“The customer can have a car painted any colour he wants as long as it’s black” so said Henry Ford in 1909 about Ford’s Model T. Some digital asset management vendors still view the DAM market the same way, over 100 years later.
Every DAM buyer is looking for a system that is going to fit their business, enable good user adoption and deliver value. But not every DAM system can do so. That’s because some are the equivalent of Henry Ford’s car: one-size-fits-all.
If you are reviewing DAM vendors, ask them this question: Is it possible to configure this system to my requirements now and in the future?
Remember, it is unlikely that a system that is right for you and your users on day one will still be right on day 1,000. Businesses change, brands change, processes change and people change. Your DAM system should be able to change too.
Here are the three main reasons why you should choose a configurable digital asset management platform.
Lower costs across the board
Imagine you had to call the provider of your washing machine every time you wanted to make a change to the settings, the costs would add up very quickly. The same applies to your DAM system. Ideally you will have a small number of admin users or DAM Managers who are responsible for the ‘back end’ of the platform and can be called upon to make basic changes to your system. Tasks like adding new top-level folders, adding new users, editing metadata schemas and making edits to CMS pages should not require vendor input. This is one way that some vendors milk their clients for extra fees. Ask your potential DAM vendor if their system is built in a way that makes it possible for admins to execute essential modifications that do not incur extra after-sales costs.
One size does not fit all
Your DAM system is exactly that; it’s yours. It should be built and shaped to meet your business needs and operations. Some DAM platforms are so ‘locked down’ that every one of their different clients uses the exact same folder structure. This is not right; no two businesses use a DAM system the same way. There is a lot to be said for starting off with an out-of-the-box, template system with a suggested folder structure as some brands are new to DAM and may not know the best way to start. But once they are up and running they will soon want to adapt the system to their needs. Vendors should be advising, training and empowering their clients to understand thoroughly how to optimise their DAM system. This can only be achieved with an easily configurable digital asset management platform.
Control in your hands
Most DAM vendors operate a SaaS model, we do too. But just because it is software as a service does not mean that you own and control the system. Having control is essential because post-implementation you will need to make changes to elements of the system as your business evolves and different users come on board. If you don’t have control yourself over your DAM platform, then you might decide against asking the vendor to make changes because of the cost or effort involved. Try to avoid this. Small UI and UX changes could have a big impact on how your end users use the system and if you can’t fix issues, will lead to problems with user adoption and satisfaction. It is your DAM system, make sure you can make it look, feel and behave the way you want.
DAM is a powerful tool that can have a major impact on how you manage your brand and business processes. If your system is too rigid and un-configurable you may meet unforeseen problems down the line that could have major impacts on ROI and user adoption. Choose a vendor who gives you the tools and training that empowers you to take control of your DAM system and allows you to manage a configurable digital asset management platform according to your requirements, yourself, in an easy and user-friendly way.