Jake Athey, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience at Widen, a martech company, on streamlining workflow processes through discoverable metadata

Suncast Corporation is a leading US manufacturer of home and commercial products, specialising in outdoor furniture, storage, and garden products. It regularly shares product imagery with internal and external stakeholders at all points within the content lifecycle. 

Suncast designs, develops, and manufactures a wide range of home and commercial products which require a significant amount of product-related digital assets in order to go to market. 

These assets range from studio and environmental photography to 360° imagery, product information PDFs, and packaging graphic PDFs. These files are then used to create final deliverables including packaging and presentation materials, customer websites, and advertisements. 

With so many assets and file types, Suncast needed a place to store them all, so turned to its file directory system to organise its digital assets. In doing so, however, access to assets was limited for employees, resulting in long approval processes and an inefficient search and distribution workflow for assets. 

“There were a lot of large image requests that fell on our department, and looking through folders to find them was time-consuming,” shared Ed Cange, senior marketing manager at Suncast. 

The solution

With its current filing system proving inefficient, Suncast decided to invest in a digital asset management (DAM) platform to make marketing content easier to retrieve, organise, and distribute. Its search for a DAM solution led Suncast to the Widen Collective®, which it selected to help meet the manufacturers three key objectives: improve file searchability, provide self-service access to assets, and streamline its distribution processes. 

Make searching for assets easy and intuitive

The Collective provides robust metadata and taxonomy options that give users multiple ways to search for assets and filter results. Suncast used these options to develop a metadata scheme tailored to its specific content needs and aligned terms with familiar internal language. For example, users are able to search by values such as environment, white sweep, or open inset. They can also search by product type (e.g. sheds, hose reels, and deck boxes) or categories (e.g. packaging, marketing copy, and manuals). Searchability was further simplified using spotlight searches on  Suncast’s Collective Dashboard for quick access to popular searches. 

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Improve user experience across all departments

In order to streamline processes, the team at Suncast desired to improve asset retrieval and distribution tasks. 

With the Collective’s user-friendly interface, Cange’s team now has an accessible user experience  where they can retrieve and distribute assets with ease. “It is great to be able to send large quantities of images with a link in an email.” This means Suncast saves time on repetitive tasks that it can now dedicate to more valuable work. 

Provide easy and secure access to assets 

Not everyone needs to have access to everything; both for security reasons and searching ease. With the governance tools in the Collective, Cange’s team controls the content that’s available to each user based on their role and department. “We had our own file system which worked for those in the know, but we needed to allow other departments and partners access to the images, to speed up the process.” With access rights predetermined based on need, teams across Suncast are able to spend less time searching — or waiting — for files, and more time on valuable work. 

The result

With the Collective implemented, it’s now the go-to repository for retrieving and sharing assets with others. “Timely distribution of assets is key when projects or requests come in,” Cange shared. Providing teams across the company with secure, self-serve access to content has improved operational efficiency by allowing users to download the content they need when they need it. “We have empowered others to locate images themselves, and alleviate some bottlenecks,” Cange explained. 

Additionally, not only has the Suncast team improved internal processes, but it has also found a true partner in Widen. Suncast knows the answer to any issue is just a phone call, email, or chat away. “It’s great to know there is a human that you can email or call and get an answer back,” Cange said. 

Before Widen, Cange and the Suncast team lacked the tools they needed to effectively manage and distribute assets. Now, there is  a centralised repository that has improved asset searchability, provides self-serve access, and streamlines content sharing, saving them time, money, and headaches.