Few businesses rely as heavily on images as AEC and Real Estate firms. Projects can be won or lost on the quality of presentation material, so it is no surprise that marketing and business development teams are heavy users of PowerPoint, InDesign and other graphics programs. But increased demand for high quality imagery has created searching inefficiencies and duplication problems that can make locating the right image in the right format a logistical nightmare.
Without a DAM, digital assets are typically managed in folder structures with basic naming conventions used to convey the type of image, size, project, etc. But as more and more colleagues are in need of photographic assets for proposals and presentations, a folder system lacks enough structure to scale. If you’ve started to outgrow your current folder system, you may recognize these reactions to 5 common photo management issues:
1. When you’ve just spent an hour searching for that one image, but came up with nada.
Finding images can be a real problem, they could be almost anywhere on your network since most firms don’t use a standard method for storing or naming their files. People end up naming files in different ways and moving them around, so they’re difficult to find or identify.
How does DAM improve image search?
- With a DAM, images are tagged with keywords containing things like project information, client name, location, and more. Finding an image is as simple as typing in a keyword.
- Finding an image in a DAM relies less on your personal knowledge of the photos you have, and where they’re located.
- With an intuitive search and user interface, employees across the organization are empowered to source images on their own, without approaching marketing to request a photo.
- Users can easily find photos even without extensive knowledge of the company’s past projects.
- Eliminate double data entry by linking your existing project database (like Deltek Vision) to your DAM. Re-using information from your project database as keywords in your DAM makes search even more intuitive, as the data is consistent across the two systems.
2. When you’ve finally finished that document you’ve been working on for weeks, but then you realize the file is too large to email to the partners.
Presentation and report files are huge, and they’re difficult to display, email, and print. So, you waste a lot of time resizing images to keep your file sizes from ballooning.
How does DAM streamline document workflows?
- With some DAM systems (like OpenAsset), high-resolution images are automatically resized for use in different design programs, without ever having to open up Photoshop.
- Drag and drop appropriately-sized images from your DAM directly into InDesign or PowerPoint, or create branded templates to produce documents automatically.
3. When somebody chooses a horrifyingly pixelated image for the front page of the report.
Images are scattered across the organization, making it impossible to know which images are being used to create reports and presentations. You suspect that employees may be using old or low quality images, simply because they don’t know where to find better graphics.
How does DAM increase graphics quality and consistency in branding?
- A DAM strengthens branding and increases document quality by providing employees with a single location to source high quality on-brand photos.
- Control who in your organization may have access to view or use photos, and which photos are approved for use outside the organization.
- Easily replace old images with the most up-to-date versions without breaking links to documents they’re used in.
- Manage copyright information so it’s clear how you can and cannot use the images.
4. When you have a lot of images from your photographer and need to get them to your graphic designer in another office.
Professional photos can be difficult to share because of their massive file sizes.
How does DAM facilitate collaboration and sharing?
- Faster, easier sharing of large graphics files. No more sharing digital assets via multiple platforms, as all images are stored in a central location for access by anyone in your organization
- Employees can access files from anywhere in the world with web-based access.
- Create and share albums of images amongst team members to facilitate collaboration on documents.
- Easily create contact sheets to view and share a collection of images quickly.
- Use fixed URLs to direct users to a specific image or to view images within a project.
- Publish images directly from your DAM to your company-wide intranet to spread awareness of new images and projects internally.
- Generates secure web download links to easily share images with the press, clients, or others outside of your organization.
5. When your IT department tries to tell you that your images are taking up too much network storage.
Not only do you have multiple sizes of the same image, but users across the company copy and leave large image files all over the network, making storage a real issue.
How does DAM conserve storage?
- Save server space by consolidating image collections into a single location.
- Eliminates duplication by identifying images that have the same composition.
- Users can curate collections of images within the DAM without ever touching the original files, without having to download them locally to their personal network files.