The Methanex Corporation -

A Media Asset Management Business Case Study


The hypothesis upon which to build a busi­ness case utilising the Onison Digital Asset Management Application Service (DAM) is based upon the usage of the Metha­nex Corporation, whose busi­ness intends to expand and net a posi­tive result.  As the corporation grows, so will the use of marketing assets and images.  However, the ability of Methanex to cost-effectively manage these assets becomes increas­ingly difficult. The existing image management process is ex­tremely labour intensive and is not scalable to meet the demands of the growing business.  These processes will increasingly need to be automated as much as possible.  
 

Executive Overview


Methanex has production facilities in North America, New Zealand, Chile, and Trinidad; marketing offices are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium and Korea. With expansion into Australia and customers worldwide, Methanex is truly a global corporation.  
 
The Methanex Corporate Communications Group is responsible for providing global stakeholders with accurate and consistent languages in a prompt and timely manner.  Corporate images play a critical role in the success of the delivery of these messages.  
 
The majority of the existing Methanex assets are in hard copy format, consisting of slides, contact sheets, negatives and photographs. Currently, there are relatively few digital images but, this is growing in use since all new images are created in this format.
 
Methanex utilize their images for a variety of corporate uses, including brochures and reports, Internet, intranet, extranet sites, presentations, as well as sharing with media, partners, investors and clients.nbsp; 
 

Business Issues


There are two main business issues associated with Methanex’s existing marketing assets:

Firstly, the majority of the company's existing assets are not in a digital format.  The use of hard copy images for global marketing and communications purposes is extremely inefficient and unmanageable.
 
Secondly, when Methanex eventually does have all of their assets in a digital format, the business issues associated with locating, retrieving, manipulating, storing and distributing them will be inevitable.
The proliferation and volume of these assets and day-to-day tasks associated with their administration, distribution and management places an unsustainable burden on the existing corporate resources.
Human resources in the marketing, administration and information technology departments of the organization dedicate a great deal of time and effort to the ongoing support of these digital assets. 
 
The majority of these tasks are non-technical, labour intensive, repetitive and tedious.  Corporate resources dedicated to these tasks would be better spent on revenue-generating projects and initiatives.
 

Hard Copy Marketing Assets


Analysis into the business issues associated with the use of physical, hard copy marketing assets is akin to the comparison between the use of traditional postal mail versus the use of e-mail as they are not comparable.  The efficiencies gained from the use of e-mail versus regular post are exponential in terms of communication and corporate resources.  

Specific issues associated with hard copy assets are:
 

  • Images must be stored in binders and cabinets in a singular physical location
  • Searching and locating desired images is a labourious task.  In order for images to be shared, they must be packaged and shipped to their recipients
  • Lengthy shipping times delay response to image requests
  • Subsequently, images are not available for use by other resources
  • A high percentage of requests are for the same images, are only available to one resource at a time
  • There is a high risk of important images loss.  Global marketing offices, media and clients do not have timely access to the images
  • Lost corporate opportunities due to difficulties associated with managing the physical assets
  • Design houses charge fees for every image converted from a hard copy to digital format


 
The use of hard copy images for marketing and communications purposes is an extremely inefficient use of corporate resources and must be addressed immediately.
 

Digital Assets


Although the transfer of current Methanex images into a digital format will address some of the issues associated with hard copy images, it will not approach all of the issues associated with the management of these assets.  For the Methanex marketing and communications departments, the management of the digital assets consists of two main labour intensive tasks:
 

  • The manipulation, resizing and reformatting of individual image files for multiple uses.  The retrieval and distribution of these images to partners, clients, and other stakeholders.
  • The existing digital asset IT infrastructure is a decentralized local network.  Project collaboration and distribution of image files results in file duplication across many systems.  This takes up a large amount of storage space and makes versioning and control over these assets unmanageable.


 
On the assumption that Methanex is successful in their business objectives, the use of these images will grow.  The problem is that the existing method of managing the assets is not scalable.  As a result, to continue to be successful in business activities will add an upward spiralling cost, detracting from the hard fought revenue margins.
 

Business Objective


Methanex must be able to achieve growth, revenue and profitability objectives.  Policies, procedures and systems supporting this must be scalable to allow growth, without increasing costs and subsequently reducing profitability margins.
 
Specifically, as corporation continues to expand so does the proliferation of the use of digital images and the inherent issues associated with this as described previously.  The business objective is to reduce the costs to manage these assets and increase the efficiency of those responsible for their use.
 

Onison Proposal


Onison Corporation has invested extensive resources into the development of a web-based Digital Asset Management System to relieve the burden placed upon corporate infrastructure and resources that support these valuable assets.
 
Onison is successfully providing this application service to over 18,000 users from large global enterprises such as Novartis, Clariant, Givaudan, Intersport, United Nations, etc.
 
The result is an intelligent application that removes the time consuming and tedious tasks associated with managing digital assets.  It also addresses the technical issues related to storage and distribution.
 
Highlights of the ImageDirector system are as follows:

  • Centralized repository of digital assets for easy control, distribution, versioning and file management
  • Web-based for easy access.
  • Digital images and files can be uploaded, searched, retrieved, viewed, downloaded, and organized from any location at any time of day.
  • Highly secure with assigned user privileges and access rights.
    Unlimited number of users.
  • Secure, scalable, hosted, application with system redundancy and complete database back-up and recovery.
  • Images are automatically resized and reformatted to corporate specifications.

The Solution


Onison proposes a two phase solution to this issue.
 
Phase One: Migration of Hard Copy Assets
 
Phase one of the solution focuses on the migration of existing physical marketing assets into a digital format.  This is accomplished through the use of high speed, batch scanning technology that will provide high resolution and high quality digital files of all existing Methanex images.
 
Phase Two: Loading of Digital Assets in ImageDirector
 
Phase two of the solution consists of the upload of the now digitized Methanex assets into ImageDirector where they are organized into categories, with descriptions and keywords attached to individual images.  Once this is completed, all images will be searchable and can be accessed by global users on a privilege-based system. 

Most importantly, ImageDirector would enable valuable corporate resources to focus their efforts on strategic, revenue-producing initiatives, while providing controlled world-wide access to images, logos, presentations, etc.  Time consuming, labour intensive tasks are handled by the ImageDirector system and image storage duplication is eliminated. 
 
As ImageDirector can be utilized as a hosted application service, all issues related to storage, bandwidth, and infrastructure are managed by Onison Corporation.  Technology infrastructure expenditures are greatly reduced and costs are based on monthly usage.
 
In essence, growth and revenue objectives can be achieved without incurring an increase in manpower or technology investments.
 

Business Case


The business case for this proposal is based upon the analysis of the existing methods and the comparison of these tasks to the ImageDirector automated processes. This contrast will help determine the value of utilizing the Onison digital assets management application, and ultimately justify the adoption of the use of this system by Methanex.
 

Workflow Oriented Cost Analysis


In order that we provide an accurate business case for the use of a DAM, a “from the ground up" automation strategy, called “activity-task automation" must analyze small, often repeated actions of key knowledge holders, which in this case happens to refer to the corporate marketing department.
 
The following scenario focuses on an already digitized image catalogue that resides on an internal local network-based system and is an example of the efficiencies and cost savings that can be recognized through the use of the ImageDirector application. 
 

This task example focuses on the number of minutes of effort required in locating, rendering and distributing a digital image.


Corporate Communications
Activity

Manual Process

Autom. Process

ImageDirector Web
Application Activity

Digital image received via e-mail or downloaded from camera to local network server.

1

1

Same

Image is manipulated to adjust colour, balance, and cropping.

4

4

Same

Digital image is loaded on to server.

1

3

Digital image is uploaded via browser to system and descriptives attached to image.

Image is resized and reformatted for high, medium, and low resolution use and uploaded to server. Raw image stays on server, taking up valuable storage.

6

1

Image is automatically resized and reformatted upon uploaded to system. Additional sizes and formats can instantly be created by users of the system.  Raw image is archived off-system.

Image is located via Explorer search function, utilizing file menus.

6

1

ImageDirector multiple search function of file name, short name, category, file type, keywords, description, notes, customer ID and file ID reduces time to identify the correct image.

Individual images must be opened, viewed, and the correct image retrieved.

5

1

Thumbnail previews and text descriptions ensure correct image downloads.

Deliver image. Multiple copies may reside on numerous desktops and locations creating many duplicate files.

5

1

Thumbnail link e-mail notification.  No need for permanent file storage on individual systems.

Minute Total*

28

12

Labour reduced by 57% utilizing ImageDirector

*Figures based upon analysis of Onison customer marketing activities whereupon a comparison was conducted after implementation of the ImageDirector system.
 
Currently, 10% of Methanex corporate marketing and communications department efforts are spent on image-related tasks. However, the use of these images is restricted because they are in a hard copy format.  Transformation into digital state will dramatically increase their use.  The utilization of ImageDirector would help increase efficiency and reduce cost.  Although the two departments may still spend 10% of their time on image-related tasks, there would potentially be a 57% increase in capacity that can committed to new projects.  

Return On Investment Calculation


Based upon the above workflow analysis, the use of ImageDirector by the Methanex marketing and communications resources would recognize a cost saving shown by the example below:
 

  • 500 images x 27 minutes/image = 13,500 minutes or 225 manpower hours/year.
  • 225 manpower hours x $60.00 per hour (corporate cost) = $13,500.00
  • $13,500.00 x 57% reduction in labour represents a savings in one year of US$ 7,695.00, or $765.00 per month.


 
ImageDirector monthly cost estimate includes:

  • Monthly Hosting Fee: Hosted Application and Storage of approximately 50,000 digital images with 50GB Storage space and data transfer per month: US$ 99.90
  • Scanning and upload of all existing Methanex hard copy files (approximately 2000 in total) into high resolution formats
  • Methanex-branded ImageDirector Standard Edition
  • Hosted application and storage of approximately 2,000 digital images
  • 1GB storage space and 1GB of data transfer per month



Monthly cost: $29.95
First Year Costs: $6,000.00 (including scanning of hard copy files)

Time needed until return on investment = $6,000/ 765, equalling 7.8 months.

Based upon these calculations, Methanex will see a return of a one year investment in less than twelve months.  Cost savings to year end will total $1695.00 and from that point on, more than $6,500.00 per year.

It should be noted that technology, hardware and network infrastructure costs such as servers, storage, maintenance, and administration were not included in this return on investment calculation.  As these resources tend to be shared, the issues associated with determining their exact cost has proven to be very difficult and complex.  However, it is safe to say these costs will only continue to grow as the use of images increase and that significant savings in this area of expenditure would also be recognised through the adoption of ImageDirector.
 

Business Case Summary


The preceding information gathered during the analysis of the Methanex marketing assets indicates that the current in-house management of these files is not cost effective under the existing conditions and infrastructure.  Substantial investment into human and technology resources will be required to meet the demands placed upon the marketing, administration and information technology departments, assuming the client is successful in achieving their corporate growth and communications objectives.
 
Adoption of the Onison solution will provide scalability, increased functionality and capabilities, reduced dependence on internal resources and decreased costs.  This will enable Methanex to achieve their marketing and communications goals without any reduction in profit margin.  

Future Applications and Opportunities


ImageDirector is designed to be completely scalable and adaptable to any user in a global corporation. Therefore, it is conceivable that other offices, departments and divisions within the corporation would wish to take advantage of the functionality of the ImageDirector application.


A major benefit of this system is that once it has been implemented, expanding the use is simply a matter of adding additional groups and users.

 

Future applications can include:

  • Setting up additional offices and divisions in a matter of minutes
  • Expanding the types of files to be accessed and shared to include logos, maps, presentations, documents, etc.
  • Presentations can be accessed globally, slide by slide, and new presentations can be compiled as needed
  • Application functionality can be replicated across the globe instantly so that increased efficiencies can be recognized through the use of the system


 
This above scenario has proven that significant savings and efficiencies can be recognized by users of Onison's Digital Asset Management System.



 
 
 

The Company

Onison Corporation is a leading global provider of branding tools that assists companies to manage their digital assets and contents for different media outputs.

Products & Services

Onison's scalable enterprise brand management platform provides a smart approach to manage brand and marketing workflows.

ImageDirector Media Asset Management
Preeon Web-to-Print Publisher
Onxxon Media Broadcasting
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