributed data in conjunction with the database-driven catalog production capabilities of Catalog Builder software. Contact him at prashubh@computerpundits.com.