HBM Test and Measurement is the technology and global market leader within its field and offers products and services for an extensive range of measurement applications in many industries. HBM introduced Gelato in Q1 2017 and has achieved significant savings in print costs and by eliminating central storage.

The challenge

HBM is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany and has more than 1,600 employees in 30 countries. The marketing team supports a global salesforce that works with sales and marketing materials.

The sales process for HBM’s complex technology products has fundamentally changed in recent years. More and more important parts of the "Customer Journey" have migrated to the Web, and customers are finding most of their questions are answered online. The sales teams in the different countries are therefore increasingly focused on supporting key customers.

For printed marketing materials, this means that traditional brochures are less relevant and thus seldom shared with potential customers; the backlog of print materials was therefore growing. At the same time, sales people are transitioning into becoming technology consultants that prioritize clients’ specific needs. As a direct result, sales materials can no longer be “one size fits all” but instead need to be tailored to specific customers.

The solution

The centralized marketing team in Darmstadt, Germany started looking for a global solution that would increase efficiency for both marketing and sales teams. The focus was on being able to create tailored marketing materials that would be available on-demand and with minimal effort.

“Gelato is the only solution that has the global footprint that matches our needs. When our sales team meets with a car manufacturer, they can now take the up-to-date case studies or white papers showing our experience in the same industry – rather than an entire catalogue,” says Gilbert Schwartmann, Head of Marketing Communications.

Schwartmann adds: “We provide materials in 12 languages to our in-house customers. This used to create a lot of complexity, which is now solved through Gelato.”

The HBM marketing team now focuses on targeted whitepapers and case studies that can be easily localized using the template functionality that Gelato offers.

Until the introduction of Gelato, HBM printed all materials close to its headquarters and shipped them to local offices as orders came in; amounting considerable costs for shipping and handling of orders. To do this, it ran a central warehouse where it stocked up to 220 different materials, including, at last count, 45,000 brochures. Regional offices would also keep stock, which often meant a stack of materials not 100% tailored for their markets, sitting in a corner with pages yellowing and dust collecting – materials that never made it to the customer.

When on one occasion the team in Sweden received materials in Spanish, it became very clear that a smarter solution was needed to save HBM both time and money.

The result

All marketing material for HBM is now printed locally via Gelato and on-demand only, moving towards the joint vision with Gelato of cutting transportation by 90 percent and print volumes by 50 percent. This has led to a significant reduction in the total cost of printing. Central storage is no longer needed – a fact popular with finance as it also means no more time-consuming stocktaking. While cost reduction was one driver in looking for a new printing solution, Schwartmann highlights: “We’re also seeing huge efficiency gains across all teams and now the right materials get to our customers in time.”

"The local teams – just as our headquarters – immediately saw the benefits of such a transparent solution. I heard: “Why did I not come up with this idea” more than any other comment as we rolled Gelato out in 25 markets.”

HBM map

Real benefits for HBM

  • Local printing to accommodate global footprint with maintained brand control
  • Tailored marketing materials available on-demand and with minimal effort
  • Significant reduction in Total Cost of Printing - moving towards the joint vision with Gelato of cutting transportation by 90 percent and print volumes by 50 percent
  • Improved productivity across all teams