Modern Digital Asset Management for the creation, organizing and distribution of your media files
BY CHRISTIAN LEEGER
With the constant influx of new products, improvements and updates, as well as the changing needs of distribution channels, product information systems are being kept on their toes. Graupner/SJ, a leader in RC-toys, recently reorganised its entire communication platform. Besides offering its 1,000-page catalogueue in several languages, four online shops use images from a central image databank. The MAM-system, eyebase, played a central role in the upgrade.
The quality and quantity of information generated by today’s businesses and industry has changed significantly over the past decade. Even though product specifications are usually automatically generated during the product development process, they have to be made available for reuse. The demands on visual content, whether product images, data sheets, or ever increasingly, important video content, have exploded with the advent of new media.
Until now, even photographers, graphic artists, editors, and designers – experts in developing content – have had to work without uniform or compatible programs. Graupner too had to manage approximately 10,000 product images a year, which each one going in a different direction to be processed in different ways. Not only has the number of images increased dramatically in comparison to previous workflow, other rich media, such as videos, are gaining weight in the sales processes, but they consume more resources.
Even just a few years ago, the requirements for media assets were quite modest. Product images were created and submit for lithograph printing for a catalogueue. Today images are processed for a variety of different platforms. And the increasing demands for ever more types of catalogueues require managing different versions of the same images. New media add another level and dimension of complexity so that media assets now need to be transcribed in many different languages. Content for this is taken over from PIM or ERP systems. Various grades of media are required for the different uses. This applies primarily, but not exclusively for videos. With the ever shorter time to market window, no one can afford to dispense with automation.
For Graupner, distributing content for the respective intended uses became an almost unmanageable amount of work: Images and product information were regularly published on their own webshops, website and mediaSolution3 catalogueue production system, as well as webshops for Amazon and Conrad.
As with any software system, user acceptance is important for the success of any project. eyebase digital asset management is not only easy to understand and intuitive to operate, it took very little time to win over the entire staff. Drag-and-drop technology coupled with usability as a web interface and the fact that it runs on all major browsers, even on iPads, helped with the transition.
Factoring in the amount of time saved with the new system, it became clear why everyone was so appreciative. “Because our employees work with the new system every day, and there are so many advantages, it was accepted very quickly,” says Stefan Neureither, Graupner’s Marketing and Communication Manager who led the project. “Within a short amount of time, it was unfathomable to consider working in any other way.”
A GISTICS study showed that employers spend more than $ 8,000 per year per employee on managing files. File management includes searching, verifying, organizing and securing content. Employees in creative professions spend one tenth of their time managing files, with searching for files it accounts for 30 percent. On average, a creative professional has to deal with about 9,000 files and 83 searches each week and only reaches a hit rate immediate success in 35 percent of the time. Using a digital asset management system like eyebase can raise the success rate to 95 percent.
Before the new system was introduced, Graupner’s file management bore many similarities to the GISTICS study. After a brief implementation phase and launch of the entire system – installing eyebase digital media management with all interfaces and mediaSolution3, the catalogue production system – the first catalogue was produced with the new system. From day one, any technical product changes made in the eyebase image databank were processed and automatically appeared the next day (with the exception of the print catalogue) in all media platforms.
As to the question of the return on their investment, Graupner estimates that in principle, the entire system had paid for itself right after the first catalogue. “We used to produce catalogues through an agency. Now we have been able to do it in-house without additional personnel expenses. We could take full advantage of the efficiency when we produced our catalogue of new products last autumn. When we produce the full catalogue, in-house production will reduce the very high reproduction and agency costs. In addition, we need one less employee to manage the webshops. He is now free to be used on other projects,” attested Stefan Neureiter right after the project was completed. Furthermore, he said that the level of efficiency they achieved far exceeded their expectations.
Considering the short period of time to implement the project, and the tight deadline for producing the forthcoming catalogue (for which there was no alternative as a backup), it is astonishing to have embarked on such a complex project that involved so many parties. Kraft all media GmbH from Ettlingen served as the integrator for the entire project. Graupner spent almost two years searching the market for the right components and partners. Eike-Matthias Ott, CEO of Kraft all media GmbH, also describes the cooperation with the manufacturer of the image database eyebase as extremely goal-oriented: “With eyebase we have found a supplier and a partnership-based team possessing extremely thorough expertise in all facets of media management.” Another reason for the successful partnership was the flexibility of technical team at Kraft all media GmbH and the API of eyebase that allows to build interfaces easily.
eyebase offers the following advantages:
The open web technology of the MAM system allows for prompt integration and acceptance where technically efficient interfaces to related systems are guaranteed. By using eyebase, image, document and video files quickly appear in the correct version throughout the company: they are distributed automatically. The system also offers intelligent, and for the most part, automated routines for the initial treatment, tagging and processing of content. The user-friendly, simple interface allows for high employee acceptance. Special support features ensure that employees at different locations can collaborate easily.
CMB Informationssysteme GmbH (Munich, Vienna) has been a specialist in image databases and media asset management since 1995. eyebase has succeeded in winning well-known customers from all sectors: BMW AG, AirBerlin, CHANEL, HARIBO, and Continental AG among others.
CMB Informationssysteme GmbH
KRAFT.ALLMEDIA GmbH & Co. KG is partner of the Swiss brand Stämpfli Publication Solutions. Projects and solutions are based on a 20 years’ experience with databank and publication systems.
KRAFT.ALLMEDIA GmbH & Co. KG
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q4 2013.