Schlafender Hase & Partner

Schlafender Hase & Partner integrates the Adobe PDF Library into their Text Verification Tool, enabling users to improve the quality and accuracy of their printed materials

Company Profile

Schlafender Hase & Partner provides innovative and user-friendly technologies for internet and intranet communication activities. Thanks to their background in traditional communications in corporate contexts, the company has become a trusted partner for customers from various industries including pharmaceuticals, consumer products and packaging. Schlafender Hase offers a wide-range of communication services, including consulting, concept development, graphics, high-end presentations and individualized merger-related communications. They specialize in providing solutions that are custom-tailored to customer-defined needs, and more recently have started developing packaged software to meet the needs of their growing customer base.

The Text Verification Tool (TVT) is a software application that allows users to compare all of the ‘collateral’ (e.g., advertisements, packaging, marketing communications) against the ‘master’ document from which all the collateral was intended to originate. Specifically, TVT reads all text strings in the collateral document and compares them against text in the master document, highlighting inconsistencies and allowing the user to correct them. This tool helps users ensure that all collateral in a given campaign is consistent with branding and trademark guidelines. TVT employs sophisticated extraction and comparison algorithms, allowing comparison of text regardless of orientation, font, layering, etc.

Challenges Faced

The production steps from original document to layout and finally to print are usually easier done in theory than in practice. Each successive step in the workflow creates the potential for introducing new errors; at the same time, the ability to protect the integrity of the messaging and content of the original document decreases. In many instances, the consequences of these errors can be severe: for example, mistakes in the instructions for dispensing medical products could lead to incorrect dosages, serious health problems and expose the medical product company to significant liability risk.

With legislative authorities as well as regulatory affairs involved every time the pharmaceutical industry launches a new product, Schlafender Hase’s customers needed a reliable tool that would make certain that the new product information guides were 100% accurate when compared to the original document.

Schlafender Hase developed an initial TVT prototype using a third-party PDF tool, but quickly encountered errors and rendering inconsistencies when compared to Adobe Reader®, the de facto standard for PDF. Since quality, accuracy and reliability were of critical importance to the TVT, Schlafender Hase realized that their choice of a toolkit to provide PDF functionality was an important one.

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Success Strategy

Since PDF is the standard and because of the extensive requirements that regulatory agencies and legislative authorities demand, it was obvious for Schlafender Hase to choose the original Adobe PDF Library from Datalogics.

“Deciding to use the Adobe PDF Library API from Datalogics was an important choice for us,” adds Frank Hessler, Managing Director of Programming at Schlafender Hase. “The primary emphasis of TVT is to allow users to improve the quality of their collateral; so it was important that we build the tool upon a quality foundation, one that was the most robust and reliable. This is why we chose the Adobe technology.”

The Adobe PDF Library adds robust PDF text extraction, manipulation and display capabilities to the TVT. It enables the TVT to extract the text of a PDF document, and also allows the TVT to display the document and highlight text as appropriate. The TVT was built to meet the requirements of the global enterprise, supporting several languages and multiple font encodings. All of this functionality is brought together seamlessly in an intuitive interface that is as easy to use as it is powerful.

“In addition to providing the Adobe technology, the service and support we’ve received from Datalogics has been tremendous,” adds Hessler. “We had very unique, specific support requirements that required extensive knowledge of the PDF Library and the Datalogics Support Team has always been knowledgeable, responsive and informative.”

“We feel we’ve made the absolute right technology choice in selecting the Adobe PDF Library from Datalogics.”

Results

“Customers are very happy with the software,” says Willie Schnaubelt, Managing Director of Business Development at Schlafender Hase. “It’s intuitive, easy to use, and is providing tremendous cost- and time-savings in the quality assurance process. One happy customer reported comparative results from the following test: two different reviewers proofed the same document, one proofing manually (the ‘old’ process) and the other proofing with the help of TVT. The manual proof took 240 minutes; the TVT proof took only 30 minutes and found errors the manual proof missed!”

“Another benefit of incorporating technology into the review cycle is that the software does not get ‘tired’ of reading the same document again and again, unlike ‘human eyes’ which tend to skip over sections it has already seen, increasing the possibility of letting errors slip by.”

“Some customers are even figuring out new ways to use the TVT,” adds Schnaubelt. “The EU will soon require that pharmaceutical package information be available in Braille as well as traditionally printed format. How can one verify the Braille version without a tool such as TVT?”

“We’re very pleased with the results of the software so far,” continues Schnaubelt, “and we feel we’ve made the absolute right technology choice in selecting the Adobe PDF Library from Datalogics.”

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