Plug and play. It’s such a reassuring, simplistic way of describing a technology solution. The presumption that you just buy it, plug it in and off it goes, chuntering away in the corner, doing its thing. But digital asset management (DAM) solution has the potential to be far more than just a one trick pony.
At last year’s Henry Stewart DAM Europe, James Naylor , Publishing Systems Manager at Slimming World presented “DAM is for Life, Not Just for Pictures", showcasing wide ranging uses to which their censhare Digital Asset Management (DAM) system has been put, so far.
Since joining the company a little over a year prior to this presentation, Naylor’s implementation of censhare's DAM has gone far beyond its presumptive use as an advanced image library. Today, it has the makings of a transformative content and project management system , one that has the potential to drive cost savings as well as workflow efficiencies , and directly bolster business success.
Naylor started out by insisting to the Henry Stewart audience that it’s not necessarily the buying of software that can have a transformative effect on your business. Instead, it’s the managing of its adoption by your people that is critical to a successful implementation.
We had many different teams interacting with the assets in ways built up over time that weren’t efficient. There was communication – which is not a bad thing – but it needed to be more efficient. We had to establish quick wins that generated trust in the system.
“Then, it’s about taking those quick wins, making the system easier to use – a nice user interface helps - training, using and handholding, particularly the key people in the organization who are going to help you evangelize. That’s really important,” he says.
There is no better way of getting people on board than showing, not telling. To this end, Naylor advocates starting small and bringing people along with you as the process develops. And being straightforward helps. He shares a handy metaphor - you don’t build a car by building wheels and a windscreen, you build a scooter, then a bicycle, then a motorbike, and finally a car.
Translating this in to building a DAM system, Naylor suggests starting with the teams closest to the actual DAM processes. As Slimming World had evolved over the years, too many people became involved in too many assets. Data wound up in silos, existing in duplications and even multiplications. Just in getting the image library sorted out, the scooter stage of DAM, as he puts it, is enough for a big win.
Creating relationships between images and assets, such as being able to track all the information on a single Slimming World member, proved revelatory and was the moment the scooter got its pedals. It’s where the DAM became enhanced, becoming more useful for more teams. Slimming World saw the system manage contextual information such as the contracts relating to images and assigning teams to feature creation, valuable resources for a wide range of people within the organization who normally wouldn’t share intel. But here it is, all in one place, current and correct.
Once the DAM evangelism gains momentum it can be tempting to try and do everything at once, to jump from your pushbike straight into the all singing all dancing supercar that you always wanted. But such progression takes strategy and planning in order to succeed, and Slimming World wants to do just this.
Naylor recognizes that there is a huge amount of potential to evolve Slimming World’s current DAM implementation, which you can read about here , but it’s potential that has yet to be fully exploited. The company is open to exploring all the options in front of it in order to create the most effective system it can – making content work harder, using the DAM for project planning, simplifying reporting, a fully end to end asset management system
“Everything takes longer than you think, so it’s about managing expectations,” Naylor concludes, before adding: “When you start to have people dragging you to meetings instead of forcing yourself into them, you know you’re starting to win.”
You can watch James Naylor’s full presentation to learn more about how Slimming World took on the censhare DAM, piece by piece, and its future plans for the system. You can also read the full Slimming World customer success story here !
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