Everyone has likely heard of Digital Asset Management by now; however, a large number of users we encounter do not use a DAM system, or fail to take full advantage of the system they do use. The most common thing we hear is, “Why do I need to invest time and effort into a new system when what I have now works?”
Your digital assets are your livelihood. Being able to locate, access, distribute and back them up quickly and efficiently is crucial to being profitable.
Prior to digital, we really didn’t have much choice but to file originals in archival sleeves and store them in a filing system. This worked well and many of us merely duplicated the same system when we went digital. We have all seen stacks of hard drives, DVDs, CDs and, if you have been at this long enough, Jaz, Zip, SyQuest, Bernoulli or Magneto Optical disks—all containing digital assets in varying states of work.
Having perfect backup copies of images wasn’t feasible before digital. Now that we can make an exact duplicate of an original, working or final image, we have even more assets to track and store.
And of course with the ever increasing file sizes of images, distributing assets these days can be an issue.
This is where a well implemented Digital Asset Management system comes into play. The benefits of a well-designed DAM system are as follows:
- Faster and easier retrieval of assets
- Version tracking
- Easier and more complete backups
- Faster and easier distribution of assets to stakeholders
When we first sit down to discuss implementing a DAM system, we often see users get overwhelmed. They invariably say something along the lines of “I don’t have enough time as it is, how is adding all of this work up front going to help?” The answer is simple: A well-designed DAM system will not only save you time on the backend, it can increase your revenue by giving you quick easy access to all of your assets. A little bit of organizing up front will save you a huge amount of time and frustration on the backend.
Your current system may be working; however, as with all things in business, is it really the best way to do it?
William Moritz is the owner of Exactly Photo in Columbus, Ohio. He has worked in the photography industry for over 25 years as a commercial, portrait and fine art photographer. Exactly Photo provides studio design, management, and workflow services to the photography industry. Contact William at his website or via email.
William is a member of DAM Guru Program, a free service that connects digital asset management professionals with others who need their help.