Although the job of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system is to make your life easier, the initial setup can seem a bit daunting. With so many files and so little time, how is it possible to get it done? We’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself when setting up your DAM in order to simplify and streamline the process. And hopefully make it a little less daunting.


1. Should I add all of our digital files to the DAM?


Yes! The purpose of a DAM is to have ALL of your files in one place. If you’re still accessing your desktop or hard-drives to find files, your efficiency will drop. Asset management solutions including Barberstock host files from photos and videos, to documents and logos, so make full use of the system. If you don’t want all users to access all of the files, there are tools in place to limit what content is available to specific users.


2. What is the primary objective of our DAM?


Is it for internal purposes only, media distribution, both? Identifying what your overall objective is before getting setup will ensure you’re headed in the right direction from the get go. If your DAM is only for internal staff members, then make sure they can find what they need easily by using internal abbreviations and folder structures they are familiar with. If it’s primarily for media or partners, ensure that all metadata is filled out to provide them the pertinent information they need.


3. How much time should we allocate to setting up our DAM?


There are so many factors that are dependent on the time it will take to setup your DAM. Those factors including how many assets are in your DAM, how much metadata will be applied to each asset and how many man hours and resources will be allocated to the project. We recommend working in phases to make the setup process more manageable. Don’t try to get it all done in one go as that’s way too overwhelming. Get your initial setup options in place then work little by little to get your assets organized with metadata. Try to get enough up initially so the library is usable then keep working away at it by allocating a specific amount of time each day or week.


4. How will users to find the files they are looking for?


Essentially – how are you going to organize the content in your library. Some organizations rely solely on keywords and searching and others rely heavily on categorizing assets into folders and collections. We recommend a combination of both. Users will use both tools to find what they are looking for, so make sure your library is optimized for either. Remember, just because you might prefer search over folders, it doesn’t mean all of your users will be the same.


5. How much control do we want over who is downloading our files?


Of course you don’t want your files to get into the wrong hands, but you need to ensure your workflow is streamlined and efficient. Here are a few things to consider when setting up your user workflow:

  • Do you want users to have instant access to your library or do you want an approval process?
  • Do you want to know who is downloading your files?
  • Do you want to know why each file is downloaded?
  • Do you want to approve each file download?

All of these settings can be implemented based on your preferences and how much involvement you’d like in the overall workflow. Most Barberstock clients implement an approval process upon registration and then they have access to all of the data on who is downloading assets and when. Larger clients that have a larger volume of users tend to allow users to have instant access to their library and require the users to fill in a reason why they are downloading each asset. The organization isn’t involved in any steps along the way, but they have access to all of the data should the need arise. Some clients know all of their files are rights approved and just want to get their content out there, so they create public collections where users can download at free will.

If you know you need a DAM, but the setup is process is holding you back, take a look at our Full-Service DAM offering and our team will help you every step of the way.