Out of Order Sign

Help, our DAM doesn't work!

by Chris Ransick

Implementing a digital asset management (DAM) system can be daunting, and it's not uncommon for companies to encounter challenges. Companies may face common issues:

- Users can't find images.
- The DAM system they purchased isn't set up correctly.
- The launch was a flop.

This can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience (not to mention a difficult conversation with senior management). Still, it's important to remember that a properly configured DAM system can significantly benefit your business. This blog will discuss why a DAM system may not be set up correctly and how to approach starting over.

Reasons for Incorrect Setup

There are several reasons why a DAM system may not have been set up correctly. One common reason is that the company did not clearly understand its needs or requirements prior to contracting with a vendor. Without a clear understanding of their requirements, the company may have ended up with a system that did not meet their needs. Another common reason is that the company lacked the resources or expertise to properly guide the configuration and implement the system. 

Another reason could be that the company's requirements have changed since they contracted with the vendor. This could be due to changes in the company's business strategy, new regulations, or industry standards that need to be met. In this case, the company may need to re-evaluate its requirements and find a new system.


If you find yourself in a situation where your DAM is not working for you, it may be necessary to start over. However, starting over can be hard to swallow, so it's essential to approach it systematically.

It's highly recommended that you consult with DAM experts before deciding the next step; they can help you in all stages of reimplementing process and provide you with best practices and strategies to ensure your system is configured correctly.

The first step is to evaluate your current system and identify areas not meeting your needs. System evaluations can be done by interviewing asset user SMEs, spending time in the system identifying the problems, conducting user surveys, reviewing system logs, and analyzing system usage data. This information will help you identify areas where the current system is not meeting your needs and determine what needs change. 

Next, you need to make sure you have well-defined requirements and use cases that clearly define what's required in a DAM. Once you understand your requirements and use cases, it's best to speak to a knowledgeable digital asset consultant to see if your current system is salvageable or if you need to start over.

If your system is salvageable (and most are), you need to develop a DAM reimplementation plan. A digital asset management reimplementation plan is a set of steps and procedures a company follows when they decide to salvage its current DAM system. The plan outlines the actions and tasks that need to be completed and the resources and timelines required to ensure that the new system is implemented correctly.

A typical DAM system reimplementation plan includes the following steps:

1. Analysis: This involves evaluating the DAM as it was initially implemented and identifying areas where the current system is not meeting those needs. The analysis should be conducted by someone with expertise in digital asset management systems who can quickly spot problem areas.

2. Process Design: Before reimplementation, it's essential to design the processes that the DAM will support.
Map Current Processes: Understand your existing processes and the journey of a digital asset from creation to archiving.
- Identify Bottlenecks and Challenges: Identify where assets tend to get 'stuck' or where inefficiencies exist.
- Design New Processes: Create improved workflows, potentially simplifying steps or introducing automation where appropriate.

3. Reimplementation: This step involves reconfiguring the system and retagging assets. It might also include streamlining specific workflows based on the newly designed processes.

4. Training: Equip your users with the necessary skills to operate the updated DAM.
- Understand Your Audience: Customize training based on different user roles.
- Choose the Right Training Mode: On-site training, webinars, online tutorials, or a combination.
Hands-on Practice: Allow users to familiarize themselves with actual system tasks.
- Feedback Loop: Encourage user feedback to continuously improve training methods.

5. Testing and Validation: Test the new system to ensure it meets the business requirements, which also involves collecting feedback from users and making necessary adjustments based on the input.

6. Rebranding: If the system was previously perceived negatively, consider rebranding the DAM and reintroducing it with a fresh image.

7. DAM Governance Setup: Establish a robust governance framework to ensure consistency and efficiency in the management of digital assets.
- Policy Creation
: Draft guidelines on uploading, tagging, downloading, and deleting assets. Define who can add assets, remove them, and the required quality standards.
- Roles & Permissions: Clearly outline who has access to what within the DAM, which might include administrators, regular users, and guest roles with varying levels of permissions.
- Regular Audits: Schedule periodic checks to ensure assets are appropriately tagged, outdated content is archived or removed, and user roles are up to date.
- Feedback Loop: Establish a mechanism for users to provide feedback on the governance policies and suggest improvements.

8. Go-live: Reintroduce the system into production and ensure it's accessible for all intended users.

9. Post-implementation review: Regularly review the new system, noting areas for further refinement or enhancement. Keep adapting to ensure the DAM continues to serve evolving business needs.

Starting Over

You have determined that your DAM is not salvageable, and your organization must start over. First, you'll need to ensure that your requirements and use cases are well-defined and are reviewed with future series system users and SMEs.

Next, you can begin the process of researching and evaluating different systems. This can be done by reviewing vendor websites, attending demos and webinars, and consulting with experts in the field. It's best to convert your requirements into a scoring document that can be forwarded to potential systems for their input. 

Once the requirements have been scored, Choosing the top three solutions is best and providing them with use case scripts that you want them to demo. The demo should have an audience of series DAM system users. At the end of each demo, you will ask them to score the solution based on the questions you create.
Finally, it is essential to consult with experts before deciding; they can help you in all stages of implementing the new system and provide you with best practices and strategies to ensure the new system is implemented correctly.

Starting over with a new DAM system is a frustrating experience, but it's important to remember that a properly configured system can provide significant benefits for your business. By approaching the process in a systematic and organized way, you can ensure that your new system is set up correctly and meets your needs. Additionally, it is always recommended to consult with experts to ensure the new system is set up correctly.

How DAM OPS can help?

Having a failed implementation is difficult but sadly not unusual. DAM Ops  Consulting has the expertise to come in quickly, analyze the situation, and provide educated next steps. If your system can be fixed, we'll tell you how. If it can't, we can provide expertise to ensure your requirements and use cases are sound and guide you through the system selection process.

Contact DAM OPS 
©2024 DAM Ops Consulting, a Vista Grande Digital, LLC company
Acquia DAM, Brandfolder, Smartsheet, Picture Park, Adobe, Dropbox, Wedia, 4ALLPORTALS, Intelligencebank, Nuxeo, MediaBeacon, MediaValet, Esko, Brandworkz, Dalim, Stockpress, Canto, Extensis, Cloudinary, XiNet, Aprimo, Bynder, Extreme Reach, Resourcebase. Orange Logic, Opentext and Celum product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.