How To Get Big ROI with Digital Asset Management -


How To Get Big ROI with Digital Asset Management

Friday June 9th, 2017 by Les Barker

ROI. Return on investment. “More bang for the buck” as Dwight D. Eisenhower once said. “More bounce to the ounce.” (Okay, I’ll stop with the idioms now. Sorry!)

ROI comes into play in practically every aspect of daily life. Getting good ROI boils down to making smart decisions at the right time. Or nurturing things you place value in and/or expect a reward from. Even something as simple as growing tomatoes in your yard is an investment in labor, cost, and effort. The initial ROI might not be great, but over time—and with the proper care—the investment can be quite worthwhile/delicious.

Investing dollars in the equity market and real estate can deliver ROI. This path can be slippery but “no risk, no gain” as the saying goes.

Working with rich media (RM) assets can be daunting, too. Making smart investments early about how to manage your RM can deliver magnificent ROI, but you need to follow a solid gameplan.

First thing you need to do is identify what problem needs to be solved. When I worked for the World Bank organization, we had a library that housed thousands of paper maps containing project data, geographic information, and other country-specific metadata. But  you could only review this data by sitting down with a huge stack of binders that were sorted by country and flipping through pages until you found what you were looking for. It took forever! Can you imagine paying engineers, economists, and health experts hundreds of dollars an hour to sift through binders? Not exactly an efficient workflow. So that was our problem that needed to be solved: Staff needed access to the maps, the map data, and the projects related to the specific countries, but they didn’t want to leave their offices to come to our physical library and sift through binders for hours.

Once we identified this workflow problem, we did our due diligence and ultimately determined that a Digital Asset Management solution would help address the issue of time, cost, relativity, and provide almost immediate ROI if done correctly.

We implemented a process for managing thousands of legacy paper maps by scanning and cataloging hard copies and converting them to PDFs. New maps created from 1991 to present consisted of both native digital files and final form PDFs for publishing and print.

Since 1995, the library now resides in an online DAM system (Extensis Portfolio) that continues to evolve over time. Anyone in the enterprise now has access to both the paper data and new enhanced digital files at the touch of a button. Search criteria and metadata schema helps the user navigate to the proper information in milliseconds, not minutes.

Talk about a ROI.

The relative costs of setting up the system, scanning the maps, and building the library paid for itself in just under 3 months.

Your company might not have big binders to sift through in 2016 but workflow bottlenecks still exist in every work environment. In the digital age, people spend a ridiculous amount of time looking for lost or missing assets. Even if you just spend 10 minutes searching for an asset, that amount of wasted time and energy becomes considerable when multiplied across your entire company, even more costly when multiplied across a global enterprise.

Creative workflow has a lot to do with delivering ROI, too. Going upstream and understanding how other people work and leverage the technology at their disposal is critical. Providing an easy and efficient way to upload, tag, and categorize RM assets in the native application can provide a wealth of time savings and ensure data quality down the road. Examine the integration and pain points in a creative workflow and remove any obstacles that prevent data from getting into your DAM system.

For my organization, ROI was measured by reducing touch points in the workflow, getting relative data returned in searches, and saving time for expensive employees who had to manually search through archives. For me personally, the ROI was seeing the smiles and gratification from employees who were very pleased to quickly find the information they needed.

The ROI was so successful that the organization continues to fund the program and has expanded the use of DAM discipline to other assets now like video, audio and project related documents. DAM is the gift that keeps on giving.

Curious to see how DAM might affect your ROI? Take a quick spin on this ROI Calculator, answer a few simple questions, and see what you could save in 5 years.


You might also be interested in my previous post about implementing DAM at your organization.