Resource/Ammirati is part of IBM Interactive Experience (IBM iX), the world’s largest digital agency network. They offer nimble start-up spirit at scale, with 400 associates spanning three offices. They help marketers including Birchbox, DSW, Microsoft, Nestlé, Newell Brands, North American Breweries, Sherwin‑Williams, White Castle and Victoria’s Secret build Brand Belonging, cultivate customer relationships, fuel social impact, and drive growth.

The Challenge

Resource/Ammirati’s client, a fortune 500 global manufacturer, needed help producing and updating images for 50,000 products, and formatting and sending these images to over 25 retailers including Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, and Lowes.

They were losing sales because of missing or low quality images in their sales channels.

Resource/Ammirati was faced with 3 significant challenges:

  1. Most of their client’s images were low quality.
  2. Each retailer had their own image and data formatting requirements.
  3. They had a one-person team.

Resource/Ammirati needed software with the following functionality:

Manage images, data, and retailer profiles efficiently.

With a one-person team, the process of managing or organizing thousands of images and associated metadata for multiple brands, and creating and managing detailed profiles for 25 or more retailers, must be as efficient as possible.

Search and group images.

Images would often need to be grouped and managed based on specific data criteria i.e. all images that belong to brand X that have a height and width less than 1,000 pixels. The software must have powerful search and management functions to segment images granularly.

Automate image and data distribution.

The process of formatting and sending product images and image-related metadata to retailers manually is complex, time-consuming, and error prone. The software must automate some (or all) of this process.

Generate detailed image and production reports.

Detailed image and production reports must be easy to create.  Report examples include: images by brand produced during a defined period, images sent to retailers during a defined period, products missing image views, and retailers missing images.

“Visual SKUs Amplify has been a great tool for Resource/Ammirati. There is no way I could have accomplished what I did over the past several years without it. Amplify has made me extremely productive and it has allowed us to provide excellent service to our client. We believe that we can use Amplify to provide even more services to current and future clients.”

Kate Ersly

Senior Manager, Omni-Channel, Resource/Ammirati

The Solution

Visual SKUs’ Amplify solution provides Resource/Ammirati the following capabilities:

Repositories for Image Organization

Each brand has its own repository for managing and organizing the images. It is easy to navigate to and search for images or groups of images within each brand.

Image Metadata Management

Metadata fields are customizable for each repository. Metadata is imported using system-generated templates and used for complex searches based on specific image properties.

Retailer Profiles

Profiles for each retailer is set up in the system containing their formatting details – file type, dimensions, white space border, DPI, where to send images, and clipping path retention (some retailers require clipping paths, others do not).

Substitutions for Image Formatting

Retailers often have a specific way they want the image files named – some require a unique product number, some with a prefix, others with an underscore before the image view name. These ‘substitutions’ are setup in the system for each retailer. When images are formatted, they are named according to the substitution details.

Representative Image Management

The system allows a single image to be associated to multiple product numbers. This saves time in production, avoids duplications, and increases coverage (the number of products that have images).

Image Data Manifests

Data manifests group data fields into a template. This template can be associated to a retailer. When images are formatted and sent, the data manifest template is populated with the metadata and sent along with the images.

Image and Data Delivery Jobs

Formatting and sending image and data to retailers can be scheduled as a ‘Job’. These jobs use information in the retailer profiles to format the images and populate the data manifest. Both the images and the data are sent to the location defined in the profile i.e. retailer FTP server. The combination of profiles, manifests, and jobs automates the entire process for formatting and sending images and data to retailers.

Reporting

Production reports are generated to monitor deadlines and to ensure goals are being met. Image detail reports are used to segment images for more efficient organization and management.

The Results

Resource/Ammirati has experienced the following key results from using Amplify:

Productivity

With a single dedicated resource, over 30,000 images for 10 brands have been delivered to 25 retailers. This would have taken 3 to 5 times as long if done manually and the human-error factor would be significant. Amplify makes image and data delivery fast and accurate.

Automation

The automated process of formatting images for each retailer, compiling the metadata they require for the images, and sending it to retailers saved valuable time, cost, and ensures that the files and data sent are accurate.

Retailer Satisfaction

Amplify provides functions and automation for regular image and data deliveries as well as ‘urgent’ or ‘one-off’ requests from retailers. This requests happen for many reasons, and the retailers want the images yesterday. The ability to deliver on schedule and on demand increases retailer satisfaction.

Sales

Accurate product images into retailer’s sales channels faster, equals more sales, sooner. This means into more revenue for retailers and a stronger competitive position.

Efficiency

Organization of images, data, profiles, and delivery jobs in a single centralized system is efficient. This allows Resource/Ammirati to deliver a cost-effective service to their client, with a one-person team.

Project Insight

Deep insight into the status of the images in the library allows Resource/Ammirati to make smart decisions on image production, to manage images more efficiently, and to continue to build and add value to the images in the system. Also, insight into project production and progress provides stakeholder visibility.

Nancy Kramer
President & CEO, Resource / Ammirati

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