Life Fitness are the world’s leading manufacturer of fitness equipment. The company was setup more than 40 years ago when they developed the world’s first piece of electronic fitness equipment. Today they produce over 400 different pieces of fitness kit delivered throughout the world via their extensive network of distributors and sales offices.
Life Fitness had a problem in that various different people in the organisation were producing proposals and tenders. These people varied in their technical skills, there was no central resource for text content and images and the main tool being used was Microsoft word. This meant that there was often a lot of work that was being duplicated as the same content often needed to be used across multiple proposals. There was also a lot of work at the end of the process to ensure that documents produced were consistent. The brief was essentially to develop a system that overcame all these issues.
It was clear from the outset that there was no ‘off the shelf’ solution that would work for this requirement. We produced a system that allowed for ‘master’ content and images to be stored for users to select to use and then modify for their proposal. The system has a custom built editor that shows the user how the document which is output will look, this editor allows them all the functionality required to produce a slick well presented proposal. Once they have completed the production process they simply click a button and it exports the entire document as a PDF for them to print or send on via email.
The system has various user levels allowing some users to only produce tenders and others to modify the ‘master’ content which can be utilised for all proposals. Page numbers and a contents page at the beginning of the document are automatically generated. There are two distinct advantages of the system for Life Fitness; firstly it can be used on any computer with an internet connection – there is no requirement for specialist software and secondly there is no technical or design skill required for document production – all documents are consistent and on-brand.
Since the launch the proposal builder has saved hundreds of hours of time that would have been spent producing the documents in desktop software. After launching in the UK the system was compared against the equivalent software used by Life Fitness’ US office to decide which would be best to be rolled out to the European sales offices. Our system was chosen and is now being used in the UK, the netherlands, spain, italy and germany.
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