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Once you've gotten your ducks in a row, preparing for your search for a DAM Platform, it's time to begin! The search process for a DAM Platform can be complicated, confusing, and full of noise and information that is more distracting than it is beneficial. To help cut through the red tape and make the process more straightforward, our team of DAM managers, having led and assisted in many DAM Platform searches, has laid out some best practices and tips for a successful DAM Platform evaluation.

Best Practices for Searching for a DAM Platform

Congrats! You're now ready to find yourself a perfect DAM Platform match. Below is a proven process from Stacks for managing and executing the search process that has led to success for us and our clients time and time again.

1. Map Current Workflows and Use Cases

One of the most common questions you'll hear from DAM Platform salespeople is, "How do you all use digital assets?" It can be easy to shrug your shoulders and think, "Isn't that why I'm here?" Having an answer prepared, however, is critical to successfully navigating the search process. This allows you to put the ball in the vendor's court, forcing them to prove that their system is the right fit to support your process. To prepare this answer, map your current asset lifecycle from creation to archive, identifying key tasks within your current workflows.

2. Highlight Bottlenecks and Limitations

Along with the key tasks, keep an eye out for the places where the asset lifecycle slows down, breaks down, or falls apart completely. What are the challenges and limitations that have led you to this sales call? Where are there opportunities for efficiency, and how can the DAM Platform you're looking into fill those gaps? As you listen to answers to these questions, highlight the simplest and most straightforward solutions. Unnecessary complexity often limits the end-user experience.

3. Understand Unique Requirements

Every organization is different. Some industries have strict IT restrictions around the platforms they implement. Others have specific content that needs to be kept especially secure. When it comes to your DAM Program, from the platform you choose to the people managing the back end to the processes that make things work, outline what makes your organization unique. Make sure the DAM Platforms you are evaluating check the necessary boxes.

4. Determine "Must-Haves" and "Would-Like-to-Haves"

If you've ever bought a home, you know that this is both the most fun and most frustrating part of the buying process. You are forced to narrow down what the most important search criteria is and allow yourself to compromise on everything else, knowing that the truly perfect fit doesn't exist. The same is true for DAM Platforms. With your stakeholder group, determine what will most the most value to your organization and what you may be able to put on the back burner.

5. Make a Decision Confidently

Armed with all this information and more, you can confidently narrow down your choices and begin the negotiation process. Our recommendation at Stacks is to collect formal quotes from at least 2 platforms to ensure that proposals aren't vastly different. Revisit your implementation and onboarding plan and make sure that their answers line up. Once you've made your choice, turn your attention to adding more detail to this plan and rolling it out to your team to keep them informed.

Looking Back

Did you just jump into the Consumer's Guide here? Take a look back at what you missed in the earlier portions of the Consumer's Guide to Choosing a DAM Platform!

Part 1: DAM Systems, Platforms, & Programs

What is a DAM Platform? How does it fit into the overall DAM program within your organization?

Part 2: Common Features of a DAM Platform

What problems can a DAM Platform solve for your organization?

Part 3: The Pre-Search Process

How can you prepare for a successful platform search?

Next Steps

Now that the choices are narrowed down, learn how to effectively evaluate these platforms in Part 5!

Part 5: Evaluating DAM Platforms

What are your "Must-Haves"?

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