Ever thought choosing shoes from your shoe rack was tough? Imagine choosing from a “shoe rack” that consists of the entire product lines of Birkenstock and six other footwear brands. This is what Germany’s L+L Delivery Service and Logistics was faced with when they decided to make distribution lines available online to business partners. With tens of thousands of shoes to manage, flexibility was essential. The system also had to be as easy for partners to get into, and as comfortable to work in as—you guessed it—the perfect pair of shoes.
For L+L, Canto Cumulus offered just the right fit. Cumulus now serves as the company’s virtual shoe rack, from product development through distribution. It even offers Internet access to the product information dealers need—24/7— which is important when your products are successful the world over.
From product designers to advertising agencies to shoe dealers—all L+L business supply chain partners quickly find what they need now, right inside Cumulus. No product photo, information or advertising template is beyond (immediate) reach from virtually anywhere on earth. And when a printed catalog is required, that’s ordered via Cumulus too.
It’s a solution that sounds too simple to be true. Could Cumulus really offer that much benefit across L+L’s entire supply chain?
The value offered by digital asset management (DAM) is rarely recognized before it’s needed. Companies typically go from having “no need” for DAM, to having complete chaos, virtually overnight.
This was what Canto Partner Mediabunt found at L+L, as Mediabunt’s Kerstin Wilke explains.
“Images were flying around wildly. L+L knew they urgently needed to find some kind of order.“
Based on Mediabunt’s recommendation, L+L adopted Cumulus and haven’t looked back since. Even more impressive, Wilke describes how Cumulus encouraged L+L to rethink more than just digital asset management.
“All [L+L] operations were restructured. Cumulus has greatly helped us improve the organization. One could even consider it a cultural change.”
And what does L+L credit as the primary reason for the company’s acceptance of Cumulus?
“Cumulus is adaptable far beyond what’s possible in any other product.”
Adaptability was key to L+L because the company never intended to run Cumulus “out of the box.” Customization was in the cards long before Cumulus was even installed.
L+L’s Eckhard Thomas and Michael Klein worked together on the installation and customization of Cumulus. Thomas describes their primary goal.
“Our original goal was just a central gathering point for the image data for all brands.“ But the duo exceeded their own expectations, as Klein confirms.
”But we got a lot more out of Cumulus than that.“
One of the extensions the duo developed enables users to order printed catalogs via Cumulus.
The easy customization of Cumulus, coupled with its support for industry standard development technologies, ensures that Thomas and Klein are not the only IT professionals who prefer Canto’s DAM system.
L+L’s Cumulus system was so well conceived and executed that, upon release, the response was overwhelming. US partners dumped MediaBin systems in favor of Cumulus.
And in Germany, more than 6,000 dealers signed up for Cumulus
access, which offered them instant access to everything they needed.
But the benefits have extended back to L+L too, according to Thomas. Among them, the brand quality control the company sorely needed.
“There’s no need for dealers to use pixelated logos they’ve found on the Internet, because the proper files are easily available to them.”
Brand quality has improved internally too, because Cumulus color management features work with L+L’s calibrated monitors to help designers ensure output color consistency.
L+L plans to enable the purchase of shoes from within Cumulus. Thomas and Klein have already developed the interface between Cumulus and the company’s enterprise resource planning database, SQL Progress.
Further integration into the company’s business is also inevitable, according to Klein. “Once you know Cumulus, you don’t want to do without Cumulus.”