Enterprise Content Management Strategy for Interweave

Interweave hired DPCI to help define an enterprise content management strategy. DPCI analyzed the business, organizational and technical challenges the company faced surrounding workflow management, digital asset management and multi-channel publishing.

Interweave is a successful and growing enthusiast-media company based in Loveland, CO, with offices in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Founded in 1975, Interweave is one of the nation's largest art and craft media companies with businesses in magazine and book publishing, interactive and social media, television and video programming, directories, and events for craft enthusiasts. Interweave delivers best-in-market content to enthusiasts when, where, and how they want. Interweave owns and operates 15 consumer art and craft magazines, more than 30 special newsstand publications, 350 art and craft books, 33 websites, 10 online communities, e-mail newsletters, an e-commerce store, 11 consumer events, video workshops, and sponsors 3 craft television series on public television. 

Interweave consumers are highly engaged and hungry for more content to help them improve in their craftsmanship, be it in weaving, knitting, crocheting or the like. Many of the readers are looking for instructional content that they can interact with aside from just reading the magazines, books, or browsing the Website.

Thus, Interweave was looking for ways to deliver rich content in digital format across devices and form factors. Interweave management hired DPCI to help define a complete content technology strategy in order to achieve the goal of making project content digitally accessible and available across media channels.

Like many publishers, Interweave has legacy content stored in QuarkXPress and old Adobe InDesign file formats that makes it difficult to search and retrieve old content for reuse. For instance, there is no easy or out-of-box way to maintain the relationships among content elements on an old InDesign or QuarkXPress spread. Unless someone goes back into the layout file and tags boxes or frames as headlines, pull quotes, sidebars, and so forth, those relationships are lost. The problem worsens when there are multiple articles within a given page layout file. When content is not separate from presentation, the process of reusing legacy content is cumbersome and manual.

With regard to images, the organization did not have a standard process for file format, file naming, asset submission or digital selects and further, metadata was not stored with the assets. These issues made it difficult for staff members to quickly retrieve the assets they need for publishing across media channels.

Interweave sought out DPCI to help define an enterprise content management strategy focused on the way staff retrieved archived assets and work-in-progress content for reuse across print and digital channels. During the consultation, DPCI found that Interweave also had an opportunity to improve efficiency by standardizing editorial, design and production processes, then re-enforcing these methods with supporting technology. This would ultimately translate to improved scalability for the company.

DPCI led a series of discovery meetings onsite in Loveland, Colorado with all departments involved in the publishing process across Interweave brands. The discovery phase focused first on digital assets, including photo acquisition, preparation, and reuse, and then on textual content, including work-in-process workflow and reuse of legacy content. DPCI reviewed the current publishing workflow in detail, discussed the interactions between departments, looked for the commonalities and identified inefficiencies.

This provided DPCI with an in-depth understanding of the people, processes and systems in place and was used by DPCI to develop organizational, workflow and technology recommendations for Interweave.

At the conclusion of the discovery meetings, DPCI submitted a comprehensive report that documented the strengths and challenges of the current state at Interweave. In this report, DPCI identified the areas where process or technology improvements would help bring Interweave closer to a company-wide strategy for multi-channel publishing.

Interweave is blessed with a loyal and enthusiastic staff. However, the ins and outs of the organization’s publishing process existed in the minds of longtime personnel rather than in written form. DPCI made recommendations for thorough documentation of Interweave’s complete publishing process to help reduce operational variance across associated business units, and thus, mitigate organizational risk.

DPCI then proposed several options to help Interweave unlock legacy content from InDesign and QuarkXPress files into a standard, reusable format. This separation of content from presentation is an important step to meeting Interweave’s goals for content reuse and is an industry standard for multi-channel publishing.

DPCI also recommended that Interweave take a deeper look at how images are acquired, named, and versioned, then stored for reuse in an effort to standardize on image management in advance of investing in technology. Once a set of standards are established, then Interweave could implement a digital asset management system to enforce best practices across the organization.

At the conclusion of the report, DPCI provided a panoramic view on content technology solutions that Interweave should consider for the organization’s overall digital publishing strategy. These recommendations included both proprietary and open source options for editorial workflow management, digital asset management, XML server repositories and natural language processing technologies and how these systems could snap together. This approach would not only help to make Interweave content digitally accessible and available across media channels but would save time, money and ultimately open doors to new revenue streams for the organization.

In the words of Anita Osterhaug, eMedia Project Manager at Interweave Press, “Your knowledge and skills are exceptional, and we would recommend DPCI's services to anyone. It's been a real pleasure working with you, and we look forward to the next opportunity to work with DPCI again.”