Founded in Cleveland in 2002 by William Barr and Michael Strmac, Universal Windows Direct is a growing name in the home improvement space. Thanks to the company’s emphasis on first-class customer service and the highest-quality products, Universal Windows Direct is expanding rapidly, with nine corporate locations around the country and counting!
Jordan Stewart, Universal Windows Direct’s digital designer, works on all of the brand’s creative content, which is used in ads, emails, website, social media, print materials, and to help the company’s dealerships market and sell their products. Getting all of this valuable content into the hands of stakeholders is key to the company’s success.
Before Canto, Universal Windows Direct stored their assets on an internal server. The team’s biggest issue with their server was that the process of sharing assets was too clunky and slow.
“The server was cumbersome and not always the best solution for sharing assets. When we wanted to share something, we had to outsource it to Dropbox or another service,” says Jordan.
As a large company with an extensive network of dealers, the Director of Digital Marketing, Chris Jarvis, wanted a digital asset management (DAM) solution to make sharing assets with stakeholders both inside and outside the company easier.
“Getting a DAM was really our effort to centralize all of our assets and make it more shareable to corporate employees and our dealerships around the country,” says Chris.
Chris and his team chose Canto for its intuitive interface and robust content sharing features.
“After a lengthy process of looking for digital asset management systems, we settled on Canto because it’s so easy to use and has a really good user experience,” says Jordan. “We also really liked the portals, which help us share assets within the corporate team and to our dealers.”
Universal Windows Direct stores their photos, commercial videos and brand assets in Canto. Corporate employees use Canto to grab images for ads, print materials, sales and more, while dealerships access creative and brand assets to use in the sales process.
Jordan set up folders for branding, collateral, creative examples, photography and videos so that the library is really easy to navigate. He hosts one-on-one general training and created a self-help guide for using Canto for the broader company, and now all employees are empowered to self-serve.
“Overall, Canto hasn’t required a ton of training. It’s pretty self-explanatory in a lot of ways,” says Jordan.
Getting the Right Assets to the Right People
The digital marketing team set up three portals: one for the corporate team, one for their dealers and one to store their commercials. Most end users interact with assets via these portals, which are each tailored for a specific group of users.
The corporate portal contains assets for the internal team to use in ads, print documents, sales and more. The dealer portal contains creative and brand assets that the corporate team provides as a service to help the dealers boost sales and represent the brand accurately. Finally, the commercials portal serves as an archive of the brand’s final commercial videos.
End users can find what they need more easily, and the digital marketing team can control which assets end up in which hands.
“The digital marketing team that works with the dealers gets emailed about logos a lot. Now, he’s able to just send them a link to the portal,” says Jordan.
In Jordan’s words, “the digital marketing team plays a big role in broadcasting the brand out to the world” through the content they create. Getting this content into the hands of stakeholders is critical to the team’s – and the brand’s – success.
With Canto making it easy for Universal Windows Direct to share content, the team can move faster and devote more time to the company’s bottom line.
“Before Canto, my workflow was very segmented. It varied from different computers with the capabilities as far as searching and metadata,” says Jordan.
“Now, it’s a lot better because we can just search for things and keep multiple styles under one file with the version control. That way, we’re not cluttering up our workspace. It’s a lot more streamlined.”