Soap-free media management - Sebapharma uses the cavok DAM system
Never change a running system - this is something you often hear in IT. But as is normally the case with sayings: sometimes they apply and sometimes they don't. Sebapharma, which is headquartered in Boppard and is known for its medical skin cleansing brand sebamed, decided to replace their existing software for managing image files. Since then, Sebapharma has been using a new digital asset management system - cavok, from the Darmstadt-based manufacturer PEAK-14. "The system simply met our needs better," explains Sascha Thönges, who is responsible for the DAM solution at Sebapharma as a media designer and a manufacturer. Since being introduced, the system and its scope of use has continued to grow at Sebapharma. "We have not regretted making the change," says Thönges.
The revolution of medical skin cleansing
Dr. med. Heinz Maurer used the germ cell for the large market of medical skin cleansing and skincare as early as the 1950s. He knew then that skin cleansing products had to be the same as the pH value of human skin, which is 5.5. Traditional soap doesn't have this pH value. This is because healthy skin is slightly acidic and this protective acidic layer fights off harmful environmental influences. Sebamat GmbH produced the first sebamed products in 1967, making use of this knowledge. Sebapharma GmbH & Co. KG, which was founded in 1983, acts as a distribution company for the companies Sebamat, Herzpunkt Pharma and Maurer Pharma GmbH. Today, Sebapharma has around 200 employees and operates worldwide. The product range now includes a wide range of skin cleansing and skincare products, from soap-free bars to shower products and creams, through to shampoos and deodorants.
Exchange with retail partners and agencies
"When we decided to introduce the new DAM system, the great support certainly played a key role," reports Thönges. "The cavok specialists speak our language and have shown us that we have real prospects with the system." In the beginning, Sebapharma exclusively used the new system to exchange image media with its retail partners and agencies, where the company worked with distribution partners in non-German speaking countries to export its goods.
Highly flexible software architecture
Cavok opens up all of the areas of use of a traditional DAM system. It can be used to automate workflows, centrally store data and avoid duplicates. One of cavok's special features is its ability to be deeply integrated into other software solutions, like design programmes, web shops or content management systems. A key reason for this is cavok's architecture. It is based on a SOAP server (simple object access pro-tocol) and you could say that cavok follows the principle of not just having an API, but actually be-ing one. As cavok's slim core is connected to a layer of open source modules, the system has the ability to adapt and integrate that virtually no other DAM solution has.
1,000 users worldwide
"The whole cavok/PEAK-14 team lives the system. It's a powerful tool and we have continued to expand its use," says Thönges. "What was initially pure-ly an image database for us is now a comprehensive database for the most varied of media assets." The cavok system has around 1,000 Sebapharma users worldwide. This was also a reason that put in a good word for cavok: the DAM system can also be used for big installations with a lot of users. 70 Sebaphar-ma partner companies around the world use the solution, whereby all users can always only see the areas they are authorised for, based on their specif-ic read rights and rights to edit. This is how retail and distribution partners access relevant Sebapharma advertising material, graphic elements and packaging designs through the DAM system. Finished artwork is also stored in cavok. "This means that, for example, pharmacists - or their graphic designers - can use our media material to design their own flyers that work best for them and their market," explain Thönges. "We are currently launching our new 'sebamed PRO' product line with probiotic ingredients. cavok is also a big help with this too."
Support for videos
Video files can be played right in the user interface in cavok. "You can send videos straight to the sys-tem, and if necessary, you can watch videos right in the user interface in a window that's compatible with smaller tablet screens," says Thönges. "We have consequently expanded our use scenario. Here, it's been proven time and again that the sys-tem is really flexible." Because Sebapharma's technology department is relatively small, the manufacturer is responsible for configuring the system. "There is a set team at PEAK-14 that looks after us. And even if we send a message using the support address, there are no friction losses and the responses are always prompt."
Understood in 10 minutes
"It takes 10 minutes and you learn about lots of different functions that improve use and clarity."Sascha Thönges
At Sebapharma, Sascha Thönges and a colleague are the internal and external contact partners for the solution. They take on the responsibility for maintaining and managing the system. "We have created a little manual ourselves for our special workflows, which makes using the solution easier for our external users," reports Thönges. "But a lot of things are self-explanatory. That's why we intentionally kept our manual small. It takes 10 minutes and you learn about lots of different functions that improve use and clarity. The number of queries users had has continued to decline. User feedback for cavok is basically 100% positive. Maybe apart from very specific requests that crop up from time to time."
New plans for 2018
Sebapharma is planning to transition to the latest version of the DAM system in 2018: cavok 4.1. One of the highlights of the new version 4.1 is that the display and writability of a metadata field can be dynamically managed - entirely on the basis of the workflow and the user's role. A very efficient similar-ity search is also new, which users can use to find duplicates, related items or simply similar images very easily. The user uses a slider to control how similar the im-age file searched for should be to the original - right through to searching for exact duplicates. "Another one of our goals is to integrate cavok deeper into our IT system to map out whole approval processes within the solution," says Sascha Thönges. "If pos-sible, this should also happen this year." The DAM system inherently has the flexibility and integrability required for this.
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