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Digital Asset Management implementation – how does it work exactly?

A digital asset management (DAM) system isn’t just a solution to bring order and structure to photo, video and other rich media files that are used within companies. It can also contribute to improving efficiency and workflows in the long term. DAM implementation is always a unique experience. To ensure that the implementation is a success, there are important factors to consider. In this blog post, we’ll tell you what they are.

Clarity about requirements

Before the implementation, it must be clear what strategic goals the DAM system should achieve. Which workflows should be made sleeker by the DAM and which processes should be made more efficient? A DAM is not an isolated product, rather can fully unfurl its strengths when integrated into existing system infrastructure. Especially those processes and programs related to content can benefit from DAM, including ERP, PIM, CMS or an online shop. Consequently, interfaces to these third party systems are important.

Similarly, an overview of the status quo is necessary: what digital assets are already available, where are they saved, who should be using them and have access? The answers to these questions provide a direction so that a suitable system can be chosen. A DAM is an individual decision and must suit the company.

Other important points for an optimally suitable DAM are: how is meta data acquired and can meta data standards be selected? What is the system’s capacity? How easy is it to use? Is the user interface graphic or do you need a software a developer to make it work? How much can it be customized? How well can the assets be structured and is there a differentiated search function? What analytical functions does the DAM provide?

An experienced partner

There are many providers of DAM software. It is important to choose a partner with verified skills and experience. The successful implementation of the new system depends on them. A good partner can rise to challenges and works closely with the customer. They provide support in making pioneering decisions. This includes, for example, whether the DAM should be operated in the Cloud or installed on-premise.

A plan for systematic integration

If the goals of DAM integration and the status quo are clear, and a competent partner has been chosen, priorities for the implementation can be made. It is important to always keep time in mind: are there deadlines? When should functions be made available and data transferred?

The structure of the integration should then take place step by step in accordance with these priorities, so that there are enough resources and enough time available for each phase. A DAM implementation can be a complex process that affects internal systems, data sets and existing processes: a flexible and agile approach allows you to design a smooth roll-out and directly integrate the users’ experiences and feedback while minimizing risks. This reduces the complexity, and quick wins are a way to increase user acceptance, especially when introducing a system in larger companies.

Even data transfer should be planned. Assets come in various formats and are found in various target files and on servers. Then there is content delivered externally, which also has to be transferred and categorized. Also important: never lose sight of meta data! Streamlining and automation are the keys to success here.

Team and budget

Implementing a DAM system requires staff and a budget. Responsibilities should be clear from the very beginning. A well managed DAM integration involves all three areas: specialist department, IT and the users. This means that everyone is in the loop and can be quickly approached, while the system is given a good start to encourage acceptance. The DAM team needs people with the right skills and the right mindset.

It can be worth creating the role of a Digital Asset Manager. This person can then function as a point of contact during implementation and support the users in using the system correctly as time goes on.

Involve employees

A DAM system can only be a success when it is accepted by the users. New additions are often viewed with suspicion. That’s why it’s all the more important to remember the benefits that the change will bring: better overview, more efficient work, easy finding of files, immediate overview of their previous use – and these are just some of the points in favor of a DAM system.

Trainings will prepare employees for changed workflows. It is helpful to have an employee with a DAM affinity in each team to involve and support the others. To see how well the system has been accepted, it is useful to view the statistics in the first few weeks: how many users log in per day, how many searches are carried out, how many assets are downloaded and how many users are using the system at the same time? These are questions that can give an indication of acceptance.

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