Buying a Digital Asset Management System

April 20, 2020

The other day I was on a call with a prospective customer when they asked a question I’ve heard many times: “I’ve talked to a number of vendors and a lot of them have the same functionality, so how do I choose one? Is it just a leap of faith?”

The answer is complicated. In the end, you are taking a leap of faith, but hopefully, one based on a lot of research, fact-checking, and a gut feeling. While many believe picking a digital asset management system is the toughest part of the process, in reality, it’s the easiest DAM decision your team will make. Deciding what you’re going to put into the DAM and how you’re going to configure it are where the important decisions start

What’s Your Story

After nearly a decade of personal experience working with organizations of all shapes and sizes to implement a digital asset management system, I’m still surprised how many people pick up the phone without truly understanding what they want out of their solution. 

“We want something that can help categorize our assets and tag them so we can easily find them,” they’ll say. “And we want something that can help with our workflows.”

“Tell me a bit more about your specific workflows,” I’ll say. 

To which they too often respond, “Well, I don’t really know, but people I’ve talked to said they want to make sure we pick a DAM that can help with our workflows.”

Configuring a DAM will eventually require your entire team to come to a consensus on a variety of topics. Your first task, before setting out to talk to vendors and view demos, should be to define what your team is trying to accomplish by implementing a DAM. What are the specific use cases and workflows you’re trying to solve? 

What’s Your Launch Plan? 

Integrate with everything? Or come up with a process for everything? They’re both possible and both take quite a bit of planning and time. But only one of these is future-proof. While integrating every platform your organization works with can seem like a great idea, it often falls flat in practice. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched organizations spend the time to build out an integration between their DAM and another platform, only to find out they didn’t quite understand their end-users workflows enough, coming to the conclusion the integration wasn’t really necessary. 

The result? The integration doesn’t get used and end-users continue to go about their own ways with their individual workflows. Instead of waiting to integrate all of your systems before going live with your DAM platform, try to simplify your workflows and document how each user goes about their daily activities. Launch the DAM with these workflows documented and keep an eye out for possible integrations that can be implemented as the next stage of your DAM maturity model. 

What’s your long-term plan?

The last thing to consider when choosing a DAM, is what is your long-term plan? Over time, DAMs evolve, workflows change, and it’s important to go with a vendor who you feel will help you grow your DAM as your business grows. Be sure to pick a vendor with a proven track record of helping organizations to not only implement a DAM but who continue to help them evolve their platform as their needs change. 

Eventually, you’ll need to consider your gut feeling. Do you feel like the vendors you’re working with are listening to your needs and answering your questions, or are they more focused on closing the sale and moving on to the next one? At NetX, we pride ourselves on having a consultative sales approach. At the end of the day, if it’s not working for you, it’s not working for us, so we’ll do our best to help you adapt our digital asset management system to your needs, every step of the way.

Let us know if you’d like to set up a call to talk!

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