An interview with Brian Hayes of Cannondale Sports Unlimited
1. What groups within Cycling Sports are currently using Widen’s DAM system?
All of them are using it. It’s mainly focused on our IBD product. We’re divided between Cycling Sports and Pacific Cycles. Cycling Sports manages the Independent Bike Dealers (IBD), which are the more premium products. They’re sold in the local Nike shop, REI and other high-end retailers. Pacific Cycle team does some of that product for Schwinn and Mongoose, but their business is done primarily through mass market, so in places like Target, Walmart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. I don’t think the DAM is used so much for mass, because there is no creative or photo shoots there. All photo shoots are done for the IBD line and then leveraged out to mass market. SUGOI, Cannondale and GT are all handled through the Widen DAM system.
2. What are the main uses for your DAM system today?
We put final assets like photos and images in the DAM system and then they’re repurposed across IBD. We’re starting to push how we manage images right now, though. While ads and ad templates go in the DAM system, in-progress work is also going in there now, too. That’s in addition to the final assets. We store final products that need to be shared out to dealers and our internal teams.
An example: Every year we do a new line of bikes. We do a photo shoot that gets repurposed across IBD sites, consumer sites, and dealer sites. All photos are taken in Taiwan and then uploaded to DAM. Then, they go through cropping, retouching, sizing, and such and are made available to any one of those three teams (consumer, internal, and dealers).
3. With Dorel as the owner of Cycling Sports, and Pacific Cycle and SUGOI as two divisions of Cycling Sports, you have to manage the assets related to multiple brands. Can you talk about how DAM helps deliver consistency in your brand communications?
At the top is Dorel. Dorel has 3 segments – we’ve actually renamed ours to Cannondale Sports Unlimited. Under that, there are Cycling Sports Group, Pacific Cycle, SUGOI, and Caloi (based in Brazil). Caloi is one of the largest bike manufacturers in Brazil.
For Dorel, there’s one person internally on the creative team who handles everything – she makes sure that images and files get uploaded and tagged correctly and she is the funnel that all digital assets come through (coming in and going out). We have benefited from a ton of efficiencies doing it this way. Everyone knows they should access the DAM, but it took some time. It was a slow progression of communication to all stakeholders about this. It took some time to get all of our files in there and in a way that people could logically find stuff. During that period of time, people became acclimated to going to the DAM system to get what they need.
We have our system segmented by brand, and within each brand the assets are categorized by product, then photography and then creative. If I’m with SUGOI or Pacific Cycle or any one of our brands, I can easily find what I need and get it quickly.
4. How are your external groups using the DAM system? How much access do they have?
Our internal point person funnels the information out to IBDs. Some Independent Dealers have access and some ask us for the items they need. We haven’t implemented Single Sign-On (SSO) yet, but we will in the future, which should help create a more seamless experience for IBDs to access the DAM system. We have quite a few IBDs – North America alone is approximately 5,000 people.
We use the DAM system frequently with our creative agencies. We bundle assets for them to use for their projects. The agencies we work with more often can go into the DAM system and pull what they need for their projects whenever they need something.
5. How is DAM of most value to your brand and business?
I would say that the ability to easily find and manage all of our photo and creative assets is a big deal. From a workflow standpoint, it’s beneficial for our agencies because we sign them up and they can just go find what they need and use it. Our internal point person siphons all of our assets before they go into the DAM system, so agencies know that whatever is in the DAM system is already approved for their use.