Robins & Morton Creates a Strategic Asset Management Process with OpenAsset

The Marketing and Communications team at Robins & Morton is always eager to implement the newest tools and innovations to keep up with the ever-evolving construction industry. After all, their commitment to innovation is part of the company’s Building Forward® approach. But as the team grew, so too did their need to create efficient processes and move quickly. 

As the Asset Coordinator, Adria Klein’s role is to maintain the accuracy of Robins & Morton’s data and assets through collaborative processes and a clean workflow. Now, we’re sharing her asset management insights with others in similar roles because her team is proof that a few process adjustments and the right DAM can make all the difference in reducing bottlenecks at any AEC organization.  

The Challenge: Choosing the Right Tools at The Right Time 

Like many fast-moving construction firms, the team at Robins & Morton utilizes multiple platforms and systems to expedite their workflows. So when a new tool is introduced to the team, it’s got to prove its value—and fast. One of the platforms that Adria and the Marketing and Communications team have benefited from most in their expansion efforts is OpenAsset, the only smart image library built for AEC firms.  

“I can’t imagine not having OpenAsset in our life. I don’t even remember those days.” 

-Adria Klein, Asset Coordinator, Robins & Morton 

What’s most exciting about Adria’s team and their process improvements, is that they chose to include multiple departments in their OpenAsset adoption journey. And as anyone who has implemented new technology knows, getting buy-in across departments is no small feat. In fact, Userlane’s State of Digital Adoption Report found that 96% of organizations surveyed struggle with digital adoption, and almost half of employees viewed software as difficult and time-consuming. However, in a fast-paced industry that relies heavily on accelerating productivity, tools that expedite manual workflows while streamlining the implementation process are a must.  

The OpenAsset Solution

So how did Adria and her team balance the need for less clutter and more productivity while getting dozens of users to adopt OpenAsset? The simple answer is that they bring a teamwork mindset into everything they do, and every tool they utilize.  

“As we come across new tools or new innovations, we are always sharing and presenting them to one another to understand if it is a tool that fits the needs of the masses, right now. We bounce back and forth across the team asking how much we are seeing different changes in what we need. And then we make sure, as far as our process goes, that we have a flow of platform user security included in everything we do, in every choice we make.” 

-Adria Klein, Asset Coordinator, Robins & Morton 

Assigning Permissions and Training in OpenAsset 

After the initial excitement of a new tool begins to fade, many organizations, often unintentionally, forgo the final, most important step in implementation: employee training. Just as an effective onboarding process boosts new hire retention by an astounding 82 percent, onboarding teams into your new system and processes are just as vital to long-term success.

When Robins & Morton implemented OpenAsset, they not only assigned Adria as a dedicated resource to manage the tool, but they also created an approval process for the assets they maintain inside of OpenAsset’s image library. To the team’s immense credit, the security approval process, specifically, spans multiple departments and checkpoints to create a legitimate, ever-expanding single source of truth for files at Robins & Morton.  

“We make sure we have a flow of user security. In that process, we have advanced users on the marketing side with designated rights and access to complete uploads. Then, I manage those users and their uploads with library monitoring and support, which ensures that I’m approving if all the criteria are meeting standards. If not, then I send it back and explain the necessary changes to meet standards. We then bring in our administrative support, so they can upload any aerial photos or in-progress imagery that come in from the field. Because they’ve been onboarded into OpenAsset, they have instructions that will ensure their assets also meet the same standards. This way I’m not chasing down every item, and everyone’s getting to contribute to the project, safely, with checkpoints throughout.”

-Adria Klein, Asset Coordinator, Robins & Morton 

Besides the comprehensive security approval process that Robins & Morton implemented, they also offered training to each new employee, or employees new to the team’s preferred platforms and software.

Robins & Morton also holds an administrative summit where they bring all their administrators together to learn about the team’s tools and introduce them to OpenAsset. The goal is to show off what’s available to employees and encourage them to be excited about the efficiencies they’ll see, starting on day one. This is an event that any team can replicate and shows new employees, especially, that the company cares about their role and ways to make their work more efficient.  

Results: Upholding Standards & Ongoing Maintenance 

Once teams are onboarded and using OpenAsset with confidence, Adria’s primary goal shifts to maintaining the new workflow to deliver projects not only dependably, but quickly, again and again. Adria works off a continuous schedule to ensure that all keywords and data associated with files and projects are clean and consistent for everyone who interacts with OpenAsset’s DAM, as well as their preferred CRM, Unanet CRM by Cosential.  

“Keeping a maintenance schedule is so important. It not only keeps your data valid and up to date, but it’s also the key to giving us the best output, our reporting our imagery, everything the project is so much fuller and more complete.”  

-Adria Klein, Asset Coordinator, Robins & Morton 

And for teams who don’t have an Asset Coordinator like Adria, she suggests sharing the maintenance schedule with multiple team members. Then, as demand grows, the team should prepare to transition to one dedicated person that manages the process. This helps to remove bottlenecks in approvals, while also maintaining a few trained reinforcements for when team members are away from work or out sick. Fortunately, the maintenance process can be easily documented and shared so that others can learn the organization’s standards, creating a pipeline of employees ready to keep the maintenance schedule on track.  

Finally, once all digital assets have been reviewed, categorized, and meet all requirements, they go through a final validation checkpoint in the safety department. This final stage might look different depending on each organization’s unique needs, but the prevailing objective should remain the same: consistent data integrity and team collaboration across all vital assets.   

Implement Your Own Asset Management Workflow 

Now that you know exactly what’s included in an efficient asset management process—from approval to maintenance—you’re ready to start organizing digital assets, images, and files at your organization. But keep in mind that the way your team approaches the new workflow and tool onboarding is just as important as the processes themselves.

The team at Robins & Morton didn’t just purchase OpenAsset, they created shared responsibilities around the tool and continuing education on the best practices of digital rights management.

Any new software or platform is going to include onboarding and a brief transition period for users. However, successful teams plan for this transition, allow room for growth and changes to their current processes, and provide ongoing support to get the most out of their investment. From Adria’s perspective, the shift to an asset management tool was well worth the time saved and increased productivity.   

“I know in my role I can’t live without this tool [OpenAsset]. We have confidence in where everything is and that it’s the best version to use. It saves so much time and so much frustration that we previously had with file setups and searching and not trusting old imagery,” Adria said. “The confidence we now have is worth every bit of the transition. We never felt like we were trying to figure it out and make it all happen on our own. And that seamless integrated team effort is what really makes everything work.” 

-Adria Klein, Asset Coordinator, Robins & Morton

Robins & Morton has streamlined their work, making it easier to get approval for in-progress items, more accurate reports, and set clear standards throughout the entire organization. With OpenAsset, finding and using digital assets is easy, efficient, and productive for the entire organization.

Create Your AEC Success Story with OpenAsset

Whether your team is looking to simplify your digital asset workflows, streamline finding brand collateral, or expedite proposal and resume creation, OpenAsset has you covered. Book time with one of our DAM experts today to see the full capabilities of OpenAsset.

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