Listen to Another DAM Podcast interview with Iqvinder Singh about Digital Asset Management
Here are the questions asked:
How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
How does a distributor of creative products use Digital Asset Management?
What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Henrik de Gyor (00:00): This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Iqvinder Singh. How are you?
Iqvinder Singh (00:09): I’m great. How are you?
Henrik de Gyor (00:10): Great. Iqvinder, How are you involved with digital asset management?
Iqvinder Singh (00:14): I’m the DAM Librarian and Taxonomist for one of the country’s largest art supplier. MacPherson’s are based out of Emeryville, California. So my role is to manage all the assets associated with our over hundred thousand products. So our products are distributed through companies like Michaels, Blick Art and thousands of other art retailers across the country. And I basically activate three areas and in the DAM ecosystems. So I manage the day to day asset management. I define the taxonomy. I also manage the eCommerce business that comes out live on sites like Amazon and walmart.com. So that’s kind of what I do digital asset management.
Henrik de Gyor (01:12): Iqvinder, how does a distributor of creative products use digital asset management?
Iqvinder Singh (01:17): We get digital assets from many different sources. The main one is we get the product imagery directly from our manufacturers. So they send us anything and training videos through actual product photography. And then, we take those assets, we bounce it against our brand standards to make sure that it aligns with what we need to publish for our retailers. And at times, we also do our own in house photography and video to make sure that we have the needs for anything that a supplier or our vendors can supply to us. So we take the products and then we send it out to companies like Michaels, they might have needs for their catalogs. They might have needs for their social media. They might have needs for their website. And each one of these thousands of retailers across the country, they might have unique needs, which might be, you know, different in size, you know, some, it’s like a product from one angles. Others like it from a different angle, some prefer videos, you know, some prefer JPEGs and PDFs and TIFs and all kinds of different attributes. In our DAM we have total of, I would say, close to 200 different attributes tied to each product. So anytime a retailer comes back to us and say, Hey, we need the following for this particular product, we can easily automate that process and send them exactly what they need. And so, you know, at one point all of this was done manually, but we have the tools where we can output all this information automatically and we can do it for thousands of items at once.
Henrik de Gyor (03:23): And just to clarify, the attributes you’re speaking of, is that metadata fields?
Iqvinder Singh (03:26): Exactly. It’s a metadata field.
Henrik de Gyor (03:31): What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Iqvinder Singh (03:36): Right now? You know, we, we are in the process of cleaning our DAM libraries, so we have assets that are outdated. You know, we have products that were shot, you know, 20 years ago. And so it’s, it’s somewhat of a manual process to get some of the newer imagery for these product and deactivate some of the old product imagery. And oh, so, you know, when you have over a hundred thousand assets, you know, it’s, it’s hard to identify which ones are new and which one are outdated. We do have a process in place where anything that’s older than five years, we are reaching out to our distributor to validate, to make sure that there’s no newer packaging out there. So getting the product out to the market in a speedy manner is always a challenge. We have to make sure we’re not only getting first in the market, but also we have the latest and greatest product imagery and just, you know, simplifying some of our own internal processes.
Iqvinder Singh (04:52): And, we still have so much, um, metadata sitting in spreadsheets and antiquated old tools and drives. So we’re just trying to flush out our own system too have the latest and greatest in our central hub.
Henrik de Gyor (05:11): And what advice would you like to share with them professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Iqvinder Singh (05:15): I would say anybody who’s coming into or even thinking about becoming a DAM Specialist, I would say is learn. Learn the life cycle of a product. In a lot of organizations nowadays you’re going to end up wearing many different hats. You’re not going to be just strictly a digital asset manager. You’re going to be providing creative feedback, you’re going to be managing, you know, assets for both web and print.
Iqvinder Singh (05:49): So I would recommend learn all the ins and outs of those… how your product’s going to be outputted so you have a better understanding of what you know, what you’re working with. And it will also make you a better communicator when you’re dealing with vendors and internal creative and marketing teams. because it’s, you know, your role as a DAM manager, it’s, it’s not a standalone role, at least not in my world. You’re going to be dealing with merchandising teams and marketing teams and logistics outside third party agencies. So kind of learn the whole ecosystem of where your role sits, learn the ins and outs of marketing and creative. And it will just make you a not only great digital asset management, you know, you’re going to be a librarian and a day to day and you’re sort of the role of a taxonomist and a lot of those companies that I worked with didn’t have that particular role, so I had to quickly speed up myself to kind of understand, uh, how the product is being used and what it means to the internal teams, what it means to people outside of our company that will be using this product and learning the proper terminology to house these products in a hierarchy that’s easy to understand and download by all different parties. There are great tools out there, but the one thing to kind of keep in mind is that, you know, all products have a lifecycle and at some point a new product comes in and we discontinue something else. So a lot of DAM Managers, they make the mistake of fulfilling their hub with all the products, but there’s not a cleaning up. There’s gotta be a process in place for a continuous cleanup of all the different assets we have in our libraries. Just in the last year, we wiped out over 30,000 assets either they were dated or no longer carried by our company. So you get to keep those kinds of things in mind. Otherwise, if the wrong product gets out in the market, that means you have to send retraction letters and could cause some other indirect issues. So just kinda keep that in mind.
Henrik de Gyor (08:30): Good point. There’s a lot of lifecycle management challenges because things keep evolving and it is not a one and done, to your point, in the world of DAM.
Iqvinder Singh (08:39): Exactly.
Henrik de Gyor (08:40): Well, thanks for your advice. Appreciate it.
Iqvinder Singh (08:42): Thank you, Henrik.
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