Using Smartimage for Product Photos
About Fireclay Tile
Tell us a little bit about Fireclay Tile and your role in the company.
Fireclay Tile was founded in 1986 by Paul Burns. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA our mission remains the same today as it did when the company was founded, make beautiful tile for people the way they want it, when they want it. With a long standing dedication to reducing waste and maximizing efficiency we hand make 100 percent of our product in our Northern California factory. This hands on approach allows us to leverage time honored techniques with modern technology. We are a customer focused company, invested in making sure our customers receive personal attention for each and every project with seamless communication throughout the entire process.
As our in-house photographer, I’m in charge of generating product photos, working with the creative Marketing team to create our emails and other promotional photos, and image database organization. I also reach out to outside photographers and customers on an ongoing basis to add images to our database for blog & social content.
What kinds of images does Fireclay Tile have and what are they used for?
We produce and catalog hundreds of images each month ranging from customer installation photos, product photos, still lifes & other promotional images. They’re used to inspire customers on their interior design projects and show the wide range of products we produce. One aspect of customer images that we receive is of our product installed in their homes. Because we have multiple product lines with an infinite number of combinations,we like to keep customer installation images to use as a reference for future clients interested in creating a similar installation.
Additionally, because our products are made to order, it’s helpful for the customer to see an image of our product before they purchase. With over a hundred glazes and 30 sizes in our Tile line alone, there are thousands of combinations we need to represent through imagery.
Your experience before Smartimage
What challenges did you face with your images?
Our catalog was large and unorganized. Before we could even begin to think about moving our images into a digital asset management system, we had to get a handle on the photos that we had. This involved a large effort to categorize and tag all the images before they made it into SmartImage. A large portion of my time daily would be taken up by requests for photos, as team members needed them to share with customers.
How did you try to solve these challenges before Smartimage? What were the results?
We typically had images stored on separate computers, making it difficult to know which images were where. If a salesperson needed a specific image, often they would have to ask several team members before finding it. Images were then sent through email before eventually making it to the customer.
Looking for a solution
How did you go about looking for a solution?
We needed something affordable and easy to use. We did the research and found that many DAM systems were out of our price range and difficult to set up and manage.
What features were must haves?
Searchability was the most important feature we needed. Many images were already tagged with relevant keywords, and we did a large internal audit to expand the relevant keywords on each individual image. We also wanted to be easily able to scroll through and preview a large number of images. Smartimage is fast and loads thumbnails quickly, allowing for fast review. Team members also needed the ability to search and grab the images themselves without the bottleneck of a single computer.
Your experience with Smartimage
What lead you to trying out Smartimage?
Our company reached a point where we desperately needed an image database system. We began by using the Smartimage free trial. While it took us longer than we expected to make the final decision, it ultimately ended up being the right decision for us to use Smartimage. The Smartimage team was also very accommodating with our feedback and feature requests as we got ourselves set up with the product.
What three features do you love most about Smartimage? Why do you love them?
Tagging, fast search, and big thumbnails for previewing. All three features combined allow for users to work quickly and efficiently, thus increasing productivity. No longer do we need to waste time searching, downloading, and clicking through multiple pages to find exactly the image we need.
Your results with Smartimage
What problems has Smartimage solved for Fireclay Tile?
Now, images are easily accessible and searchable from anywhere, which was always our main issue with our large image catalog.
What’s your “biggest win” as result of using Smartimage?
We’re able to better serve our customers by quickly showing beautiful product images and installations for inspiration while crafting their kitchen backsplash, bathroom, or other tile installation.
Why do you recommend Smartimage?
It’s the perfect price point for our small business, and is very easy to set-up and manage, especially if you do the legwork (image tagging and organization) first.
Think Smartimage could help your team? Try Smartimage free for 15 days.Smartimage Case Study: Fireclay Tile by Nate Holmes