The American Society for Quality (ASQ) provides training, professional certifications, and knowledge to a network of global quality community members in more than 130 countries. Using the Widen Collective® to store, manage, and share their current marketing collateral helps ensure that their internal processes reflect their organizational commitment to quality.
ASQ uses the Collective to store and organize the brand assets, ensuring that employees across the company can access current and approved content when they need it.
Although ASQ’s marketing assets were organized, their content management system simply wasn’t working. Because of limited server storage space they relied on CD-ROMs to archive files, which made finding and retrieving the right file extremely challenging.
Barb Mitrovic, Project Administrator at ASQ, said that her team received image requests that would take days to fulfill. Further, they estimated that ASQ staff spent 6.25 hours searching for assets every month (per person)! This amounted to 7,500 hours per year, that could have been spent on other projects.
Because their file retrieval process was ineffective and frustrating, employees resorted to using low-quality imagery from the internet or their local computers instead. And the organization’s brand integrity was suffering. “It was just awful and embarrassing,” Barb admits.
Barb understood how crucial quality was to every facet of the business, and that this situation was unsustainable. She began researching and comparing digital asset management (DAM) solutions, and ultimately selected and implemented the Widen Collective.
A single source of truth
Create a repository for current, on-brand assets and collateral
Streamline workflows with efficient processes for finding and sharing files
Give users tools to find the assets they need, when they need them
Make searching easy
ASQ created multiple ways to help their users connect with the right content, including spotlight searches, spotlight collections, categories, and portals. Their “ASQ Brand Express” portal gives both internal and external users access to essential brand assets. Barb said, “We have our logos on there and a link to our brand pages. We also have our stock photography on there, email signatures. People are using it, so it’s been wonderful.”
Create effective metadata
Barb’s team relied heavily on employee feedback to create the metadata structure for their DAM system, including the categories, keywords, and controlled vocabulary. Using an exercise they learned about on the Widen blog, they reviewed the existing fields in their customer management system (CMS) — all 4,000 of them! — to determine which should appear in the DAM system. Activities like this helped them refine their thinking and design a structure that really worked for their users. As Barb said, “We built it for the future. Not just the current state of mind.”
Share the workload
Without the budget to hire a full-time DAM administrator, ASQ decided to spread the responsibilities across four people in their creative services team. Barb said this collaborative approach has worked extremely well, 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.”
Raise DAM visibility
Their strategy for initial user adoption and ongoing user engagement consisted of a three-pronged approach: name the DAM, brand the DAM, and promote the DAM. They named their DAM the Vault and used this term in all of their DAM-related communications, from training materials to internal digital displays. And they instituted a continual training program to share updates with users, and solicit their ideas for DAM improvements.
“I think the best thing is when you solve a problem for somebody… you streamline a process and they come and thank us for that. You just know you introduced the right tool to the company, and that’s something that is very rewarding to me.”
Senior Director of Marketing
The Collective allows ASQ employees to have self-service access to the marketing and brand assets they need. Barb’s team is no longer bogged down with time-consuming asset retrieval requests; and they aren’t creating workflow bottlenecks for other areas of the company. Easy and convenient access to the right content allows the entire organization to work more efficiently.
Brand consistency across touch-points
Now that all of the company’s imagery and collateral are organized in a single, central repository, Barb is confident their colleagues are accessing and downloading only brand-compliant photographs, video files, logos, and more. Gone are the days when people had multiple file versions stored on their own local servers or computers. Now, Barb says, “we have our users using correct files.”
The Templates app in the Collective gives ASQ sales teams access tools that allow them to easily update marketing files to reflect their market. It’s part of any effort to, “provide more value to our salespeople,” says Barb. In the end, it’s all about efficiency, customization, and consistency. And it all adds up to best practices in quality assurance.