DEAR DR: DAM: This is Megan, a marketing manager for a food processing company. Five months ago, company administration decided to purchase software for digital media asset management. To be honest, I was a bit leery when first hearing about this decision because I was under the impression that our marketing campaigns were meeting goals even though our digital assets were hosted on in-house servers and distributed among shared network folders. I admit that the process of searching for and downloading assets could be a bit slow at times and there were some inconsistencies in branding and problems associated with duplicate files but since all team players knew the system so well, I didn’t see much reason for changing the status quo.
I became convinced of the need to switch to using DAM software, however, when I saw presentations that showed how DAM could clear up the few problems we encountered, how it improved the efficiency of digital asset work flow, and that centralized hosting of digital assets shows a greater ROI. Ok, so I was sold on the idea but much to my consternation (and let me tell you, I am annoyed!), online digital asset management seems to be more trouble than it is worth. The IT people are happy because hosting digital assets on out of house servers lets them focus on core tasks and we have more bandwidth available, but us marketing people are not near as pleased with it as we had hoped. It is true that we can communicate and share files more easily, and should have more consistent branding, BUT I am having serious trouble getting to that point because it takes too long to find a file! And by “file” I mean any file! I was under the impression that DAM was supposed to make it easy to use digital assets but taking twenty minutes or more to find each file is simply unacceptable. Since administration wants to stick with DAM asset management, my question to you, is “Are there any digital asset management tools to help us better organize our thousands of digital assets?"
DEAR MADDENED MEGAN: You are absolutely right in expecting more from your DAM system. By all means, finding the digital assets you need for whatever situation should be a smooth and stress-free process, so you must believe me when I say that I feel your frustration and can imagine your annoyance! Fortunately, in answer to your question, yes indeed, there are tools or ways to better organize digital assets with Widen DAM solutions. What your corporate image library sorely needs are established guideliness for metadata entry and categorization. Widen project services teams can help you identify metadata standards and structures that will work for your different user groups. You really need one or a few champions internally to take on the administrative ownership to see it be an ongoing success. However, it is understood getting started with this can be troublesome so Widen is taking SaaS DAM to a new level by dedicating customer service people to help you clean up the mess and establish a flexible structure to follow ongoing. Widen people will actually help you organize your digital asset library to make managing digital files with web-based DAM system a smooth, annoyance-free endeavor.