A Digital Asset Management system (DAM) shouldn’t be complicated – it’s a single source of truth across your organisation, and so should be simple to search and share all official on-brand assets.
With a little preparation and planning, your organisation should quickly see the benefits of DAM, when you discover a solution which saves time, improves your ability to create and share digital assets, and enables consistently high-quality customer experiences.
In this article, we will introduce you to what you need to consider before investing in, and implementing, DAM software.
1. Understand why you need a digital asset management system
Before you start the process of acquiring and setting up a DAM system, you need to carefully consider why you need it.
It’s important that you take the time to think through your DAM challenges and needs, as these will influence your investment. If you cut corners here, you could end up with an inefficient and ineffective solution – just a shiny new object that makes up part of an expensive wider ecosystem, consuming resources without saving time or improving brand asset management.
Once you have a clear picture of why you need a DAM solution, you should do a thorough analysis to establish what the best outcome would be. Consider questions like:
- Does this system help us reach our project goals?
- Does this system meet our expectations?
- How does this fit with the rest of my tech stack?
- How do we ensure the system has long-term sustainability?
- How do we ensure the implementation goes smoothly?
2. Establish a proper DAM team
Just as important is making sure you have the right people collaborating. It takes a dedicated team with knowledge and input from multiple departments to implement a strong Digital Asset Management solution.
The team must have ownership of the DAM system from start to finish, setting them up for long-term commitment. For the best outcome, it’s recommended to include colleagues from across your organisation’s production and service operations, to ensure you cover a wide range of expertise.
The team should consist of:
- DAM initiative leader
- DAM librarians
- DAM infrastructure lead
- Project manager
- Project steering group
3. Use existing data and digital content
Don’t make the mistake of testing with a “dummy” system. Use your actual data, brand assets and creative files throughout the entire process. If you don’t, you’ll risk building a DAM solution that overlooks critical functionality and workflow needs.
Real data and content gives you the full picture and helps you make the right decisions without making assumptions.
The following questions will help you to build a system that will offer the full benefits of DAM:
- Does the system take the file formats we are using?
- Can the system handle our file sizes?
- Does the system perform seamlessly with other products?
- What data is being transferred from the current to the new system?
- How is the data being transferred?
4. Learn the DAM system early
Your DAM system should serve as a digital library for your brand. Having good knowledge of how a DAM platform should work, and how your specific asset management software will look and function, will prepare you to ask the right questions and perform better analyses during the build process. This means making sure your chosen vendor has an excellent Customer Success team to support you.
The DAM team and investment managers should aim to create a system that offers value from the moment it is launched. By learning how a Digital Asset Management platform should work, you’ll be better project owners, making it easier to get the most out of your DAM software over time. As with anything, knowledge drives optimisation.
5. Prepare thoroughly
It bears emphasising – don’t just copy your existing workflows and structures. Take the opportunity to properly analyse how you are producing and storing marketing materials, and evaluate if anything needs reform.
A great DAM solution should meet your company’s present needs and expectations as well as its future aspirations. Upgrading your tech stack without improving your processes and workflows will likely result in increased costs and confused employees, without saving time or increasing efficiency.
Make your investment count and set yourself up for success by creating a system that reflects your initial intentions. The goal should be a tangible improvement in how creative files and brand assets are being used across the organisation.
The following checklist will help you prepare and optimise your DAM system implementation:
- Can we streamline our workflows?
- Can we eliminate tasks that don’t add value?
- Can we connect the DAM to key branding and marketing operations?
- Can we remove bottlenecks?
- Can we establish a sustainable system for our organisation?
6. Think again about customisations
Only customise your DAM software if strictly necessary. Any customisation can increase the likelihood of software bugs, slow down performance, and may make the system less user-friendly.
The more generic your system is, the better it will perform over the long run. Trust your DAM solution provider’s expertise to set up a system that is optimal for your organisation. Simplicity reduces maintenance costs further down the line.
7. Implement step-by-step
Plan and implement effective project management. Dividing your project into phases and implementing them one at a time will ensure you have control of the entire process.
By working step-by-step on your Digital Asset Management solution, you can identify issues or unexpected results as they arise and address them before you proceed to the next phase. The risks of project overwhelm, and of wasting resources on firefighting, are minimised.
Gradually introducing your DAM software to select users in a timely and controlled manner also allows you to handle the training properly. It enables you to see how the system will work when complete, and gives you opportunities to improve your training as you go.
Digital Asset Management with Papirfly
At the centre of Papirfly’s all-in-one brand management platform is a powerful, cloud-based DAM system called Place – a powerful single source of truth for your brand management needs. It expands on the traditional functionality of a DAM as it works with a seamless UI across our product suite. With your own brand portal educating your people on brand guidelines, as well as on-brand design templates that means you can ensure your DAM is at the heart of digital content creation, and your teams achieve total brand consistency every time.
Curious to see the value our DAM as part of our brand management platform can add to your organisation? Book a demo with us to see how you can empower your people to unleash your brand.
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