DEAR DR. DAM: My name is Sarah and I work in the marketing department for a large manufacturer. We have several divisions, make hundreds of products, and therefore have accumulated many product photographs over the years. I have a big problem with the images being scattered across many different locations.
We have images on servers, desktop hard drives, intranet sites, and hanging file folders full of CDs - it's a giant mess. I never know exactly where to look. When I think I have an idea of where they're at, it seems like it takes me hours to get to them. It's an absolute nightmare when salespeople call in needing images right away and I can't find them. It's embarrassing! So much time is lost just trying to get a handle on all of my images. Please help me!
DEAR SCATTERED ASSETS SARAH: I understand exactly what you're saying. Having your assets scattered across many sources can be very stressful for your marketing efforts. Lost files are worthless to you and often lead to a duplication of efforts. Repeat photography and color work become unnecessary sunk costs. The stress, along with time and money lost, can be avoided by using a digital asset management system to centralize and manage your images.
I recommend working with Widen because they make a complex process very simple. Widen is a hosted provider who will walk you through the entire process to get you up and running painlessly. Their customers say that their application is very easy-to-use and requires little user training.