Founded in 1973 by three surfers and friends, NHS, Inc. is a globally recognized skateboard, snowboard, surfing and apparel company based in Santa Cruz, California. As of October 2013, Santa Cruz, NHS’s signature brand, is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. All NHS products are designed at its Santa Cruz headquarters and manufactured at facilities in the United States, Asia, Mexico and Europe. NHS distributes products to more than 70 countries around the world. With Webdam, NHS is able to grow and strengthen its brand while remaining true to its roots and identity.
Santa Cruz. Nor Cal. Independent. Creature. These brands are legendary in the surfing and skateboarding communities. The red Santa Cruz dot logo and the Nor Cal star logo automatically evoke images of California’s surf and skate culture. Their parent company, NHS, Inc. manages more than 15 distinct brands that actually compete against each other. So, naturally, the company has made brand management a top priority from day one.
NHS operates 1,600+ stores in the U.S and works with 200+ foreign distributors and 6,500+ direct e-retail customers. Because they manage so many separate brands around the world, consistency and brand control are crucial. NHS has 11 in-house creative department employees along with 21 freelancers to bring continuous innovation to its designs.
To stay on top of multiple brands and improve workflows for creative employees, NHS needed a strong and reliable digital asset and brand management solution. Several different stakeholders would need access and collaborate with files anytime, anywhere and from any device.
Sharing Starts to Skid
As NHS’s business and brands grew, they needed a system to share and send their valuable digital assets within the company and to hundreds of global distributors. First, NHS deployed an FTP server, but quickly found it was a sluggish and antiquated technology that wasn’t meeting the team’s needs.
NHS received daily complaints and frustrations from business partners over the slow FTP server, so the company implemented some mainstream file sharing tools to try and solve the problem.
However, these solutions did not scale with NHS’s growing business and were clearly not designed with creative professionals in mind. In fact, the file-sharing tools created more work, so NHS decided to pursue other options.
At this point, NHS was faced with two choices: either build a digital asset management platform in house or find another third-party solution to meet its needs.
NHS started building a DAM system from scratch, but quickly found that it wasn’t practical for the company’s use cases. It also took up valuable IT resources and time that could be spent on other critical business matters.
Upgrading the Platform
NHS evaluated several independent DAM vendors and chose Webdam, because it was cost-efficient, easily scalable and matched all the company’s needs.
“The bottom line for me was the Webdam user interface,” said Cari Herod, creative department manager at NHS. “It’s super easy to find stuff. I thought it would be a whole ordeal and nightmare for me with phone calls and e-mails every day, but it’s just really easy to use and find assets in Webdam.
The Webdam industry-leading customer success team also played a role in NHS’s decision, Herod said.
“The Webdam support team has always been really helpful,” said Cari Herod, creative department manager at NHS. “We’ve gotten our whole sales team running with Webdam and I haven’t had a single person come back to me and say anything but nice things about the platform.”
Herod added that after running just a few ad campaigns a year, NHS’s investment in Webdam has paid for itself.
NHS deployed a customized brand portal (creatively named “Grab Assets”) using Webdam. Today, it shares about 85 percent of its assets publicly.
Implementing Webdam has allowed NHS to significantly boost productivity by freeing up valuable resources and time. The software has greatly improved sharing files and collaboration. Now, NHS’s business partners experience much smoother workflows while adhering to strict design guidelines
Better Speed, Happier Partners
For NHS, a global leader in the skateboard, snowboard and surf industries, brand management is everything. With multiple brands operating under the NHS umbrella, maintaining strict design and brand guidelines is crucial for business credibility. For NHS, this task was made more challenging by the fact that it works with many foreign distributors and conducts about40 percent of its business abroad.
Struggling to manage all of its assets and designs with an outdated FTP server, NHS chose Webdam for its digital asset management needs.
After a quick and easy deployment, NHS launched a customized brand portal for team members, partners and even the public to access images and other files for all of its different brands. Webdam has made it much easier for NHS to enforce its strict brand guidelines by directing inquiries to a centralized location for assets.
Webdam also helps NHS successfully deploy 11 distinct catalogs full of product images and information around the world.
As an icon in the skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing world, NHS has a massive (and constantly growing) collection of digital assets that represent its many different brands to a large global audience. After struggling to maintain these files on its own and with other file sharing systems, NHS chose Webdam to manage valuable company assets.
Thanks to its easy-to-use platform and excellent customer service, NHS found Webdam to be the perfect fit for its digital asset management needs. NHS found Webdam to have an effortless deployment process and excellent scalability.
On top of organizing assets and streamlining workflows, Webdam has empowered NHS to strengthen and grow its already world-renown brand though additional partnerships and distribution agreements.
As NHS brands appear on even more third-party merchandise like headphones, mobile phone accessories, USB drives, skate shoes and other products, Webdam has helped NHS grow its brand with new partners in new industries while remaining consistent with the company’s original brand identity.