This case study is based upon the usage of the Collier’s real estate Corporation, whose business intends to expand and achieve a positive result. As the enterprise grows, so will the use of marketing assets, particularly the use of images. However, the ability of Colliers to cost effectively manage these assets becomes increasingly difficult.
The existing Colliers digital asset management process is labour intensive and is not scalable to the demands of the increased business. These processes will continuously need to be automated as much as possible.
Colliers is a full service, global real estate company. With offices and clients worldwide, Colliers is responsible for the management and distribution of thousands of property images, corporate marketing materials, and other real estate related digital assets.
Each office is currently managing independent, growing in-house databases of over 48,000 digital images, administering and distributing them to global clients and customers.
Due to the sheer volume of these assets, day-to-day tasks associated with their administration, distribution, and management have placed an unsustainable burden on the existing Colliers resources.
Human resources in the marketing, administration and information technology departments of the Colliers organization are dedicating a great deal of time and effort to the ongoing support of these digital assets.
The majority of these tasks are non-technical, labor intensive, repetitive and tedious. Corporate resources dedicated to these tasks would be better spent on revenue-generating projects and initiatives.
The management of Collier’s digital assets consists of two main labor intensive tasks:
The existing digital asset IT infrastructure is a decentralized local network based system. Project collaboration and distribution of image files results in massive file duplication across many systems. This takes up a large amount of system storage space and makes versioning and control over these assets unmanageable.
The reality of the situation is that this issue is only going to increase in magnitude. On the assumption that Colliers is successful in their business objectives, the use of these images will grow. The problem is that the existing method of managing the assets is not scalable. Therefore, success in Colliers business activities will add an upward spiralling cost, detracting from the hard fought revenue margins.
Colliers must be able to achieve growth, revenue, and profitability objectives. Policies, procedures, and systems supporting this must be scalable to allow growth without increasing costs and subsequently reducing profitability margins.
Specifically, as Colliers business continues to expand, so does the proliferation of the use of digital images and the inherent issues associated with this as described previously. The business objective is to reduce the costs to manage these assets.
Onison has invested extensive resources into the development of a web-based digital asset management system that relieves the burden placed upon corporate infrastructure and resources to support these valuable assets.
Onison is successfully providing this service to over 11,000 users from large global enterprises such as Novartis, Clariant, Rieter, Givaudan, Georg Fisher, Nike, etc.
The result is a revolutionary application that removes the time consuming and tedious tasks associated with managing digital assets. It also addresses the technical issues concerning storage and distribution.
Highlights of the ImageDirector system are as follows:
Most importantly, ImageDirector would enable valuable Collier resources to focus their efforts on strategic, revenue producing initiatives, while providing controlled worldwide access to real estate images, logos, presentations, etc. Time consuming, labor intensive tasks are handled by the ImageDirector system and image storage duplication is virtually eliminated.
As ImageDirector is a hosted application service, all issues related to storage, bandwidth and infrastructure are managed by onison Corporation. Technology infrastructure expenditures are greatly reduced and costs are use-based monthly operating charges.
In essence, Colliers can now achieve all growth and revenue objectives without incurring an increase in manpower and technology investments.
The business case for this proposal is based upon the analysis of the existing Colliers processes and the comparison of these tasks to the ImageDirector automated processes. This comparison will help determine the value of utilizing the onison digital assets management application, and ultimately justify the adoption of the use of this system by Colliers.
In order that we provide an accurate business case for the use of a DAM, a "from the ground up" automation strategy called "activity-task automation" must analyze small, oft repeated actions of key knowledge workers- in this case the Colliers Vancouver office marketing department.
This task example focuses on the number of minutes of effort required when locating, rendering and distributing an image.
Raw image received via e-mail or downloaded from camera to server.
Raw image is uploaded via browser to system.
Image is manipulated to adjust color, balance and cropping.
Image is resized and reformatted for low res. and high res. use and uploaded to server.
Image is automatically resized and reformatted upon upload to system. Additional sizes and formats can be created by users of the system.
Image is located via “Explorer" search function, utilizing file menus.
ImageDirector multiple search function of file name, short name, category, file type, keywords, description, notes, customer ID and file ID reduces time to identify the correct image.
Individual images must be opened, viewed and the correct image retrieved.
Thumbnail previews and text descriptions ensure correct image downloads.
Deliver image. Multiple copies may reside on numerous desktops and locations creating many duplicate files.
Thumbnail link e-mail notification. No need for permanent file storage on individual systems.
Labor reduced by 67% utilizing ImageDirector
*Figures based upon analysis of Onison customer’s marketing activities and comparison conducted after implementation of ImageDirector system.
Currently 25% of Colliers marketing department efforts are spent on image related tasks in each office location. The use of ImageDirector would see a reduction in this number from 25 % to 8.5 % of allocated departmental time.
Based upon this comparison, it is apparent that significant cost savings can be recognized by the automation of managing digital assets. For example, a company such as Colliers with an image library upload of approximately 5,000 images per year could see a saving of 1500 man hours of annual labor.
Based upon the above workflow analysis, the use of ImageDirector by the Colliers marketing and communications resources would recognize a cost saving shown by the example below:
ImageDirector monthly cost estimate includes:
Time to realize return on investment = US$ 1,198.80/ 6281 = 0.2 months
Based upon these calculations Colliers will see a Return Of Investment in less than a week. Cost savings per year for each office location will total US $74,176.20.
It should be noted that Collier’s technology, hardware, and network infrastructure costs such as servers, storage, maintenance, and administration were not included in this ROI calculation. As these resources tend to be shared, the issues associated with determining their exact cost has proven to be very difficult and complex. However, it is safe to say that these expenses will only continue to grow as Colliers use of images increases the significant savings in this area of expenditure would also be recognized through the adoption of ImageDirector.
The preceding information gathered during the analysis of the Colliers digital assets indicates that the current in-house management of these files is not sustainable under the existing conditions and infrastructure. Substantial investment into human and technology resources will be required to meet the demands placed upon the marketing, administration and information technology departments, assuming Colliers be success in achieving their corporate growth objectives.
Adoption of the Onison solution will provide scalability, increased functionality and capabilities, reduced dependence on internal resources and decreased costs. This will enable Colliers to achieve their revenue goals without any decline in profit margin.
ImageDirector is designed to be completely scalable and adaptable to any user in a global corporation. Therefore, it is entirely conceivable that in the future, other offices, departments, and divisions within Colliers would wish to take advantage of the functionality that the ImageDirector application offers.
The application of this outstanding advantage is that once a set-up has been implemented, expanding the use of the system is simply a matter of adding extra groups and users.
Future applications for Colliers can include:
This business case has proven that significant savings and productivity can be recognized by the Colliers Corporation.