A challenge that many global companies face today is managing the large number of files they create in different locations around the world. This may not sound like a big hindrance, but trying to manage files without a DAM solution can eat up valuable resources like time and money that can be better used elsewhere.
I recently interviewed one of Widen’s manufacturing customers to talk about why they implemented a DAM solution and how they successfully on-boarded users of the solution, despite the distance between their regions.
Here’s what they had to say!
1. How long have you been a Widen DAM user?
We have used the Widen DAM since January 2013.
2. What were the key objectives your company was trying to accomplish with digital asset management?
We are a large global company with about 100,000 products. Our Marketing Communications organization has locations in the US, Europe and Asia, so trying to coordinate assets globally was a real challenge. We had individual drives with images in every region and would have to email back and forth to find images.
We wanted a DAM system to help us do the following:
- Save time and money creating new assets (be more efficient)
- Help us track down assets across many locations
- Provide availability to outside providers (designers, agencies, etc.)
- Assure global consistency in our communications
3. Have your objectives grown or changed since you implemented a year ago?
To some degree they have. The original intention was to provide access to the DAM system to those within our marketing organization. But, we've identified opportunities to share assets with others within the organization, too.
There are drawings that we keep in the DAM system that provide great value on our website so we signed up for embed codes in order to push them directly from the Widen DAM to our website. When the drawings are updated in the DAM, the revised versions are automatically pushed to the website to allow for revision control without manual intervention. That wasn't intended in the beginning. We’re also trying to create an API to make assets available to our sales force, and we have plans to roll our PR assets into the DAM system this year.
4. What role did you play in the launch of your company’s DAM system? What were you responsible for?
I was involved from the very beginning to help identify our company’s needs and manage the launch. Now that the system is in place, someone on my team manages the DAM system on a day-to-day basis. As part of the initial process, I worked with an internal team to help guide the system we chose. It was a small team – a member of the Marketing Communications management team, a Marketing Communications user, our web manager, one person from our PR agency and me.
5. Tell me about the key milestones in your DAM launch, from implementation to testing and training to global launch.
To be honest, it was a lot quicker than I thought it would be. I went to the DAM conference in New York in 2012 and met a lot of different DAM vendors. I attended the sessions and got as much knowledge as I could. That due diligence shaped how we identified our needs for a system. It seemed like there were a lot of systems out there that were bigger than what we needed in scope and price. To determine our needs, we looked at what problems we were trying to solve and what assets belonged in the DAM system. We divided the list of vendors between our small team and we each did some research, then developed a short list of potential vendors and went through a series of demos.
6. How did you handle training for the users of your DAM system?
For the initial launch, we did conference calls. I emailed our users a PowerPoint deck to follow as reference. Most of the conversation was done online, over WebEx, where I showed users the different screens in the system and demonstrated uploading assets and other functionality in the system.
We did phone calls to train users overseas. In January of this year, we had a global meeting and I retrained users. The nice thing about our January meeting was that people had been using the DAM for a year, so they had questions based on their experiences with the system. I was able to answer questions about usage live and in real time, instead of using a PowerPoint presentation, and I also showed them the behind the scenes admin screens.
7. How much time did your DAM implementation and launch take?
We signed on with Widen in fall of 2012 and we were live in January 2013. So, it took about a quarter. I attended that DAM conference to explore what was out there in May 2012, so it was less than year overall.
8. What advice or tips would you give others who plan to launch their DAM system internationally?
The one real advantage we had, even though we had drives all over the world, was that this is our global headquarters, so we had most of the files/assets here. The initial upload was about 10,000 assets, which all came from the US. It made it easier that the content we needed to put in the DAM system was not so distributed globally.
The involvement of a small team was definitely imperative. Dividing up the initial investigation of different DAM providers was a time saver. Additionally, we had someone who helped with clean up before we uploaded our assets into the system. Organizing the folders of images into a logical structure was a huge job. He put the naming structure in place for our assets before they even got in the DAM system.
9. What is the greatest success your company has experienced as a result of using Widen DAM?
To me, the biggest part is the time we save in not having to search for files or email files around. The fact that you can just send a link to anyone, whether they’re a user of the system or not, is really helpful. We leverage our stock photos more than we've done in the past. We've just made better use of them because they’re visible now.