POWER Engineers

Optimizing photo management processes at POWER Engineers

POWER Engineers is a diverse, global consulting engineering firm with clients across several different service sectors. Following a period of expanded growth, the company soon found itself with over 3TB of photos in a network file system managed by a small group of marketing employees. In order to manage this growing photo library, the company embarked on a two pronged effort to build a process for acquiring and vetting photos as well as identify a tool that could manage this workflow in a scalable way.

  • Improve process for acquiring and vetting photos
  • Leverage OpenAsset to give employees controlled access to approved photos
  • Encourage photo library growth with scalable process and tools
The POWER Engineers Team
Lisa Conlon
Corporate Communications Coordinator
A better process and tool for photo management
LC

There’s a lot of sensitivity in engineering to protect our clients and make sure that photos we use for marketing purposes are properly vetted.

We didn’t have any permission-based controls on images, so that meant that people were the gatekeepers, which created huge bottlenecks. You’re taking people who are already very busy trying to put together proposals under very tight deadlines, then tapping them to go search for photos that are approved for use. What we were finding was that the people who had the knowledge base to go along with the photos had a difficult time keeping up with the company-wide requests for photos.

Because this process wasn’t efficient, we ended up with a handful of standard photos that were featured in almost every proposal and the library wasn’t really growing.

Discovery process
LC

We pulled a select group of people from our key divisions, and that’s ultimately what formed what we call our Core Team.

Ultimately, our goal was to save time and make the photo management process easier, but still leave control in the hands of the people who really needed to monitor the vetting process. We didn’t want anyone to fear that a key client’s project photo could end up on a tradeshow booth without having knowledge that it happened.

There came a time when we invited our interactive agency to help us with the discovery process. At the end, we had an unbiased recommendation which gave us two or three options. That was ultimately how we selected OpenAsset.

Selecting OpenAsset
LC

The selling point for us was that OpenAsset seemed so easy and very accessible. That meant we could literally open up the library to the entire company and allow anybody to search for images, all while knowing that we could control access so that sensitive photos and assets wouldn’t be accessible. That was like music to our ears.

Leveraging Deltek Vision information in OpenAsset
LC 

Because of the integration between OpenAsset and Deltek Vision, we were able to lean on the keyword structure that was already well established in Deltek, which again, was a huge benefit. I can’t state that enough.

Since our keyword structure is replicated from Deltek Vision, everybody knew it, it made sense, it was already understood, and we didn’t have to do a lot of re-work. It made a lot of sense to just bring that information along into OpenAsset and it works very well for us today.

Engaging project teams
LC

Now that we're in our maintenance mode, our task is to expand our library by getting new photos and driving awareness amongst project team members.

In the past, marketing was frustrated because project teams didn’t go out into the field with the end goal of getting images. Having a DAM system has definitely increased awareness within the project side of the business to see how they can help drive our marketing efforts to remain competitive. They didn’t really see their place in that process, but now they’re able to see that more clearly. So that’s been a huge gain.

OpenAsset Project Management and Support
LC

Our OpenAsset project manager was hugely instrumental in helping us move through the phases of our implementation and keep the project moving.

Our project manager was very good about conducting and recording training sessions and we have those out on our internal training portal. Anybody who is new to the company, or new to OpenAsset, has the ability to go to the intranet and view a recorded training session.

Our project manager stayed with us through the span of the entire project and was willing to make time to conduct multiple training sessions for us, and that was a huge help. I would definitely say that they exceeded our expectations. There are plenty of vendors that probably wouldn’t have offered that level of support, but I really appreciate the fact that our project manager did.

We definitely loved working with OpenAsset and we’re very happy we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor and we really appreciate the support we got from our project manager and the rest of the OpenAsset team.

Results
LC

Before, nothing was really documented, such that a person could look at a photo and have some understanding as to where it was in the vetting process. For somebody who doesn’t really have a whole lot of knowledge about transmission lines, for example, it sometimes wasn’t even clear what was being shown. That’s the advantage that we have now; we have a robust system that allows us to tell the story, not only about that individual photo, but who owns it, who uploaded it, and the traffic lights system tells whether the image is approved. This has improved our process immensely.

From an organizational standpoint, and a process standpoint, it has put us light years ahead of where we were in a relatively short amount of time. We’ve organized things so that as new people are coming into the company there's a training module and less reliance on tribal knowledge. That’s what OpenAsset is designed to do and it does it very well.

I would say that all of the divisions would resoundingly say they are really happy that we have OpenAsset as our DAM system.

About POWER Engineers

POWER Engineers is a global consulting engineering firm specializing in the delivery of integrated solutions for energy, food and beverage, facilities, communications, environmental, and federal markets. POWER Engineers offers complete multidiscipline engineering, architectural, and program management services. Founded in 1976, it is an employee-owned company with more than 2,100 employees and over 45 offices throughout the United States and abroad. For more information, please visit www.powereng.com.

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