Best Practices for Deploying DAM Software for Not-for-Profit Organizations


Congratulations on signing up for a SaaS digital asset management (DAM) system! Now, let’s dive into some key decisions and considerations to ensure a successful deployment:

  1. Prioritize Workflow or File Organization: Determine whether you want to start using the DAM immediately in your workflow or focus on adding and organizing your existing unstructured files first. This choice will depend on your specific needs and priorities.
  2. Define Access and Permissions: Decide who will have access to the DAM collection. Will it be rolled out globally to all departments, affiliates, and print contractors? Define different levels of access privileges, such as upload, edit, download, report viewing, or direct export to social media. Ensure you have a clear understanding of who can perform specific actions within the DAM system.
  3. Establish Essential Metadata: Identify the key metadata attributes that are important for locating your digital assets. Strive for a balance between providing enough metadata for effective searchability and avoiding overwhelming users with excessive fields. Determine when metadata will be added – before uploading, during the upload process, or after. Also, consider whether releases or other legal documentation are necessary for certain assets.
  4. Consolidate and Organize Existing Files: Collect all the files scattered across individuals’ computers or network shares. Decide whether to organize and add metadata to these files before or after batch uploading them to the DAM system. Consider how your DAM solution handles folder names and whether they will become searchable metadata.
  5. Designate a DAM Guru: Identify a point person within your organization who will serve as the go-to expert for questions, suggestions, and troubleshooting related to the DAM system. This individual could be a photographer, a member of your creative team, or the director of communications.
  6. Plan Training and Adoption: Determine the training approach that works best for your organization. Decide whether the entire staff should receive training or if a train-the-trainer model will be more effective. Additionally, consider how to train employees in field offices, ensuring they have the necessary knowledge and support to use the DAM system effectively.

These are just some of the important aspects to consider when deploying DAM software for not-for-profit organizations. At MerlinOne, we assist our customers with these decisions and more as they embark on organizing their digital media using our Merlin DAM system.

Rande Anmuth Simpson

Director of Sales

Phone: 912.258.5060

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