Let’s face it: most of us enter the DAM world through E-level intervention. Executives are approached by vendors with the ROI pitch: better, faster, more accurate access to digital assets, less staff time burned on discovery and deployment, more efficient use of man hours.

All true.

But dismissing or characterizing DAM as a tech solution, mostly good for search and seizure, is an underestimation of a tool with much greater value to those of us who belong in the other campthe creative space.

As creatives, we are tasked on a daily basis with frantic deadlines, last-minute changes, requests for images, videos, resizes, copy changes. All needed ASAP and accompanied by the wail, “But it’s only one line/image/color/page....”

Sure, DAM is great to help us quickly locate and deploy assets, but where DAM really becomes a tool for us is in the insight it provides. A well-considered DAM build allows us a clear vision into the causes of our collective anxiety   who, when, where, and how often. DAM can provide a workflow structure we have only ever (or never even) dreamed of. Good DAM is Traffic on steroids: vigilant, never forgetting a deadline and relentless in the pursuit of schedule adherence.

I still remember the job number, 12 years later, of the worst project of my career. This job from hell couldn’t secure approval, missed deadline after deadline (client and internal), finally went to press and missed those deadlines as well. We were standing in a corporate stadium of giant foam fingers, each pointing at another party.

While nothing can be a panacea for all that ails a creative department, DAM comes close. It offers functionality that allows users to post jobs, request approvals, receive revisions or change requests and automate revision approval cycles. DAM gives us a larger view of our process by revealing where bottlenecks can (and do) occur. Is Stan always late submitting briefs? Carol cannot sign-off on time, ever? That AD always needs just one more day? Frankie requests multiple revisions that consistently kill deadlines? A good DAM will not only prompt response with automated requests for action, but also allow us to document obstacles to a smooth workflow with regular reporting to key stakeholders.

Implemented with consideration of the players, the work products, the tools and the process, DAM can illuminate the dark areas of our existence and give us the freedom to do what we’re best at: create!

We believe DAM can substantially liberate creative departments. If you’re a creative, and you have questions (or ideas), hit me up: Denise.

If you’re new to DAM but interested in the benefits for your department, contact us.

Up next: How DAM works for you, creative.