Digital Asset Management offers a solution to unorganised content, disrupted asset lifecycles and bottle-neck time delays. In fact, correct digital asset management storage can enhance an organisation’s workplace efficiency, procedures and processes.
Without the support of executives and a steadfast implementation plan, your DAM project is unlikely to get the traction it needs. And even more difficult to turn the vision into a reality. This article will guide you on how to prepare for DAM implementation, how to choose the right DAM vendor for you and common mistakes to avoid.
How to Successfully Implement Your Digital Asset Management System
Implementing a DAM system requires effective planning, management and encouragement. From the beginning, a committed team will lead the DAM project, build the business case and strategise with a DAM vendor regarding your key business challenges.
Your DAM vendor must not only provide a DAM system to solve specific workflow challenges in business but also deliver a long-term solution.
Here’s what you need to successfully implement your DAM system:
- Understand the role of an executive sponsor
- Assign a Digital Asset Manager & build a team
- Research and prepare your case
- Choose the right DAM system for your organisation
- Secure the executive buy-in
- Liaise with your DAM vendor
What is an Executive Sponsor?
In a nutshell, an executive sponsor is an upper-management position that oversees overall business deliverables. They are responsible for meeting deadlines and ensuring that projects are kept aligned and true to the organisation’s strategy and direction.
During periods of change, an executive sponsor will play a key role in championing any movements made within the organisation. Their role ensures that any changes reflect the vision of the business and its strategy for future growth. Because of this, they are essential for approving funds and giving the “go ahead” of any project. Without executive sponsorship, nothing can move forward.
Build a Team
The more support you have from the start, the more chance you have at successful implementation. A network of employees with the same goal is invaluable. It also helps to have a spectrum of technical and soft skills to rely on. Members from different departments, or even an executive ensures that the scope of the project is understood and well-received throughout different departments.
Research and Prepare
Gathering information on current workflows, digital asset storage procedures and ongoing concerns allows you to build a business case and find a compatible DAM vendor.
Observe workflows, understand how each department uses digital assets and investigate shared drives. From here, you can pinpoint specific challenges, identify areas of opportunity and question current procedures.
Some questions to consider may include:
- What are the main concerns being vocalised by users across all departments?
- What are the current operation or storage costs (if any)?
- What DAM features will solve current challenges?
- How much time is spent finding assets?
Talk to different departments and interview users about their experiences with the current procedures. Data alone is not always enough, you need compelling stories and an insight into the chaos to find out how to effectively solve these issues.
Find the Right DAM Solution
Based on your research, start with deciphering what features you require to solve immediate challenges. These may include:
- Metadata and tagging
- Offline/Online storage platform
- Advanced security
- User experience
- Complex or large file formats
- Integration with existing systems to automate workflows
- Cloud-based platform
Remember, DAM systems streamline the way teams handle and manage digital assets within a tailored online platform. The right DAM system should expand with the organisational growth, reduce data regulation risk and remove asset loss or duplication risks. It’s an all-encompassing solution.
Think Beyond Quick-fix Features
Features are important, but the right DAM system needs to be an all-encompassing solution. It needs to tick the right boxes but also be backed by an accessible, supportive DAM vendor to reach out to when you need it.
Your chosen DAM vendor should work with you to customise, implement and facilitate the onboarding process. This means onboarding and tagging, ongoing support, troubleshooting, even uploading files and training employees.
Secure the Executive Buy-In With a Compelling Business Case For Digital Asset Management
Securing the executive buy-in is more than seeking approval of funds. The head decision-makers need to believe in and advocate the change. It’s more than reiterating why a DAM system is necessary, you also need to showcase how a DAM system will benefit the organisation long-term. Tap into the executive’s values, goals and vision and strategise how you can make it as compelling as possible.
Understand DAM with a Demo
The best way to make a compelling business case is to identify the problem and highlight the solution – and the best way to do that is to understand the solution with a demo. After you’ve sifted through DAM vendors, walking through a demo with an expert allows you to see a clear picture of how a DAM system becomes a solution. It allows you to discuss key business challenges with an expert.
A demo also provides further insight into how these issues can be exacerbated without having a DAM system in place. You can then use this information to bolster your pitch to executives.
Use Soft Skills and Strategy to Secure the Executive Buy-in
Data and research are good, but it’s not enough. A business case is a sales pitch – you will need emotion, strategy, knowledge and a solid understanding of organisation goals, visions and pain points.
This means honing in on both technical and soft skills to present your pitch.
Securing the executive buy-in is all about emotion. So, work smarter, not harder. It’s easy for internal politics and egos to bolster resistance so consider ways to be strategic. You can do this by:
- Present similar use cases in your industry as a benchmark for potential ROI
- Present existing support from departments
- Bring in an expert to help describe how a DAM will provide a solution
- Use the demo to support your case
Your team will be your best resource. Gather and utilise any rhetorical skills, upper management networks, organisational insights and anyone who can drive action.
3 Mistakes to Avoid when Implementing Digital Asset Management
Whether it’s driven by internal politics or general pushback, the implementation process can be tricky if you don’t have adequate support. As a result, some challenges that may arise include:
- Budget restrictions
- Not enough support across departments
- Concerns about training or user adoption
- Concerns about integration with existing systems
- Lack of communication across departments
- Internal politics and resistance to change
When there is resistance, there is usually pressure to change direction or choose a DAM that may not suit the organisation. As a result, you can end up compromising on big-ticket items that won’t effectively solve your key challenges.
Here are 3 common mistakes to avoid when you receive pushback internally:
You Don’t Get the Support You Need From Your Vendor
Dealing with slow response times or international call centres can slow down workflows and cause frustrations. Having a local Australian based DAM system ensures your data and support are kept secure, accessible and on-shore. This will avoid waiting days for an urgent response.
Making a Decision Based On Price
There’s a lot more to pricing than meets the eye – and there’s a lot more to a DAM system than what you see at face value.
If you’re dealing with restrictive budgets, the initial cost of a DAM system can seem a little overbearing. With that being said, a DAM system is more than a bandaid, it’s an end-to-end solution.
The value of a DAM system is hidden in the automation of workflows, enhanced user experience and the ROI of company time and resources. Other facets include the level of support your DAM vendor provides, their input during the implementation process and their accessible support post-implementation. These are the areas that make a difference – and they are invaluable.
You Underestimate the Value of Integration
Integration with other systems like CRMs, MarTech stacks and brand automation programs is a must. A valuable DAM system needs to fit into your existing workflow. Best-in-breed DAM integration allows users to use the best programs to suit the organisation without compromise.
So You’ve Bought a DAM – Now what?
Now that you’ve secured the executive buy-in, it’s time to action the implementation strategy. This process largely differs between DAM vendors – no DAM system (or its vendor) are the same. Some DAM vendors only supply the product, leaving the brunt of the implementation process to fall onto the client. This means organising digital asset audits, uploads, setting up the folder structures, security levels and digital asset tagging. Not to mention handle onboarding and employee training.
Other DAM vendors, on the other hand, take care of the nitty-gritty aspects of the implementation process. This may include data migration, customisation, metadata tagging and employee training. So, here’s a breakdown of what to expect after you’ve bought a DAM:
- Meet and establish goals with the onboarding team
- DAM configuration, setup and migration
- Employee training
- Post-implementation procedures
Meet the Onboarding Team and Establish Goals
As soon as you’ve been given the green light, it’s time to plan out the finer details of what your DAM solution needs to look like with the onboarding team. They will help set up and configure the DAM system and ensure everything runs smoothly. There are two primary goals at this stage: understanding the key challenges that need addressing and tailoring the DAM to the organisation’s language and structure.
The onboarding team will schedule a meeting with stakeholders to discuss everything from the layout customisation, asset collection and taxonomy of the business. The onboarding team will plan out the metadata, schema lines, folder structures and naming conventions they need to build into the platform. Search terms, acronyms, abbreviations – everything. These details ensure all users can search for what they need using the language they are used to.
After the initial stages, a document will be drawn up reiterating how the vendor will work with your organisation moving forward. This is a great reference for management or operations teams to have on hand so everyone is familiar with the ongoing work relationship. This prevents the information from getting lost or misunderstood if employees move on or are newly recruited.
Customisation, Migration and Security Set-up
This is where the magic happens. Some DAM providers aim to take away the hassle of administrative tasks from the organisation’s responsibility. This means the vendor will take on the brunt of the implementation on behalf of the organisation with their needs and requirements at the forefront of the project.
The onboarding team will use the information from the stakeholders to configure, set up and build out a bespoke DAM system. At this stage, the onboarding team will access digital assets, either by accessing the server or via a hard drive. Once this is done, they will ingest, upload, tag, transcode, convert and place the assets into the platform. No need to worry about the monstrous task of digital asset audits or data migration.
Now the platform is built with the initial digital assets ingested, the vendor will organise training sessions with employees on how to use it. This may differ depending on the organisation structure: it could be on a department level, team-by-team or one-on-one.
Some DAM vendors keep regular training ongoing depending on specific use cases or when the organisation requires it. A dedicated account management team are always available in case any questions arise.
On average, the implementation period takes between 4-14 weeks from the sign off to be fully integrated. After this, your vendor will schedule weekly check-ins and regular meetings with you to provide ongoing support and troubleshooting.
But, DAM systems are a lot of work – what about ongoing tasks like ingesting, placing, converting transcoding, uploading and metadata?
Usually, users are not digital asset managers, nor do they want to be. So, it’s important to source a DAM vendor that takes on the administrative tasks that organisations simply don’t have time for.
Having an expert look after the on-going asset management after onboarding is invaluable. While some DAM vendors step back once onboarding is complete, other DAM vendors immerse themselves into the on-going admin. Simply put, they do more of the doing.
This avoids clogging up user time and saves the DAM system from becoming an unorganised, untagged mess of digital assets. An involved DAM vendor allows the users to enjoy the benefits of a DAM without the hard work that goes behind it.
It’s the Little Things That Matter
Every DAM vendor has a different implementation strategy for their users, so it’s important to find a vendor that can offer you what you need. Some DAM vendors provide the platform and a user guide, placing a heavy burden on an organisation. So, look beyond customisations and fancy features. Collaboro takes care of the things that matter: the setup migration, configuration and training and will be with you every step of the way.
Why choose Collaboro for your DAM system?
Collaboro is an Australian Cloud-based DAM solution that empowers your teams to do more. Our DAM platform will centralise all your digital assets, making it easier for your teams to organise, find and share all your digital media files, in one place, from anywhere.
But a successful DAM solution requires more. This is where Collaboro brings local Australian expertise and support services to provide a customised end-to-end solution.
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