D & M Holdings Case Study
Movable Type Enables Efficient Image Management for Denon
Audio-Video giant D & M Holdings is now able to manage and distribute media assets for its flagship brand Denon across many different locations from a single web-based interface.
D & M Holdings has built a solid reputation for creating audio-visual products of distinction. Over the past three decades, the company's portfolio has grown to encompass 10 brands, including prestigious names such as Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustics. With regional companies, distributors and employees in Japan, the United States, Europe and Asia, D&M Holdings is a respected international market leader.
"Now that we use Movable Type, the hassle of preparing and sending product photos to locations within each country is gone, and the cost of using couriers has decreased by 98%."- Mr. Kazuhiro Kubota
Brand Marketing, Denon
With multiple brands and hundreds of different products, D & M Holdings was continually scrambling to keep their media assets current across all of their locations. The company's image inventory includes hundreds of products and brand logos that need to be accessed by different departments at different times from around the world.
Of particular concern was their flagship brand, Denon. With locations around the globe, keeping Denon's media assets current was expensive and time-consuming: the company would print large quantities of each product photo and send positive film to each country by air. Mr. Kazuhiro Kubota from the Brand Marketing Department was in charge of the process, and describes the frustration: "Staff in each country were always asking: 'are the pictures ready yet?' It cost a lot and also took a lot of time. It was a difficult process."
In 2000, Denon began looking for a solution that would allow them to manage their media assets and distribute images quickly and easily. Says Mr. Kubota: "We initially considered using a photo distribution system developed outside of Japan, but we couldn't customize it the way we wanted to, and the high cost made us decide against it." In January of 2003, Denon began sending images over the Internet, which greatly increased productivity. However, the system they chose was difficult to use, and lacked a simple user interface.
Mr. Kubota had been blogging personally since 2003, and thought that Movable Type might be the ideal solution for distributing and searching media assets. He began exploring the idea with SkyArk Systems, Ltd., members of ProNet, a Movable Type Enterprise Partner.
In December of 2006, the company launched a new web-based asset management system for Denon based on Movable Type Enterprise.
The Movable Type solution enabled individuals working at retail stores and reseller stores to quickly and easily download photos to be used in PR campaigns for Denon brand products. The homepage shows thumbnails of product photos uploaded in the last 30 days; users can download whatever images they need for use in local promotions. In addition to product photos and brand logos, new product information is also uploaded to the Movable Type platform, where it can easily be accessed by staff in every country. While the system is entirely web-based, all users must have an account with the company to gain access to it.
What used to involve hours of administration and thousands of dollars in couriers is now managed simply and effectively through Movable Type. "By using Movable Type to develop this system, the regional companies and distributors don't experience any time lag in receiving product photos," says Mr. Kubota. "We are very happy to be able to do what was not possible with the previous system."
Mr. Kubota is excited about the increase in productivity that the Movable Type system has brought thus far, and envisions expanding the system in the future. "I highly appreciate the level to which one can make customizations," he says.
Feedback from users has indicated that a much-wanted feature is the ability for users to choose multiple photos and download them all at once. He is also thinking about how to send notifications to users when new images are uploaded. "We think RSS would be great for letting users know about new images, but within the company, practically no one uses an RSS reader." Using RSS to notify updates would be very convenient, but it's difficult to communicate that to people who don't know RSS. The team is currently considering update notifications via email for the moment.
While Denon is currently using the Movable Type platform as a CMS, they plan to begin encouraging employees to use the blogging features in order to expand its use as a communications tool.
Case study data:
- Movable Type Enterprise
- Site opened onï¼šDecember, 2006
- Reason startedï¼šTo effectively distribute product photos for PR use to global retail stores.
- Production leadï¼šSkyArk Systems, Ltd.
- What has worked particularly well : The usability of the thumbnails and search features has received high remarks.