What gets you out of bed in the morning? Odds are, it isn’t the thought of selling lots of products, writing code that works, or having a productive quarter. While those goals are important, and you probably spend a lot of time thinking (and worrying) about them, what motivates you and the organization you work for is likely more basic and deeper than the products or services you offer.
Our goal at Stacks is to make digital asset management (DAM) easy and approachable for our clients—organizations of all shapes and sizes who need to leverage digital assets to achieve their goals. Our motivation, passion, cause, or purpose, however, is to facilitate growth internally and externally, on both a personal and organizational level. Digital asset management is just the vehicle we’ve found to do that.
In this article, we explain our proven process and how making digital asset management easy facilitates growth for our clients.
Stacks’ Proven Digital Asset Management Process
Below, we outline each step of our “Proven Process” to build and grow a digital asset management (DAM) program from the ground up. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via our homepage or email.
The first step in our process is to understand where and how our clients want and need to grow. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What do they want to achieve?
Educating the Client
When a new client comes through the proverbial door at Stacks, our first priority is learning about them. What’s their understanding of DAM, its benefits, the core tasks involved in it, and the most important tools available to them? To answer these questions, our DAM managers and consultants spend time with individual stakeholders and the larger user group. This ensures that everyone understands and is bought into what we plan to build and the basic methods we’ll use to do it.
Once a general understanding of DAM is established, we identify the organization’s requirements and anything that makes them unique. We work with stakeholders and end-users to map out where assets originate, where they go, and who needs to access them at a moment’s notice. This step often involves activities like system and standards audits and user interviews.
Once we know what the desired results are and what’s needed to get there, we put our team’s experience and expertise in DAM to work for our clients—the experts about their assets and their organization.
Finding a DAM Platform
For many organizations, finding the right DAM platform is a critical step toward building a robust DAM program. Even if an organization already has a platform, it may need a new, more sophisticated one to allow it to grow. Since our team already knows the unique challenges our clients face, we can quickly get to work building a customized list of recommendations. Once that list is presented, we’ll work with the organization throughout the evaluation process to ensure the right decision is made.
DAM Onboarding the Right Way
There’s a reason Stacks doesn't use the terms “DAM platform” and “DAM program” interchangeably. To us, digital asset management is far more than a software tool or one-off project. Once the right platform is implemented, our clients need to build the processes, standards, workflows, roles, and responsibilities that leverage it while leaving room for growth and change. Without a platform that fits their needs and a set of platform-independent standards and processes, growth will be difficult, time-consuming, costly, and painful.
Fixing What’s Already Broken
Sometimes, growth isn’t just hindered by the lack of a DAM platform or program. Many times, organizations attempt to find or build a platform or program without learning more about them and understanding their unique requirements first. The result is a messy system that their team isn’t bought into, doesn’t understand, and therefore doesn’t use. This means that the organization could be spending thousands of dollars a year on software that doesn’t fit or has no processes attached to it to make it work. Stacks fixes this problem by performing a series of activities to diagnose the problems and providing a roadmap to solve them.
Whether it’s building a DAM program from scratch or executing a plan to fix an existing one, work needs to be done in order to facilitate growth. In many organizations, non-DAM professionals are saddled with the task of creating a healthy program. Stacks helps these talented people get back to what they love by taking this burden off their shoulders.
Going Slow to Go Fast
DAM implementation work is tedious, time-consuming, and often expensive. That’s why building an understanding through the Discover and Consult processes is vital. While it can slow things down at first, it allows the Stacks team to prioritize assets and determine where time needs to be spent in the short-term to allow for the most long-term success. This saves our clients time and (most importantly) money when it’s time to build the program.
When our team helps manage a DAM program, we treat it the same way we talk about it—as a program instead of a project.
Ongoing DAM Management: Governance, Analysis, Roadmapping, and Expansion
As you can see in the above graphic, DAM management consists of four parts. First is the overall administration and enforcement of standards, processes, and workflows. Things will always need to change, grow, and evolve along with the organization and its goals. Someone needs to be in charge of ensuring that these changes are reflected in the way the DAM program is run. The second is analysis. An effective DAM manager has their finger on the pulse of the program. What’s working, what isn’t, and what does that mean? Using that data, they'll roadmap changes, opportunities for improvement, and expansion, and determine what tools may be needed for the future.
Stacks loves helping organizations take their program to the next level no matter where they are in their DAM journey. Growing a DAM program and watching how that translates to growth in individuals and the business as a whole is what gets us out of bed in the morning. Contact us today to hop into the Proven Process and facilitate growth with us!