Digital Asset Management ROI Calculator

Discover how much you can save with a DAM

How much money can a Digital Asset Management System save my company?

The average company loses many thousands of dollars per year wasting time trying to locate text, photography, videos and other types of digital content. This does not include the potential of rights management violations that can cause lawsuits, or the cost of redeveloping assets that had been created, but have now been lost or destructively edited. A digital asset management system’s price tag can be justified. As you work your way through the sections of this DAM ROI calculator, adjust the sliders to match your experience. You will begin to get a clearer picture of how much it costs to not have a DAM.

  • Our content is in so many different places. I have to ask people to share files with me all the time.

  • Our content is in so many different places. I have to ask people to share files with me all the time.

    Content is not centralized and hard to find. When we look for something, it might be on various people's computers or cloud accounts. They may be on vacation, out of office, or their computer may have a problem.

    How we deal with it now:
    We call around to see who has the object we need. The search can take an hour to 7 days.

    DAM Provides:
    Everything centralized in a single system.

  • Which version of the document is this again?

  • Which version of the document is this again?

    There is no formal version control system in place. The wrong logo gets used, the outside ad agency uses old material, a proof is used instead of the final object, or worse.

    How we deal with it now:
    After discovering an error, we send a massive email with the latest logo attached and ask people to use it. The problem has already happened.

    DAM Provides:
    Version control is a core capability.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • Search doesn't give me the results I need.

  • Search doesn't give me the results I need.

    Search capabilities are minimal and very limited. Usually just the file name exists, and there is no access to metadata.

    How we deal with it now:
    We manually organize things into folders and subfolders.

    DAM Provides:
    Virtually instant searching. Extensive search and organization capabilities, including metadata, words in graphics or PDF's or Office docs, fuzzy, phonetic, and Boolean searches.

  • I need to streamline our creative production process, but don't know how.

  • I need to streamline our creative production process, but don't know how.

    The lack of an automated approval workflow delays projects. For instance, we need Sales, Marketing, Legal and Investor Relations to approve the use of a photo. They all have to review it, then approve or request edits in a timely manner. The problem is, approvals take days or weeks because we don't have a tool to manage and streamline this process.

    How we deal with it now:
    We email the photo to them all, asking them to reply to all, and collate the results when everyone gets around to it. Frequently involves followup phone calls. Takes 3-5 days.

    DAM Provides:
    Built in approval workflow, including notification of the parties concerned. They can each add comments to the objects, which become instantly available to the group.

  • Liability: MEDIUM
  • Other people need access to our content, but my team is the only one that can fulfill these requests.

  • Other people need access to our content, but my team is the only one that can fulfill these requests.

    There are delays in fulfilling external requests for assets: only our team can search for and deliver objects. Requests are backlogged due to tight staffing and inability of others to do searches on their own. My department is being called a "bottleneck".

    How we deal with it now:
    We have a long list of backed up projects that we get to as quickly as we can. Typical back up is 3-5 days.

    DAM Provides:
    "Democratized" search, giving access to a larger group of users through a simple to use interface.

  • Repetitive and custom manual tasks slow me down.

  • Repetitive and custom manual tasks slow me down.

    Each request needs something custom to be done manually before we can deliver. We are frequently asked to deliver photos cropped to specific, standardized ratios, at certain resolutions, and occasionally watermarked. Then, the digital file has to be delivered to the right person.

    How we deal with it now:
    We have to work on each photo individually and manually, even though the crop, size and watermak requirement stays the same day after day.

    DAM Provides:
    A DAM automates all this with a drag and drop feature that automatically sets the desired crop and resolution, including a watermark if needed. It then delivers the photos to the right person. Elapsed time is seconds.

  • Some of our digital content is lost and no one can find it.

  • Some of our digital content is lost and no one can find it.

    Lost content can be expensive to recreate. We know our new product was commercially photographed, but no one can find the images: they must be on a folder someplace.

    How we deal with it now:
    We must have the product shoot redone, which requires scheduling and paying the photographer again.

    DAM Provides:
    Once inside of the DAM, objects are not susceptible to becoming "lost."

  • I have difficulty collaborating with my team, or partners, on projects

  • I have difficulty collaborating with my team, or partners, on projects

    Dropbox, emails and conference calls distribute decision information all over the place, and we can miss something important . We need the communication to be closely connected to the assets themselves.

    How we deal with it now:
    We have the team put the objects in a DropBox folder, then we email the link to everyone who needs it, then they try to schedule a conference call every few days to check in or troubleshoot.

    DAM Provides:
    The DAM has the ability to create a Project for this team, and each member can add comments to any object. Comments are shared real time within the group.

  • We don't know if we're legally allowed to use photo, video, or text content in a certain use case.

  • We don't know if we're legally allowed to use photo, video, or text content in a certain use case.

    Rights Management mistakes can be very expensive and open the company up to litigation. We are only allowed to use some assets for print purposes, others for web use, and some of them expire on specific dates. We need to know where we can use any given asset and how much it costs us, but we don't have clarity around this.

    How we deal with it now:
    Currently this is tribal knowledge, walking around in people's heads. Occasionally, knowledge is lost or simply not available, causing the company to violate our rights to use an object.

    DAM Provides:
    The DAM visually codes all objects with restricted rights, and if an object's rights expire, it is removed from a user's view.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • There's no integration between the tools we use to create content and the tools we use to approve, then distribute content.

  • There's no integration between the tools we use to create content and the tools we use to approve, then distribute content.

    With so many different tools in use, integration is critical to doing business today. Examples include sharing assets with other platforms or products, making our visual assets available inside our CMS, Adobe products, our CRM (like Salesforce), or our prepress systems. Otherwise, it slows down each of those teams.

    How we deal with it now:
    Currently, it is very labor intensive jumping between platforms. Some platforms require specialized knowledge.

    DAM Provides:
    Integration is part of DAM functionality. You can import directly into many applications from the DAM, preserving access restrictions and other controls, and saving time and training.

  • I have no idea what the ROI of our content is and I have to report on it quarterly

  • I have no idea what the ROI of our content is and I have to report on it quarterly

    I get asked what our most productive source of images was and I have no idea. We need to be able to determine what are the best sources for effective content, and how much we spend with each creator of visual objects. We need to be more efficient in how we source art and other content.

    How we deal with it now:
    We do this manually once a quarter, by estimating and counting hard invoices or reminders of what we have done.

    DAM Provides:
    DAM provides instant reports that can cover any desired time period the DAM has been in use.

  • Our system has slowed to a crawl there are so many assets in it! And I wait for what seems like hours for folders to open or view content.

  • Our system has slowed to a crawl there are so many assets in it! And I wait for what seems like hours for folders to open or view content.

    Our use of digital assets and content is expanding exponentially. Every year, we are adding more objects faster than before and our system slows to a crawl quite often. We now have thousands of digital assets in some folders. An increasing number of employees have objects on their computers and nowhere else.

    How we deal with it now:
    We cannot keep up. Our systems are slowing dramatically and our search effort and time is climbing.

    DAM Provides:
    A DAM can scale as big as we need it to be and maintain near instant speed.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • I can't control permissions for users at the granular level I need. I need more control.

  • I can't control permissions for users at the granular level I need. I need more control.

    I have almost no control over who gets to see what, and it causes problems. We need to be able to control who sees what objects, and who has the rights to edit, or change objects. As soon as we send objects to one person they are "in the wild" and out of our corporate control. They can get posted to Facebook prematurely, be sent to competitors, leaked, etc.

    How we deal with it now:
    We now circulate hard copy of objects, or keep folders on open file servers: we have no way to control who can see what, or who can edit anything. Or we have to manually encrypt files.

    DAM Provides:
    A DAM gives extremely granular control over what groups of users (or individual users) can view, access, or modify. You can enable an audit trail for every object, if desired.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • I am worried about the security of our files. Some are very confidential.

  • I am worried about the security of our files. Some are very confidential.

    When files exist in various hard drives, some may be secure, but others may not be. I don't know which ones are safe from the wrong department, or the wrong people. When employees leave the company, I can't easily remove their permissions. I simply can't control risk for the company with our current system.

    How we deal with it now:
    We have no ability to control outside access to files that are on individual people's laptops.

    DAM Provides:
    Strong and centralized capabilities exist in a DAM to control who can see what, and what they can do to, or with, an asset.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • The system is down, but I still need to work! How?

  • The system is down, but I still need to work! How?

    Fault Tolerance helps you avoid this scenario: When a hard drive fails or a file server goes down, my team can be sitting around for hours waiting for the files they need. Time is wasted while waiting for a computer or storage to get fixed. We worry that a hard drive may fail destroy many thousands of dollars of irreplacable assets, which may be needed at any moment under serious deadline pressure, or we may have have lots of downtime.

    How we deal with it now:
    With decentralized, single disk storage, if someone's hard drive fails we lose company data. If a computer goes down, the ability to fulfill requests stops.

    DAM Provides:
    DAM can be fault tolerant, for both storage and servers, with 99.9+ percent uptime. You can lose a server or a hard drive, and it will not interrupt your ability to work and you will lose zero data.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • I need and can't get technical help because we don't use a formal system, or we use a system our IT does not support.

  • I need and can't get technical help because we don't use a formal system, or we use a system our IT does not support.

    We have no formal system, so when I need urgent help from IT, I cannot get their attention. Because our data is now on people's laptops, scattered drives, or servers, we have no ability for centralized support when things go wrong. We have to fix it ourselves.

    How we deal with it now:
    If someone leaves the company, any knowledge of our current setup leaves with them.

    DAM Provides:
    24/7 support if anything goes wrong.

  • We aren't protecting (or we will need to protect) personally identifiable information (PII).

  • We aren't protecting (or we will need to protect) personally identifiable information (PII).

    For HIPAA or high-security environments. Some of our objects have personally-identifiable, or health-related information. We have no ability to audit or control access to these objects, so we do not conform to HIPAA or best practices. We incur a serious liability due to this.

    How we deal with it now:
    There's nothing we can currently do.

    DAM Provides:
    Very few digital asset management solutions provide HIPAA/High security options. MerlinOne provides a HIPAA environment for customers.

  • Liability: HIGH
  • Our system doesn't support the file types we use

  • Our system doesn't support the file types we use

    New features and file types: Our team often needs new features as we create new capabilities and workflows. New filetypes are always coming out, all of which need support that we cannot provide.

    How we deal with it now:
    Either there is no ability to automate new workflows, or we spend hours researching how to deal with new filetypes.

    DAM Provides:
    DAM systems are constantly updated with new features and support new filetypes

  • Total Cost

  • Liability: HIGH
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