“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into building a DAM system. You’ll need to do a lot of collaboration and you just really want the commitment from everybody that’s involved with it. So just make sure you have a really good team.” – Barbara Mitrovic, American Society for Quality
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) implemented their digital asset management (DAM) system in 2017. Unlike many other Widen customers, when they began their DAM journey all of their marketing assets were already really organized. All 4,000, in fact. However, the content management system they used had significant limitations around storage and access that crippled their workflow, and ultimately drove their need for a more sophisticated solution.
In this podcast, Barbara Mitrovic from ASQ shares how she and her team selected, implemented and now manages the Widen Collective®.
A business case for DAM
As part of the creative services team at ASQ Barbra manages the production of design materials. She shared that before Widen, “Our creative assets were extremely well organized...however, the challenge that we were running into was that all of our assets were on a server, and every so often we would have to archive all of our old pieces to CD ROM. So that was quite a challenge for us. We also had internal customers that were constantly asking us for logos and PDF files because they didn’t know what was new or what was expired. So that was a never-ending, daunting task for us.”
Because their situation was unsustainable Barbara began to explore other options. “I had introduced the DAM idea to ASQ back in 2015 and basically had put together a business case for it.” The idea was well-received by her company leadership, and she was given permission to search for the system and vendor that would be the best fit for their needs.
The power of teamwork
With the green light to find the right DAM solution, Barbara recruited three additional colleagues with similar roles to select, implement, and ultimately manage the system as a team.
This collaborative approach worked extremely well for her organization, but she underscored the importance of choosing the right people. “I would strongly recommend that if you are going to be working with a core team to make sure they are fully committed. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into building a DAM system. You’ll need to do a lot of collaboration and you just really want the commitment from everybody that’s involved with it. So just make sure you have a really good team.”
Leveraging user feedback
Barbara said that feedback from their future DAM users was critical in shaping the structure of their system. “It’s really important to make sure that the people that are going to be using it, are involved with your building of your DAM system.”
To that end, the ASQ DAM team had some unique and effective methods for soliciting this feedback. Barbara said, “we sent the categories to them and asked them what kind of assets they would find underneath these categories. We felt that it was a real good exercise for us to do, it gave us a better understanding of their needs.”
They also had a great approach to developing their metadata schema. “We had placed our creative pieces in a room and then we would ask them to write down some keywords that they would search for based on these assets that they would see.” Barbara said both of these activities helped them refine their thinking and build a structure that really worked for their users.
An unexpected curveball: governance structure
Barbara admitted that there were surprises during the implementation process, “you won’t have the answers for everything!” She pointed to governance as the area where she had the most unexpected learning curve.
“I honestly thought that I had a really good handle on the security and governance and how it all works, but to be quite honest with you it was quite a learning curve for the four of us that were on the core team, on how the roles really end up working.”
She said they put together three simple roles that they felt would cover their needs. However, after reviewing them with their coach from Widen they realized the structure would need to be bigger and more complex.
Ultimately, they landed on 24 roles that were built around departments, with controls on expired assets. The roles were designed so that users in each department can only see the expired assets that originated in their department. Barbara said that this approach has significantly strengthened their ability to maintain brand consistency and integrity.
A DAM communication strategy
Barbara said she would advise other teams that are currently building their DAM to start thinking about how they are going to promote it, and get people excited about it. At ASQ, they had several parts of this communication strategy:
- Training: they held hands-on sessions that were tailored to the needs of each of their 24 roles, and also created manuals and reference guides
- Corporate communication: they wrote articles for the company newsletter that highlighted the system’s benefits
- Digital signage: they created a video that showcased system features to play on TV screens throughout the organization
By the time the system was ready to launch, Barbara said, “... it just seemed like everyone wanted to see what we were doing! It was really exciting.”
They have since received a lot of positive feedback, including ideas about how to expand the use of the system. She shared, “they are coming back to me and saying, ‘hey listen, we were thinking of doing this, can you add this to the DAM system’ and I just love that. It just shows that people are taking advantage of it and using it.”
For the full story, listen to the episode. Topics include:
- A business case for DAM
- The power of teamwork
- Leveraging user feedback
- An unexpected curveball: governance structure
- A DAM communication strategy
The Widen Implementation podcast is about helping customers prepare for and execute their DAM roll out. Each episode will involve conversations with people who have implemented the Widen DAM solution. It's our hope that each episode will help future Widen customers by giving them a few tips regarding the implementation process.
About our guest
Barbara Mitrovic is a production administrator at American Society for Quality (ASQ), and has been with the company for over 17 years. ASQ provides training, professional certifications, and knowledge to members of the international quality community. For people passionate about improvement, ASQ is the global knowledge network that links the best ideas, tools, and experts.
About Our Host
Bill Banham is a marketing and publishing professional based in Toronto. Bill is founder of The HR Gazette and Iceni Marketing, as well as the co-founder of the WorkingTech show and the InnovateWork event series. Bill hosts several Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) podcast shows on topics including social selling and tech, business strategy, and sales strategy.
Listen to more episodes from the Widen Implementation Podcast series.