What is your job at Hengstenberg?
I began my work for Hengstenberg as a business data processing specialist in 2004 as part of a dual degree program and have now been working for the corporate communication and digital media department for three years. Since we’re a relatively small team, the boundaries between marketing, conventional corporate communication and press work are fluid. My job is primarily social media management, which means I maintain our digital web channels as well as the company’s Intranet. In addition, I also handle the management of our product images along with a colleague.
So, what made Hengstenberg decide to implement a digital asset management system?
I initiated this project myself. When I joined the department, I couldn’t help but notice that the product images for my work, like social media posts, were either hard or impossible to find. All the files were widely scattered in a network drive, subdivided in a folder structure to which new employees didn’t have access. So, that made it difficult to search. Therefore, I took the initiative to find an ideal solution for this in order to store important items, such as product images, in a centralized, consolidated and well-structured manner. So that also means collecting all files, getting rid of duplicates and setting up all the necessary release processes.
When did you first come into contact with the topic of DAM?
I of course was familiar with the software category from my studies. However, the deciding factor was the situation when I joined the department. There was often duplicated work, or the processes were really unwieldy. Of course, that drove me to delve deeper into the topic.
I’m sure that many companies are familiar with the situation you’re describing. So, what problems were influential for you when making the decision to implement a digital asset management system?
For one, searching for files without an appropriate technical solution was very awkward. For collecting images, we had a network drive which was created before my time. Over the years more and more users were added to this drive, responsibilities weren’t followed, file permissions were mixed up. And then there was a first folder, a second folder, a third and then a fourth subfolder – the folder structure had taken on a life of its own and had grown tremendously.
As the “new guy” in the department, I had a hard time finding anything here. My colleagues might have already been familiar with their own folder structure, but everyone else was lost. That means, for instance, that sometimes one colleague had collected images in Folder A, another colleague had the same content again in Folder B. As a result, some images were edited twice, or duplicates of the same images were purchased from agencies.
What was the main factor for you there – the time savings or having a better overview?
Better overview and clarity, without a doubt. The goal was to create a central storage location for all of our digital content.
How did the migration of your new DAM project go with Canto?
We first set our goal and defined what we intended to achieve with this project – a single point of contact for all our assets. Then we considered what files we actually need. We started with product images. That was relatively simple since we only migrated the current images to Canto. Of course, we had to think of what file formats we need, what we need to make available to our customers, etc.
During file migration, we then added important metadata such as keywords and defined a basic folder structure. Here in our team, we work very agilely together to ensure that the contents can easily be found by everyone using sensible keywording. The major advantage for us compared to before is that we are now all working together in a common software environment. Searching for files, filtering duplicates: Canto provides basically everything we need. That helps tremendously. This also does away with process steps, for instance: “I’ll go ask my colleague whether she knows where this or that file is.”