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CustomInk

CustomInk Drives Rapid Brand Growth with WebDAM

“We’re so happy with WebDAM. They have been so helpful and flexible. It’s been a great experience.”

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Background

As a rapidly growing online retailer, CustomInk manages countless digital assets to fulfill custom clothing and merchandise orders for a global customer base. Not only does CustomInk provide custom designs for t-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles and other items, it also allows customers to easily submit their own designs to be screen printed onto products. To keep track of all these different files and continue its momentum as a rapidly growing business, CustomInk turned to WebDAM for its digital asset management needs.

The Problem

Digital assets are an important aspect to every CustomInk workflow, from the initial design of a t-shirt to how items are printed and distributed to customers. The CustomInk team quickly realized that its homegrown, barebones solution for managing and accessing these digital assets was insufficient and actually added to the daily workload.

Joe Nicolia, Art Technology Specialist at CustomInk, said his team had loaded more than 10,000 individual files onto a rudimentary shared directory housed on a local server.

The files were in a “to-be-reviewed” folder that was difficult to access and made searching for metadata impossible. Metadata and other information frequently got overwritten when other users connected to the folder. Though these files were being archived, they were often needed to repurpose designs or reprint existing designs.

Over time, CustomInk’s cumbersome and inaccessible shared directory continued to fill up with assets with no easy way to access or view the valuable files inside.

“We had 8,000 to 10,000 assets that just sat there and no one was able to spend time addressing them,” Nicolia said.

Custom Ink WebDAM Account

The Solution

Nicolia said the CustomInk team evaluated many platforms to better manage the company’s huge collection of digital assets, but none met the team’s needs.

“Off the shelf solutions were all resoundingly horrible,” Nicolia said. “All the other options were too pricey and didn’t do the simplest things we wanted them to do.”

Finally, as CustomInk was opening its third office in Reno, Nevada, Nicolia came across WebDAM and found that it closely met the rapidly growing team’s needs.

“WebDAM has always been in the cloud, which makes a lot of sense for us, especially as we spread people further and further,” he said. “I am completely smitten with the system.”

Nicolia was able to get the CustomInk WebDAM account up and running quickly by himself, with no additional IT support or extensive training.

“My own folder structure was imported very gracefully,” Nicolia said. “It all worked the first time around. I just let the account set up process run and it worked so smoothly.”

Today, CustomInk’s entire pre-press artwork team — creative professionals that prepare artwork before it goes to any print shop or screen printing facility — uses WebDAM every day to manage, access and collaborate over thousands of creative files. WebDAM has also given administrators control over who can access which assets and for what purpose.

“It was really easy to set up permissions in WebDAM,” Nicolia said. “We have three different groups accessing different things. It was so easy to set up the hierarchy and permissions for different users.”

Today, WebDAM plays an integral role in many CustomInk workflows. Members of CustomInk’s merchandising team review assets to decide what is displayed on the website. And WebDAM has been a huge time saver for CustomInk’s pre-press art team.

“If a pre-press artist looks at an order and sees a firefighter emblem, they can now look through WebDAM to check if we already have any assets that match what the customer is looking for,” Nicolia explained. “Lots of simple elements can be found in WebDAM to integrate into an order and close it much more quickly.”

Nicolia said that having to draw an element for an order by hand could take more than an hour. With WebDAM, that time is reduced to 15 or 20 minutes.

“We’re using WebDAM for a very simple process but it’s a huge cornerstone for our company,” he said. “It’s been a huge timesaver. It’s been exponential actually.”

Since WebDAM stores and manages all the logos used for CustomInk’s products, future orders will be completed quickly because the core assets are already available.

“At the very least, we only have to work on things once,” Nicolia said. “And we have different versions of assets saved so you don’t have to create a new one every time an order comes in.”

Analysis & Results

Before using WebDAM, CustomInk’s digital assets were essentially locked down in an archaic, on-premise shared directory that didn’t support metadata search or provide access for the company’s growing team. After working with several disappointing solutions, CustomInk evaluated and chose WebDAM as the best fit for its digital asset management needs.

CustomInk was able to easily import its custom folder structure and metadata into WebDAM, and immediately incorporated the Brand Portal into the company’s every day work processes. Not only did WebDAM make it easy for users to access files anytime, anywhere, it also captured the important metadata that helped determine how assets could be used and repurposed.

For Joe Nicolia, CustomInk’s Art Technology Specialist, WebDAM’s intuitive design and ease of use has translated to valuable time saved for his busy pre-press art team. Instead of creating custom designs from scratch, teams can quickly and easily repurpose logos and other assets, saving several hours a day.

Nicolia and his team are so happy with WebDAM that they recently made the decision to upgrade the account and bring another 80 users on board.

“As soon as the team heard we were adding more users, they started cheering,” Nicolia said. “And the archiving team already started pitching using WebDAM for the rest of the company.”

Conclusion

As a rapidly growing company with a large creative team, CustomInk was struggling to work efficiently with its multitude of valuable assets. CustomInk found that WebDAM, with its powerful cloud-based platform and simple and intuitive user experience, was the perfect solution for the company’s digital asset management needs.

“WebDAM’s appearance and strong functionality was very attractive for our growing team,” Nicolia said.

Following a quick and easy deployment, WebDAM has been a resounding success at CustomInk. Primarily used by the company’s pre-press art team, WebDAM has saved the company countless valuable hours and resources by reducing the need to create every design from scratch.

“Everyone at CustomInk uses WebDAM really frequently,” Nicolia said. “We can’t wait to get more people set up to use it.”

Nicolia added that WebDAM’s focus on customer success is also what sets the company apart in his mind.

“We’re so happy with WebDAM,” Nicolia said. “You guys have been so helpful and flexible. It’s been a great experience.”

Highlights

  • Implements metadata structure for improved search
  • Enables custom user permissions
  • Saves time through effective repurposing of files

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