No two companies are alike. That’s why we present our customers’ success stories and talk to them about how they use Canto. Schnellecke is an internationally operating logistics company headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. We talked with Marcel Schoon about his work at Schnellecke.
Schnellecke Group AG & Co. KGThe Schnellecke Group is an internationally operating family-owned company that offers a wide range of logistics services. One of its focuses is value-added logistics for the automobile industry.
What do you do at Schnellecke?
I’m the digital communication coordinator at Schnellecke. Since my background is in IT, I work at the intersection between marketing and IT. My team deals with communication and coordination of projects, meetings and events. We assist other departments in preparing internal events, coordinate the tasks and work in tandem with the human resources department. It’s not so much classic marketing – we’re all all-rounders, engaging wherever there’s a need for a uniform presence in corporate communication.
When did you first come into contact with digital asset management?
When I switched to marketing here at Schnellecke. At the start of 2018, we started thinking about using such a system and it was in April when we actually introduced Canto. The topic was then taken up by the management because, among other things, I said the way we’ve done this up to now, organizing images and content using file names and dates – well, we can no longer do it that way if we want to stay up to speed. What we need is a modern solution.
What characterizes a modern solution?
Anyone using a smartphone knows how convenient image management is. When I type ‘dog’ in my smartphone, it shows me all the pictures of dogs without me having previously tagged them. I wonder why business software has to be so complicated – when software for personal use is so much easier and more convenient. We actually also considered using personal tools such as Google, but ultimately we had security concerns. So we decided to use Canto.
What media formats do you deal with? What kind of media data do you manage in your DAM?
We mainly deal with photos and videos, for instance from our events. But also, photos that we refer to internally as ‘process-oriented’, because they illustrate specific service areas in which Schnellecke is active. With Canto, we also manage our employee photos, and simultaneously create a declaration of consent for data protection and personal rights reasons. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to store the image at all. We save these documents in parallel as PDFs. In addition, we’re also going to organize our Word and Excel templates in Canto in the future. And last but not least, of course, our brand logos and other important graphics – i.e. Adobe Photoshop and InDesign files – are stored in Canto.
How do you organize your content with Canto?
Before we introduced Canto, we devised a concept for the albums and files that we arrange. Mostly, there are three of us uploading images. However, we realized after the first few months that the way we add images differs from each other. When you only add something every three weeks, you don’t use the same keywords as before. So, we sat down and evaluated the way we worked. Ultimately, we no longer sort our media files into various folders, but we now just have one main folder and assign very few attributes, but these are very, very specific. We don’t use any categories, any sub-folders – instead, we rather sort by ‘Competences. This could be, for example, ‘module assemblies’, ‘sequencing’, ‘smart logistics’, ‘shipping logistics’, etc. What we closely pay attention to here is these are present in the metadata tag of the picture. This way, we can find images quickly and easily, via a combination of search and keywording.
That means that after you started with an initial metadata structure, you then re-evaluated whether your system works the way it was originally intended to?
Right. Currently, every Friday we have a meeting where we take a look at what kind of images we sorted this week. How did we keyword them? And how could I make it even easier for users to find the image? I always follow the motto: “Keep it simple!”
Previously, we had the problem with the album structure having too many options for adding metadata. For example, I can say this photo belongs to this location, so it goes in this album. Or I could say it belongs to this and that activity and then put I the location of where it was taken into the tags. It could be searched for in either place, and both for good reasons. The easier the search, the more efficient it is. The search functions in Canto are already quite good. Therefore, we focused on assigning very few keywords, but the ones we do use are very specific.
Who uses Canto at your company, and how?
Here in the team, there are three of us plus one trainee. We work with the system, upload files, put in tags and are in charge of the system. We also set up some consumer users in other locations – Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Portugal. Long-term, we plan to integrate the other locations into the system more actively, but for the time being, the bulk of the work is done locally here in Wolfsburg.
Where do the media files you organize in Canto initially come from?
Of course, we had a certain stock of files from our old solutions to start with, all of which have since been migrated to Canto. That was a custom intranet-based solution which was no longer sufficient for our demands. But with increasing intensity, we now produce many of the photos in Canto ourselves; occasionally, we also have a few outside photographers we cooperate with.
Recently, we received an award by the local ‘Chamber of Commerce and Industry’ for our training program. In cases like that, we arrange in advance that our colleagues on site may take the pictures, or I go there and do it. After the event, I catalog the photos and send the trainer a corresponding link in Canto. She then chooses whether the images will go to the local media or whether we create a story with the pictures for our Intranet. I take around 60-70 percent of the pictures myself.
That means, stock photos only play a minor role in your work, or none at all?
We have a few of them in the system. But since I’ve been on the team, we’ve not purchased any more stock photos and I try to avoid doing so. Stock photos simply cannot capture what Schnellecke is about. Our range of services are too specific.
What tools do you use in your work? Where do your pictures from your Canto go?
I use Adobe Lightroom for photo processing. We also use the photos from Canto a lot in our intranet, and of course in our content management system for our website. Then, of course, we have external graphic designers who create print materials in Adobe InDesign. We also use them to populate our social media channels, especially Facebook and YouTube.
About how much time do you spend in Canto during a regular workday?
I use Canto pretty much every day, even if it’s just to catalog a photo. On average, that’s about half an hour per day.
Thank you very much!
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