How Connected is Your Digital Asset Management System?

Research we conducted shows that digital asset management solutions are gaining popularity in the AEC world, and for a good reason. By providing a central, single repository for a firm’s digital assets — including project images, video, floor plans, elevation drawings, logos, and more — DAM makes it easier for marketing, sales, and project teams to access the assets they need when they need them. Moreover, that translates into a streamlined workflow and quicker production of higher-quality marketing and sales tools, including RFP and tender responses.

Not all DAMS are created equal

While around 50% of the AEC firms we surveyed are using a DAM, of those who aren’t already on-board, half are actively looking for a solution, or they will be soon.

If you fall into the latter category, or if you’re looking to upgrade your existing system, then a project-based DAM should undoubtedly be on your radar.

Compared to off-the-shelf DAM solutions, a project-based DAM does more than give you easy access to images; it provides you with access to information about every project your firm has completed. In essence, it’s your firm’s entire history and experience in one place. That’s powerful stuff when it comes to competing for new business.

A project-based DAM works with the systems you use every day

The biggest benefit of a project-based DAM is that these solutions are specifically built to work with the technology that AEC marketers already use daily. For instance, a project-based DAM will integrate seamlessly with ERP, CRM and knowledge sharing systems, like Deltek Vision, and Synthesis. This integration essentially links your image assets to the project information and profiles in your other systems, and vice versa. This makes all of the systems more robust and useful as a result.

To illustrate, you could pull project information from Deltek Vision into your DAM, connecting  crucial information – client, budget, location, project type, project team, and services delivered – right to your project images.

OpenAsset client Dewberry selected OpenAsset to integrate their image library with Deltek Vision. Connecting the DAM with Deltek Vision has meant that Dewberry no longer has to manually copy and paste image information from Vision into OpenAsset.

For ease of access to content, Dewberry use OpenAsset for content search, rather than Deltek Vision; this offers them the best of both systems – Deltek’s wealth of information with OpenAsset’s powerful search functionality.

Similarly, if you use Synthesis for knowledge sharing and training purposes, you can link the project images stored in your DAM to the Synthesis Profiles, making those profiles more impactful.

While this sort of integration is possible with an off-the-shelf DAM, it would require extensive customization and programming. A project-based solution has essentially already done that work for you, so you can get straight to the real work at hand.

Content Management Systems

Aside from marketing collateral and presentation content, your company website can benefit from DAM integration. You can ensure that website images are automatically updated by linking your DAM with your CMS platform, such as WordPress. What’s more, it works both ways: not only can you automatically upload new images to your CMS when they are uploaded to your DAM, but you can automatically upload images to your DAM when they’re uploaded to your CMS.

Building Marketing Assets Gets Easier

Many project-based DAMs include plug-ins for programs like InDesign and PowerPoint, the tools you are most likely use for developing project-related marketing collateral. With these plug-ins, building high-quality, branded deliverables becomes as easy as dragging and dropping images into templates and presentations.

Since images are already linked to project information in your ERP or CRM, you can create marketing and sales assets with just a few clicks. This dramatically improves efficiency, giving teams more time to focus on core value-added tasks.

If your company is project-based, your DAM should be, too

In AEC, commercial success is often defined by the ability to demonstrate the quality of previous projects. As a marketer, you’ll regularly create collateral that showcases your best projects, in which case a project-based DAM may be your new best friend. With it, you’ll be able to work more efficiently, putting your firm will be in a better position to show off its capabilities and win new business.

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