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Dehner reaps the rewards of its integrated media asset management

Dehmer uses the Cavok Digital Asset Management

Dehner Garten-Center & Zoo has been using cavok's digital as-set management system for years, and has conse-quently integrated it into its own system environment and internal workflows. What was initially primarily used as a solution for managing media files is now used as an important building block for creating advertising material. One of Dehner's earliest develop-ment steps was to integrate cavok into the media production system Neoseven. The user report gives an overview of how cavok has grown from purely being management soft-ware to become an important building block for the creation of advertising material.

 Dehner Garten-Center GmbH & Co. KG (www.dehner.de), which has its head office in Rain near Augsburg and over 125 garden centres in Germa-ny and Austria, is one of the biggest garden centre groups in Europe. By consistently focussing on customers, the family business has grown to be an industry leader over its 70-year history. Dehner has now been owner-managed for three generations and continues to pursue a company philosophy that builds on quality and expert advice. With more than 5,000 employees, the Dehner group generated revenue of EUR 691.4 million in 2016.

Overview of image files

Dehner started to think about the topic of digital asset management (DAM) when Anne Hahnenstein moved from a publishing house to the garden specialists to take over the Advertising department. She has since become responsible for the whole of marketing at Dehner. "In publishing, images and text basically make up the product. In retail, they're just extra master data for the item," says Hahnenstein, "but just as in publishing, advertising retail companies also need media management that makes sense. Otherwise, you have expensive shoots and then can't find the images again or have to clarify the same licensing questions again and again. And at Dehner, some mages are used for advertising every 14 days," Hahnenstein continues. "Sometimes, product images come from Purchasing - often from the manufacturers themselves - and mainly from Marketing. We therefore started market research for DAM systems to implement central management for our media."

An integrable DAM system

They decided to go for the 'cavok' DAM system. Arguments in favour of cavok from Dehner's perspective were the great presentation, clear dedication of the manufacturer and the solution's value for money. As well as aditional area of use for a DAM system - central data management - cavok has well-developed features to automate workflows and avoid duplicates. However, cavok's big strength is that it can be deep-ly integrated into other programmes like web shops, design programmes or CMS systems. cavok's architecture is based on a SOAP server (simple object access protocol) - true to the motto 'cavok doesn't have an API, it is one.' cavok's reduced core con-nects a layer of open source modules: This gives ca-vok the ability to adapt and integrate, which barely any other DAM solution can do.

Automated creation of advertising material

"We used the system to map our special requirement. cavok is now a central building block for how we create advertising material in an automated way."

Anne Hahnenstein

"For us, it was a way forward until we integrated the system into our specific world of IT, but it paid off," says Hahnenstein. "We used the system to map our special requirement. cavok is now a central building block for how we create advertising material in an automated way. And the solution interface is intui-tive to use - which is really great because users have varying prior knowledge." Today, more than a dozen marketing employees use cavok. Around 20 Category Management employees at Dehner are to follow. These are employees who are responsible for the diverse product range and load product photos, graphics and text into the system. But a number of Dehner service providers and agencies also use the central DAM system - in exchange with Marketing. Currently, around 95 external ed-itors, graphic designers and photographers have access to cavok.

Bidirectional exchange with Neoseven 

Lars Schöne, Head of Campaign and Strategy in Dehner's Marketing division, also emphasises the important role cavok plays: "It is essentially the central foundation for handling media assets in our company. In 2015, we introduced the media pro-duction system Neoseven, which is a product from the Heidelberg group. We connected cavok to Neoseven as our central image management system." So there's now a bidirectional exchange of images, metadata and changes to images between the DAM system and Neoseven. "We have since realised a defined media process for creating advertising material," explains Schöne. Many agencies and service providers work directly in cavok 

Workflows for external parties

As an example, agencies research suitable photo-graphic material in the portfolio, download an im-age as a Tif file, edit it as a Psd file in Photoshop and then upload it again to the DAM system. To simplify this process and avoid duplicates, Peak-14 realised its own workflow with an exchange mechanism, which also makes it possible to clearly identify and allocate processed files when converting formats. The approval workflow for media assets that comes from agencies is also realised in cavok. So it's possible to only approve assets for certain user groups. The approval workflow for media assets that comes from agencies is also realised in cavok. So it's possible to only approve assets for certain user groups.

Monthly and weekly flyers

"Traditional retail print advertising is very important to us," says Anne Hahnenstein. "Our fly-ers are very customised and created to a high standard." At the same time, Dehner has once again been able to increase the frequency of ad-vertising material production with the new workflow for which cavok is the leading image system. "When it's the right time of year, we'll also add week-ly distribution, new openings and market-specific versions," reports Hahnenstein. Before, texts were hidden in simple Word files - now, relevant text com-ponents are directly linked with the corresponding images in Neoseven.

It needs to be easy to use

User feedback is also positive - and the training outlay was low. "Using cavok has to be as easy as using publicly available image portals," says Hahnenstein. "Intuitive use is a plus," agrees Lars Schöne, "we only have to go over a few basics in training, like showing and hiding functions." The newer features include users being able to open images from cavok right in their desktop environment, for example in Photoshop. "cavok is well-established at our company," says Schöne.

Complex user administration

There is also really extensive user administration which was required by a new corporate structure - it was possible to clearly separate individual business areas in the system. "Peak-14 colleagues suc-cessfully carried out new user administration," says Schöne. The switch to the later version, cavok 4.0, also paid off in 2017. "Access times are optimised in the new version and performance has improved," reports Schöne, "and there have also been some useful graphics adjustments."

DAM for the future 

It's clear that the DAM system will be able to continue to grow with Dehner's demands in the future. Film and video are playing an increasingly important role in Dehner's marketing. Dehner is currently producing films for YouTube, including user ads and tutorials. "It is intuitive to upload films into cavok," reports Schöne, "which makes life pretty easy for users." Another consideration: potentially connecting cavok to Dehner's shopping platform in future. Everything's already in place to do so. Dehner has already ensured it has a standardised image name structure and keywording, both internally and externally. "A DAM system like cavok opens up a whole range of opportunities," Anne Hahnenstein concludes. "As retailers, we can still do a bit more to make full use of this."

Here you can find the complete reference report as a PDF:

PDF Download

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