Founded in 1896, Gaylord Archival is the leading supplier of library supplies, furniture and archival products. They offer thousands of high-quality products to manage, preserve and display collections. Kate Akasha is their e-commerce marketing manager. She is also the global admin for Gaylord’s Widen CollectiveⓇ digital asset management software solution, and has with a wealth of experience and stories to share about how a digital asset management (DAM) system transformed their workflows.
Gaylord had many of the standard pain points that lead people to a DAM solution: assets scattered all over, no way to search, no filenaming structure, no backup, etc. You quickly see how they resorted to humor in order to ease the pain of searching for assets, especially when Kate describes their use of “epic binders” to house contact sheets of all their assets. They had over 21,000 products with over 250,000 variations, so trying to keep it all straight was maddening.
Implementing the Widen Collective brought on a whole new perspective on how they can use their assets. They expanded their use, and they expanded access to other departments and teams, other end users and other external partners. Metadata allows them to sort and filter search results in very convenient ways. Kate states that it is a whole new world in terms of searchability and brand consistency.
Gaylord sells all of its products through hybris, an e-commerce platform. It is an essential tool for their business. Through an integration with the Widen Collective, hybris pulls all images from the DAM system, which is the marketing command center for their images. If there is a change to an image, it is changed one time in the Widen Collective, and that change is automatically updated on all of the web pages that use it.
The implementation process for any system can be intimidating, especially on an e-commerce platform. The fact that Gaylord was attempting to implement two systems (both the hybris e-commerce system and the Widen Collective) showed their commitment to restructuring their entire digital media workflow. Most organizations that simultaneously implement two systems would be brought to their knees with resource strain, but as Kate states, the Widen Collective implementation process was really painless and could have been completed within a couple weeks had they not been bogged down with the e-commerce platform.
Ease of use is a critical factor with systems that have casual end users. It is one thing to be able to train admin users that are in the system constantly, but for the casual end user, it has to be intuitive and work the way you want it to work or they will abandon the system. Kate notes that even the admin side of Widen’s system is easy to use, allowing them to make significant changes and updates without involving a technical person.
Kate gives Widen the ultimate compliment by giving us complete trust, which, unfortunately, she has not had with her other software vendors. The complete and quick service she has received from every Widen touch point allows her to recommend Widen without hesitation.
We’re honored Kate sees Widen and the Widen Collective as a trusted partner and team member. We work hard to earn her trust and are very fortunate to have a great DAMster like her as a member of our family of brands using the Widen Collective.