A boost for digital asset management at dormakaba

With the Dormakaba case, we had the chance to put our still young product portfolio (what that looks like exactly and what it has to do with a pool in Graubünden, you can read here) to the test. One thing in advance: we don't have to go back to the mountains. But one thing after the other.


  • Business Case: Digital Asset Management
  • Products: Marketing Health Check and Solution Design
  • Over 50 percent reduced technologies
  • Eliminated over 30 redundant data sources
  • 3 sustainable technology strategies

Dormakaba is one of the world’s leading providers of access and security solutions with locations all over the world – including Switzerland, Germany and the USA. The client commissioned us to conduct the requirements gathering for a digital asset management system (DAM), to evaluate existing technologies on the market and, based on this, to formulate a business case and an implementation strategy. This assignment naturally required close collaboration with various stakeholders in different countries and time zones – so digital collaboration was a must, and not just because of Corona. Our collaboration tools and Miro (you can read more about who or what Miro is here) proved their worth again this time.  

To get you warmed up, we have selected a video from Dormakaba for you:

How did we proceed?

First, we evaluated the client’s initial situation. Sounds simple, but it was definitely a challenge with an internationally active client with complex system architecture. After numerous remote interviews, we were able to outline the actual situation and present it from different perspectives:

  • The Stakeholder Map: Who works at Dormakaba? What exactly do the different employees do and how satisfied are they with the current situation?
  • The business object map: Which objects (e.g. image assets) does Dormakaba work with? Are there redundancies? Is there potential for synergy?
  • The system architecture map: Which systems and technologies are used at Dormakaba today?
  • The business map: What are the paths along which objects move between systems? Are there duplications? Can we eliminate them? Is there potential for automation?
  • The processes: What do the processes look like today?
  • The business radar: Which systems and technologies are used in the context of which “patterns” (more on this later!)? Are there redundancies? Is there potential for synergy?

Figure: A massive technology optimisation! The Business Radar juxtaposed as-is and to-be to illustrate the YOUNITY effect; admittedly we have removed the labels for confidentiality reasons, but just imagine each colour is a technology that has been structured and optimised through processes, objects and domain-driven design as part of the Marketing Health Check and Marketing Solution Design. This much can be revealed: In digital asset management, there is a much more manageable number of technologies.

These delivery results have allowed us to locate weaknesses and formulate recommendations. So far, so good. For a client who would have bought the Marketing Health Check, a line would have been drawn here for the time being. The Marketing Health Check is all about giving the client an overview of his current situation with a focus on weak points and potential for optimisation. You don’t want to wait any longer to give your marketing a boost? Then take a look here:



Through our system-independent analysis, we find your concrete potential regarding digitalisation, automation, processes and technology use in marketing.


Back to the case: Dormakaba also took the next step with us and wanted to tackle the weak points directly. So we moved on to solution design – formulating the target situation. 

Workshop until you drop

This is where the workshopping started. A challenge in many respects: take numerous stakeholders with bulging calendars (hard time boxing!) from different time zones, add an ambitious goal with complex questions and tasks and refine it with the fact that everything takes place remotely on Miro. Challenge accepted!

First, strategy and goals with a focus on digital asset management had to be formulated and agreed upon. Based on the inputs from the workshops with the Dormakaba employees, we were able to sketch the target business object map, the target business map, the target processes and the target system architecture. Now our considerations became visible: the object map became leaner and more structured, the paths on the business map suddenly followed a clearly recognisable flow, the process was now based on a flow that showed potential for automation and the system architecture followed a clear strategy.

In a further step, we defined three so-called patterns: Inventory Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Distribution Solutions. In these patterns, we identified bounded contexts such as content management, which in turn contain building blocks (as a basis for technologies) such as – to stay with content management – content repository. Sounds a bit complex? We thought so too and depicted it graphically: 

Figure: Domain-driven design by pattern, bounded context and building block supports successful technology scouting. The design follows a system infrastructure according to context and discipline. It thus breaks away from the usual system-oriented patterns and allows maximum flexibility and clear interface concepts that uncover new opportunities.

This scheme helped us to scan the market for suitable software solutions for each building block. Since – as is often the case – there was of course not just one suitable answer here, three strategy options and the appropriate software solutions were recorded in each case. Does Dormakaba want to optimise the current situation as economically as possible, or is the customer prepared to take a large and time-consuming step into a completely green but highly efficient field? Or does he opt for an intermediate path entirely in the spirit of compromise? To support the client in this difficult decision, we sketched a target business radar for each strategy and explained how he could implement the recommendations. The impact map also showed him the effects of the measures on the company’s goals. Last but not least, we made the time required and our costs transparent.

Dormakaba with new product portfolio – yay or nay?

This is the status today. We have outlined the actual and target situation in close remote collaboration with various Dormakaba employees and shown the customer what measures can now be taken to achieve the strategic goal of his choice. 

The Dormakaba case was – to return to the initial baptism of fire metaphor – certainly more of a Bunsen burner than a match. In its complexity, it was probably the perfect case to put our new product portfolio and its tools and delivery results to the test. In our opinion: essentially passed. Passed because we were definitely able to provide the client with the insights they hired us for and needed to make a decision now, with all the pros and cons. Essentially, because of course we want and need to be strict with ourselves. For this first case with a new product portfolio, we naturally spent a lot of time (and our own money!) to find out how we would get the insights we needed (also with a view to future cases) and how we would then prepare and present them. Of course (as always when you try something new) there were doubts, setbacks (including whole days without any initially recognisable results) and paths that we had to take several times. However, we are now looking ahead and consider this lesson as an investment in the future, because we are convinced that we will take away many insights and aha’s from the Dormakaba case as YOUNITY. Whether we will be able to apply these directly to the implementation of the proposed measures at Dormakaba remains to be seen. We will keep you up to date!

Picture: dormakaba

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