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A new digital DAM era at the National Trust for Scotland

The National Trust for Scotland has now entered into a new digital DAM era, boasting a a new and extensive digital image library. This means it now incorporates many thousands of images into one image library. These encompass the geographical, social, and natural heritage that Scotland has to offer. Sadly though this fascinating and valuable image library (Archive), wasn’t available for many publishers and researchers to use. Why?

The Challenge

Prior to a modern digital DAM being implemented the in-house image librarian had to manually process requests as they came in via the image library. Before this, non-specific requests would be processed by a trawl through the library. This would then be followed by a selection of possible images being sent to the client. If the user then decided to continue with a purchase a licence was then drawn up. Collectively these searches became a huge drain on resources. So it was that we suggested to the team that they should implement a new image library.

Equally, sales enquiries were difficult to satisfy and, often, sales opportunities were missed. Inefficient, labour intensive and without guaranteed outcome, it was clear the existing  image library wasn’t performing. A new solution was needed which would allow the heritage Trust to free up resources and benefit from new income.

Image of a castle surrounded by a lake in Scotland.

The Solution

The Trust embarked on a scoping exercise to identify the key elements it needed in a new image library. It defined this by allocating a scoring matrix to the possible solutions. The key criteria the team at the Trust needed were:

  • A positive front-end user interface & experience
  • Image library management user interface & experience
  • Quality of service
  • Brand management
  • Financial sustainability
  • Promotion of Scotland’s heritage
  • Customer service & standards

Four platforms were considered as possible solutions. Two of these were selected because they had existing image sales platforms. The other two were selected (including CiT’s solution) because that would be able to offer bespoke Trust platforms, based on an existing framework.

One winner emerged consistently

Across the board one platform consistently outscored the others – CiT. Whilst at this juncture we are biased, we believed that a new system, iMediaFlow fitted the bill. This enable the Trust’s rich image library to be easy to use. The images wouldn’t be lost in a huge repository where they may be stumbled across via pot luck.

The front end user experience would be straightforward and joyously uncomplicated. The team also discovered that there was a wealth of heritage and licensing knowledge in the organisation. This helped in developing image sales quicker and ensuring the back-end interface was thoroughly intuitive.

Image of Scottish landscape

The Result

“The implementation of the solution was made easy by the team at CiT. They had an ability to work in an iterative sense. They worked swiftly yet with absolute attention to detail. This was welcome in what had often been a difficult process.

Their input was far from simply technical. Their knowledge of the process of selling images was critical to helping us. From the treacherous area of terms of use, to the nitty gritty of licences they were on-hand to help. This proved most useful for our Image Librarian who they guided them through the process.

The deployment process was practical and iterative adaptations made as changes as required. The outcome overall has exceeded our expectations and fulfilled the quality criteria we were seeking. The selection of images is being added to regularly despite limited resources internally. The Image Librarian is now able to concentrate on the many other critical tasks of his role. We are visibly noticing that time inefficiencies are being reduced regularly on an ongoing basis.

As for users, we have had great feedback even in these early stages.  The interface and image search is intuitive and instinctual. This really allows users to browse freely when they wish. Given the speed of turnaround and the thorough approach of Richard and the team, we have been hugely reassured. We know that this will be the start of a long-term partnership. We look forward to laying further plans to grow the business passing through the image library.

Help your heritage organisation today

I can heartily recommend not only the CiT solution but the expert and customer-orientated team.” You can find out more about the iMediaFlow solution and how it can help you heritage organisation on our e-commerce solutions area.