Truly custom DAM systems have just started hitting the market. Here’s how they can improve your business and help you save costs.

Digital assets fuel today’s economy. Images, audio, videos, writing and design files store incredible production and intellectual value. In turn, this value is accounted for by documents, contracts and spreadsheets. And yet, alongside this economy, there’s a hidden one that swims upstream: the growing amount of time, money and opportunities organizations lose every day due to poor classification, misuse, or loss of their digital assets.

The statistics are alarming:

  • Mismanaged assets cost companies about $10,000 a year;
  • Looking for assets without a dedicated system takes 5x more time;
  • 90% organisations lose over 12 confidential assets over a year.

No matter how good or valuable, your media and files are of little use when they’re lost in a sea of folders, shared drives and emails – or worse still, left unprotected. The time factor alone is staggering. Employees spend on average 19% of their time searching for files, or one day a week! For just six marketers earning $60,000 a year, the time wasted searching for assets costs $136,800 a year!

That’s why, past even a basic threshold of complexity, you may want to consider investing in a digital asset management system (DAM). Or even better, a customized one like AssetSpot. Let’s see what the DAM the fuss is all about.

What is digital asset management?

A DAM is a centralized system that enables teams and enterprises to organize, store, find, retrieve, and distribute their digital assets.

In other words, it’s a centralized solution to manage all your digital files in one place. Ideally, a DAM is perfectly integrated with existing workflows, and as such, it’s a mix of software solution and business process.

DAMs feature a centralized digital library that classifies assets by keywords, metadata, digital rights, and a host of unique criteria based on use cases (e.g. mockups vs. production files). Employees, clients, contractors and other stakeholders then receive different permissions to store, view, edit, or distribute assets (on AssetSpot, we implement this with a versatile Single Sign On Authentication, or SSO).

All that, with rock-solid security from end to end, and in some industry-specific cases, a host of functions such as asset sales or custom watermarks.

Why DAM, and what types are there?

Digital asset management benefits range from simply cutting costs through efficiency, to doing all sorts of unthinkable magic with your files. In general, it frees you to create more and better assets and to make the most out of them with easy retrieval, storage and utilization. In fact, a good DAM directly makes your assets more valuable, by allowing your organization to:

  • Scale up content production while maintaining brand consistency;
  • Dramatically decrease time spent sifting through docs (19% of time, remember?);
  • Share assets securely and easily from a central location (and with powerful extra security features);
  • Put employees, clients, contractors and other stakeholders on the same page;
  • Speed up production with integrated version control;
  • Access mission-critical files anywhere, on any device.

The more distributed your business model is, the more DAM can benefit you, enabling you to manage files while working with global teams across locations, whether they’re at their office, or traveling. Now, in early years, DAMs fostered general efficiency and cost-cutting, but the benefits have recently become laser-focused to very specific asset types, industries and use cases.

From simple document management systems to complex multimedia solutions for enterprises and industries, there’s a pick for every taste:

  • Enterprise marketers and creative agencies use brand asset management systems to keep themselves and their clients on brand;
  • Production companies, or even town planners, architects or engineers, rely on production asset management systems to keep track of their ever-changing creative assets;
  • Videographers, photographers and composers task specialized library management systems, such as image asset management or video asset management, with handling only their most mission-critical files.

DAMs come in all forms and shapes.

They used to run on shared desktop computers or company servers, but the trend lately has been shifting towards cloud or SaaS digital asset management systems, which enable asset management from browsers, smartphones and tablets, all centralized in one place and accessible from anywhere.

With so many vendors and features to compare, how do you choose the best digital asset management software?

We’d like to suggest a choice: instead of searching for the perfect DAM, why not get an asset management system that’s completely built around you?

Avoiding choice with a customized DAM

Remember that DAM is a software solution, but also a business process.

This means that, no matter how specialized to your industry your DAM may be, to some extent you’ll need to adjust your process to its pre-set user experience if you want to make the most of your digital files.

But what if your DAM could adjust itself to your business process instead?

That’s exactly the premise here at AssetSpot. We believe that the future will be multimedia, digital, and powered by a near-infinite number of business models.

So we said, hey, why not cater to each and every one of these business models?

A really custom digital asset management system goes beyond your logo and corporate colors. It blends seamlessly with your way of doing business and, more importantly, it grows as you grow. As such, it dramatically flattens your team’s learning curve, attains efficiency nearly immediately, and creates tremendous savings in the long run.

Now, this choice-to-end-all-choices may seem a no-brainer today. But it’s become available only recently, with the convergence of unlimited and centralized storage, which enables us to make each custom DAM the best fit for each client without prohibitive performance requirements.

Each AssetSpot gives DAM wraps around seamlessly around the user’s unique business model. Here are the key features and benefits:

  • Multilingual support, built right into the core of AssetSpot, offering support for 20 languages, with the possibility to easily add more with efficient custom translation.
  • Cloud-enabled, not cloud-only. You can choose to use AssetSpot as a self-install on your own systems, or a hosted install in our highly secure cloud-based environment. In both cases, you’ll enjoy fast uploads/downloads, load balancing and much more.
  • Multi-level access and permissions tailored to your unique organisational structure. You can define custom roles for any number of employee seniority levels, organisational function, or external audiences, such as agencies, partners and suppliers.
  • Tailored modules and functionalities. Showcase approved product photography, create unique asset classes, or create self-destructing links for sensitive information – the options are as varied as your business requirements.
  • Custom UI and UX. You get to decide the user experience for your team, including layouts, workflows, content types, featured items and much more. And yes, your logo and company colours, too.
  • Custom reporting. The dashboard and insights are built to highlight what matters most to you, be it access by region, most popular searches, or which assets are shared the most.
  • Integrations, integrations. You can keep using your file sharing, reporting, and management tools, as our custom architecture integrates with most apps and services easily and efficiently.

While generic or industry-specific digital asset management systems may offer powerful niche features, a custom DAM goes beyond, by shaping itself around the roles, stakeholders, workflows and infrastructure requirements that matter most to your business. This, in turns, helps you save costs both in the short and in the long term.

Start your DAM journey today

With the increasing importance and complexity of digital assets, a DAM system is starting to look more and more like a no-brainer, even for smaller teams. And in this evolving landscape, custom DAM is emerging as the superior next generation of this technology.

If you were looking for the quick answer to why you need customized digital asset management, it could be this:

To futureproof your business.

While the immediate cost reductions and gains in efficiency are great in the short term, a custom DAM really shines on the long run. The system will grow with you, and adapt to your changing requirements, roles and asset types as your business evolves over time.

Get started with your journey into DAM (done) right. Discover our solution for small teams and enterprises at AssetSpot.