It's said everyone has a twin, and at Freedom we’ve come to believe that's true of every marketing department as well: every company's pre-DAM state is creative chaos. If you’ve ever felt that your group’s lack of process and organization was uniquely shameful, take heart and keep reading! You’re not alone.

A vital part of prepping for any DAM implementation is stakeholder interviews. These discussions are typically deep dives into workflows, asset organization options, approval processes, and deployment methods. The inputs help drive understanding and alignment on the best way to deploy the DAM to meet the team’s needs and to uncover pain points in current processes that can be improved.

In a typical discovery session, participants are eager to tell their stories – everyone wants to be heard, right? However, it turns out that it is tough to admit your organization is not well organized. A room full of bright and engaged creatives quickly becomes a room of dropped heads and quietly sheepish replies when posed questions about systems and procedures.

 “We’re really terrible.”

“There really isn’t any system.”

“You probably haven’t seen anything this bad.”

Those are real answers to basic inquiries about anything from scheduling to file storage. We’ve needed to become part detective and part therapist. Although we’re unlicensed for both such occupations, as consultants we can tell you that these eight issues are found in every single creative department:

1.     Assets everywhere: desktops, portable drives, servers, clouds

2.     Too much time spent looking for assets

3.     Incorrect versions of assets published/deployed/used

4.     Someone who cannot sign off on a project on time

5.     Someone who can’t turn in a project on time

6.    A lack of accountability

7.     A chasm between expectation and delivery

8.     Blame – overt or not, it’s there

The good news: a well-conceived and well-configured DAM can address every one of these issues. A central repository holds all your assets, from PowerPoints and stock photography to InDesign and Illustrator files. Version control gives the entire team easy access to both the latest version and all prior ones. Built-in workflows and notifications help define and enforce deadlines and secure approvals. Detailed reporting shows exactly where and when things fall through the cracks.

Lose the shame.

You are far from unique when it comes to organizational disorganization. You can, however, be a DAM sight better.