Heinen’s Grocery Store is a family-owned grocer in the Midwest. Founded in 1929, the operation spans four generations. Their 23 locations are neighborhood favorites known for stocking local products and Heinen’s private label.
Jackie Shultz, the Director of Marketing at Heinen’s, leads the marketing team and oversees all channels – email, social media, website, advertising and print. Jackie works with various departments within the company to uphold the Heinen’s brand throughout every project.
As a retailer, Heinen’s has specials and sales each week. With over 20 stores in different cities, the team creates multiple versions of assets for these weekly promotions. This results in a lot of content they need to find and share.
“Sometimes content has slight modifications. Let’s say if it’s a local product to Cleveland, Ohio, it certainly makes sense to refer to it as local, but if it’s sold in Chicago, it’s a little far away, so we would call it Midwest,” says Jackie.
The quick-moving marketing team is responsible for all materials that showcase products in-store and online. Heinen’s contracts external designers to create the artwork, then it’s up to the marketing team to utilize and deploy these assets.
Before Canto, the team stored and shared graphics, imagery and videos in a hodgepodge of ways.
“Designers would send us links to the artwork via Dropbox or various other services. Internally, we hadn’t committed to one, so we were just using different systems ad hoc. It was probably a mixed bag based on what our third parties used,” says Jackie.
This asset sharing and storing approach caused disruptions in team workflows. If someone needed a specific graphic that they didn’t commission, it was a toss up where to find it. Unorganized assets were a barrier to productivity.
“There was no easy way to share assets, so each team member would have their own drives with artwork that they commissioned or used in some way, and it was not easily found by others. The main goal was to try to make assets available to larger groups of people,” says Jackie.
Heinen’s now keeps their images and videos in Canto. All final assets are available, so team members go to the library and quickly find the files they need for their specific campaign.
For Jackie, this means she has an overview of every piece of content being completed on any given day.
“The visual interface of Canto is really easy to use. We refer to it as a news feed for our department. As I’m in there throughout the day, I’m seeing new assets come in. It’s like overseeing the whole department – it’s fun to see the progress happening live,” says Jackie.
Heinen’s has utilized their Canto library for over two years. Since the system is flexible, the team can update the library’s organizational structure as their needs evolve.
“We recently revisited our folder and album structure as a team. Our initial goal was to minimize the number of Albums specific to certain projects or initiatives, so we tried to strategically bucket them by departments, types of content or areas within the company. We’re still evolving and learning as we go,” says Jackie.
One asset, unlimited dimensions
Assets stored in Canto are deployed for a wide array of digital and print activities. A single asset has seemingly infinite uses, which means the team must be able to download it in varying dimensions.
“An image could be used in print, email, on social media or on our website. All of those channels have different specs and different needs for the same image,” says Jackie.
The team uses resize-upon-download in Canto to hit every dimension requirement for assets. This function enables them to store only one high-resolution file, but with the ability to download whatever dimension their application calls for.
“We use the resize functionality to resize images versus saving different sized versions in Canto. If we didn’t use the resize feature, it would open up the risk for someone pulling a low-res file when they really should have been pulling a high-res file,” says Jackie.
Streamlined collaboration with upload links
Since the team outsources graphic design, they needed a way to get all of this external content into their Canto library. Every designer uploads artwork via a personalized upload link, and Jackie assigns these assets to specific folders or albums in their Canto library.
“We have a lot of upload links for third parties to use on a regular basis. Being a retail store, we do a lot of print signage materials. If it’s the final piece of art, a poster for a store, let’s say, that was created and designed by a third party, it will be uploaded to Canto via an upload link,” says Jackie.
The marketing team sees all completed artwork in Canto – even calling it the “news feed” for their department. With this universal knowledge, everyone stays informed and up to date. They’ve eliminated barriers to communication and unlocked opportunities for collaboration.
“We’re all sharing, uploading and downloading all the time. Since everything is streamlined, we’ve had better communication and collaboration across the board. People are able to visually see other people’s work as it’s being completed,” says Jackie.
The biggest thing is the time we’re saving, because people can find things on their own without having to reach out to other team members. Everyone can move forward with their work – the team feels empowered to find what they need to work seamlessly and quickly.
With Canto streamlining workflows, the Heinen’s marketing team is empowered to find the assets they need in an instant. Gone are the days of asking colleagues where files are and digging through unorganized desktop folders.
“The biggest thing is the time we’re saving, because people can find things on their own without having to reach out to other team members. Everyone can move forward with their work – the team feels empowered to find what they need to work seamlessly and quickly,” says Jackie.
Because of the nature of retail, the team must work quickly to distribute essential material for daily and weekly promotions. They’ve eliminated bottlenecks with Canto, enabling them to flow freely through the creative process.
“Every week we create a lot of assets very quickly, many of which are obsolete after literally just a few days or a week,” Jackie says. “Canto allows people to self serve and move through projects without roadblocks.”