Manufacturing Marketing: How DAM Can Help Manufacturers Better Distribute Their Products

For an outsider, manufacturing and digital might as well be separate entities. The former creates tangible products, and the latter is more about the Internet, code, bits & bytes, right? Well, not exactly.

Manufacturers always need to expand and optimize their workflows, thus making them one of the primary consumers for the bleeding edge technologies that blend software and hardware innovations. Internet of Things (IoT), for instance, allows hardware to “communicate” with each other, thus reducing product failure rates.

Far too many, however, focus on the optimization on the machinery end, but human-to-human interaction could also use a tech-powered boost. Interacting with our users from the manufacturing industry, we’d received two important insights about things that they are trying to solve:

  • Problem with centralization of assets (marketing and production materials, listings for distributors, etc.) and as a consequence - a lot of downtimes looking for required files.
  • Challenges with clearance levels and sharing. Frequently, manufacturers bemoan the inability to send assets to the right people in a fast and secure fashion.

These are the challenges that Digital Asset Management (DAM) tools, such as Pics.io, are able to solve, thus allowing manufacturers to focus on what they know best instead of wrestling with files.

Now, let’s look at some common problems you can encounter with marketing and asset distribution in the manufacturing industry and how Pics.io can help you solve them.

Marketing for Manufacturers: How to Optimize Asset Sharing and Distribution

Problem

Manufacturers need to share a large number of assets with different stakeholders. Marketers need to receive promos to work with, the production team requires access to work-in-progress materials, while distributors expect to promptly receive assets that they need to start working on their end.

If you don’t have a centralized media library, then you have a tangled web of cloud services, personal computers, and flash drives with an expectation of ferrying information from one point to another. Facilitating said processes are sharing services that don’t exactly have levels of security that you’d expect. Especially since people don’t want to bother with complicated 2FA thingamajigs when it’s “just need to send a photo over.” If any such service gets hacked, your data is anybody’s game.

In short, when it comes to the distribution of files, manufacturers have to compromise between a relatively fast delivery method that can corrupt, lose, or compromise their files and long-winded, complex & secure environments that slow the entire process down. Not to mention that these exchanges are further complicated by a lack of a centralized media library.

Solution

Digital Asset Management provides a single source of truth for all your assets with powerful sharing and permission configurations.

Let’s say your 3D modeler has just finished rendering furniture mockups that are about to go into production. You’re out of town, but they urgently need your feedback. Instead of sending you an awkward picture chain in WhatsApp or sharing files over Dropbox, they can just go into Pics.io and share collection as a website.

The benefits of using the Website are that it’s fast, secure, and doesn’t require you to log into Pics.io to view assets. The latter part is especially useful if you prefer not to use any work accounts on personal devices to prevent theft of credentials.

You can also @ people in asset’s info panel and they’ll get a notification with a link straight to the specific asset.

And what about internal security concerns? Before you can invite a new team member into Pics.io, you need to assign a role to them, each one having a different set of permissions on what they can see and how they can work with what has been shared with them.

So, let’s take the sales team, for example. They don’t really need to look at stuff that’s still at design stages, so just make life easier for them and disable access to R&D assets collection.

On a more granular level, you can restrict the ability to download, delete, and edit assets for each role for each specific collection. Or, just add watermarks to the assets that you don’t want others to meddle with. So, any questions like “Can I use that picture?” or “Can you help me recover files I’ve accidentally deleted”? will be a thing of the past.

Even if someone slips through the cracks, Audit Trail will instantly let you know who did what:

Moving into the opposite direction, what if it’s you that needs to receive files from others but don’t want to click potentially compromising links or struggle with inefficient delivery? Using Inboxes, you can give your third-party partners a safe environment where they can share assets with you by simple drag-and-drop. Moving assets from inbox to collection is likewise simple - you can attach them to the required collection, tag, mark, etc., without worrying about alt-tabbing between different screens.

Today, many enterprises rely on freelancers and agencies to boost their marketing effort, so this ability to receive designs fast certainly streamlines the manufacturing marketing pipeline.

Digital Marketing Solutions For Manufacturers Helps Find Right Assets Fast

Problem

Promotional materials, blueprints, photographs, various documents - it’s hard to keep track, especially if they’re scattered across multiple libraries. Especially, when you need to find a specific asset fast. Language is a tricky thing, after all, every word has different synonyms. Even if you try to be as descriptive as possible, naming a document “tech specs on new sofa design”, can you be sure that the next person will think the way that you do? Without knowing the name of the document precisely, they can try looking for “specifications” or “couch” or any other variation of the words used and find nothing.

When it comes to visual files though? Sure, you can try looking at them one by one (which takes a lot of time) but manufacturing rarely works only with formats such as jpeg, png, etc. Work-in-progress formats (OBJ, PSD, Sketch, etc.) are commonplace but you cannot actually see what’s inside unless you open it with particular software that you might not have on a device currently in use. Doing that with hundreds of images doesn’t seem like a good way to spend your evening.

Solution

Pics.io allows you to preview the aforementioned file formats as if they were finalized, rendered images. That means that all your PSDs, and Sketch behave as any other image format would have. With OBJ, meanwhile, you can even preview 3D models in real-time and rotate them like in any other 3D modeling software.

So that’s one problem dealt with. But there’s still a struggle of actually scrolling down until you can preview the right asset in such a way, right? Nope!

DAM is all about metadata - keywords, custom fields (for the numbers, and other things that cannot be described in words), and other markers (flags, colors, star rating) that allow you to search for the specific assets even if you don’t remember exactly its name. You only remember that it was a “pink” “chair” that you have flagged for review a few weeks ago. A combination of these parameters will narrow down your search to a specific asset, saving you incredible amounts of time and effort.

Ability to quickly find files will be especially helpful for the marketing team. In the social media dominant era, marketers are expected to deliver new promos at a rapid pace to maintain a high level of engagement and recognition on social media. Sometimes, that requires the production and distribution of marketing promos in a single-day span. Reducing time spent on retrieving necessary marketing assets proves to be quite invaluable.

DAM Helps Manufacturing Marketing Teams Integrate and Coordinate With Other Departments

Problem

Being creatures of habit, it’s hard for some employees to conform to a new company’s work environment. With digital assets, if your designer works with Photoshop daily, they might not feel like constantly alt-tabbing between different applications to retrieve, send assets.

These scenarios create a situation in which assets and information about them is scattered across multiple channels, creating unnecessary legwork and sometimes complete inability to access some files (e.g. they’re stored on someone’s PC and they’re out of the office today).

Solution

Does your team want to keep using the software that they’d grown accustomed to? Let them! Pics.io’s plethora of integrations allows users to interact with assets inside Pics.io indirectly.

Pics.io’s Photoshop plugin allows designers to download and upload assets to DAM straight from their Photoshop. The designer can pluck an asset from Pics.io, do whatever edits that they need, and immediately save it as a new revision. They don't need to go through the collection tree, open a new tab, or anything of the sort. Besides, thanks to Pics.io's customizable push notifications (you can set up to receive updates about assets in Gmail and Slack), they don't even need to let others know that they've just uploaded a new asset - Pics.io will do that for them!  

Summing it All Up

Manufacturing is all about efficiency, logistics, and optimization. However, far too many focus on these improvements on the hardware side of things while forgetting about the human element. So, if we can augment hardware with software to make it work better, why not do the same for people? Optimizing content distribution and communication channels can save your organization a lot of time, thus allowing you to produce and sell products faster than before.

When it comes to working with digital assets, Pics.io’s DAM allows you to discard many inefficiencies and security concerns in just a few simple clicks that it takes to set everything up. Don’t believe me? Well, you can always try it for free or book a demo to ask about anything that we might’ve missed here. Hope to see you there, soon ;)

When it comes to working with digital assets, Pics.io’s DAM allows you to discard many inefficiencies and security concerns in just a few simple clicks that it takes to set everything up. Don’t believe me? Well, you can always try it for free or book a demo to ask about anything that we might’ve missed here. Hope to see you there, soon ;)

Curious? Learn more about Pics.io or book a demo with us and we'll answer all of your questions!

Pics.io Team
Welcome to Pics.io blog, where you'll get useful tips, resources & best practices on how digital asset management can help your business to manage & distribute digital content on top of cloud storage.
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