Shopware: finding the right words and data

Shopware is Germany’s leading shop system manufacturer and has been successfully doing business for over 18 years. As an independent, equity-financed company, Shopware develops high-quality software and works in exceptionally close collaboration with more than 80,000 customers and 1,200 partners. The company has 170 employees and is considered one of the top innovation drivers in German e-commerce.

Shopware has continued to grow rapidly over the last three years and has inevitably undergone some structural upheavals as well as changes in processes and technology. This has especially impacted the PR, Marketing and Design departments, where the volume of photographs, graphics, videos, texts, and other types of data have steadily proliferated. Since all activities relating to corporate and product design are performed and managed in-house at Shopware, several hundreds of thousands of assets had accumulated over 18 years and there was an obvious need to find a way to manage and use the data simply and quickly.

The challenge: finding the Swiss Army knife of DAM

This was the situation when Shopware asked us to help them finally get their flood of internal data under control and organized. The staff in the PR, Marketing, and Design departments had been maintaining their data on the file server in the traditional folder structure. Videos, customer logos, demo data for online shops, trade fair images, advertising brochures, product graphics, press texts and many other types of data were frequently transferred from one location to another or simply filed away in duplicate or triplicate. On numerous occasions the departments needed to work on the same document, such as an InDesign file, which resulted in unwanted duplicates and various versions.

This meant the Shopware staff was spending valuable time searching for the appropriate files as well as maintaining and managing them. Similarly, colleagues from other departments would call and ask for a specific image, video or text file to be sent to them. Questions about licensing rights for images also came up regularly, with staff running the risk of using photos or graphics for which the company did not have the appropriate license. Working with external partners via file sharing systems such as WeTransfer further added to the data chaos. And finally, Shopware wanted a structured and well-organized overview of its own data, particularly existing texts, that could be searched using keywords. Up to then, employees had spent hours combing through folder structures to find existing texts, which they then had to read through to find the appropriate text sections. In short, Shopware was looking for the Swiss Army knife of company-wide data handling.

Solution: achieve order and take command of text

While 4ALLPORTAL may not be the Swiss Army knife of business software, it offers precisely what Shopware was looking for. The company decided to implement 4ALLPORTAL with the Digital Asset Management (DAM) module to reorganize its operating processes. Assets including images, videos and documents can now be managed, maintained, searched and sent centrally via 4ALLPORTAL DAM – throughout the company, with role-based authorizations. This means employees from other departments like PR, Marketing and Design can now also access individual assets online via self-service through the 4ALLPORTAL user interface – always depending on the rights assigned to them. This saves many calls, e-mails, and chats with colleagues from the PR, Marketing or Design department. New files are maintained with different use authorizations for optimized control of the approval process. Any required tasks, such as revision of a Photoshop template for an online shop demo, are organized centrally via the 4ALLPORTAL task tool.

Besides the basic functions of the 4ALLPORTAL, Shopware’s decision in favor of the DAM system from Cross Media was based above all on two of its features: the versioning and the full text search. The versioning enables the Shopware team to revert to different edited versions of images and documents and to obtain an overview of the most up-to-date file versions at any time. Thanks to the versioning, Shopware has the ability to track file evolution and to go back to previous ideas and wordings when needed.

The full text search feature is of particular benefit to the Shopware PR department as staff can now easily and quickly locate press releases, statements, and corporate texts using keywords to search PowerPoint, Word, or Excel files as well as PDF and InDesign documents. This saves time and above all avoids duplication since Shopware staff can now search for existing texts systematically and with little effort, and can then adapt them or use sections for a new text. Once the new document has been created and needs to be sent to partners or press agencies, Shopware now uses the 4ALLPORTAL E-Ticket function. The recipient receives an e-mail with a link they can use to download the content being made available. Shopware can conveniently determine the quality, format and availability period of the download as well as track who downloaded the files and when. Compared to the previously used file sharing systems such as WeTransfer, this process offers greater transparency, security and control.

Result: faster, better, more enjoyable

Shopware employees welcome technological changes and new tools – as long as they make sense and add value. It didn’t take long for 4ALLPORTAL DAM to prove its worth and for employees to notice its benefits: the overall quality of the marketing activities improved since, for example, the marketing materials now consistently use the right Shopware logo rather than varying and old versions, as used to happen. The company has also benefited from great gains in efficiency through optimized workflows and time saved when searching data and text. This frees up time and space for other tasks, and the Shopware team has also noticed that the intuitive user interface makes their day-to-day data tasks more enjoyable. What’s more, less time wasted on asset-related communication with internal and external partners makes collaboration quicker and more effective than ever.

Helen Kamender, Marketing Manager at Shopware, is pleased with the way the 4ALLPORTAL DAM is facilitating the company’s work: “We were looking for a system that would bring order and structure to our flood of data but we have actually gained far more with the 4ALLPORTAL: Besides data maintenance and file management, we are now also using the system to handle a lot of our operating processes and the associated communication. And by integrating the full text search, we are able to find the proverbial needle in a text haystack. We can now obtain the quick overview that we need for our work at any time.”

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