When building a digital asset management system, Smith knows it’s most effective to start small and do what makes sense to your organization.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
I started my career at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, located in Columbus Ohio. Recently I became the digital asset management administrator for a large advertising agency, also in Columbus, called SBC Advertising.
I started as an assistant in the photography department for Nationwide Children’s. This was a new role created to fill a need on the photography team. My main focus was to assist the in-house photographers in managing day-to-day task like: coordinating and assisting on photo shoots and creating new standards for how we digitally manage assets on our network servers. At the time I was hired, the hospital was growing very quickly, and so was the need for a DAM system to manage the growing number of assets and accessibly to these assets. The Marketing & Public Relations department was charged with acquiring a DAM provider and implementing the new system. Since I was already managing the photography assets, I took the lead in the implementation of the new system. I continued to work with Photography and also started to work with the in-house Design team, so I could effectively manage all assets going through the creative services team.
At SBC, I have just begun the process of implementing a new DAM system for the agency and their clients. We are at the beginning stages of implementation but the goal is to improve the way assets are ingested, managed and distributed through the agency and to our clients.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
I learned by doing. I definitely fell into this field- because I am good at problem solving and have borderline OCD tendencies when it comes to organization, I naturally excelled at managing assets and the data associated with them. I was also fortunate enough to work with an amazing DAM provider (Widen) on my very first implementation. They have an excellent resource library where you can access white papers, videos and webinars.
I also subscribe to CMSwire news and they provide a lot of relevant DAM content and free webinars.
What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?
If you are implementing a DAM system for the first time- start small and grow the DAM in a smart way that makes sense to your organization.
I also think it is important to take the time to talk to as many groups/teams as possible within your organization- understand how they currently interact with assets and in what ways the DAM could help alleviate some of the pain points in their workflow. By gaining this insight, you can later provide personalized examples of how the DAM is going to help improve the efficiency of their daily tasks and in-turn receive valuable DAM buy-in from your core user groups.
If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?
I went to school to be a commercial photographer. I think the end goal was to eventually get a job with a large commercial studio or retailer and take product shots for their ecommerce sites. But it didn’t take long for my roadmap to change. I think you start in a field that you are interested in and you will naturally go in a direction that fits your personality and individual strengths.