Jamie Litchfield discusses Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Jamie Litchfield.
[0:08] Jamie, how are you?
Jamie Litchfield: [0:09] I’m good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:11] Great. Jamie, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Jamie: [0:14] I work at a full‑service ad agency. I’ve been here for almost seven years. It’ll be seven years this summer. I was originally hired to manage one of our clients third-party digital asset management system, which I do still currently do for them.
[0:31] I’m an admin, so I manage all of their users. I manage the assets. Mostly the assets that my agency creates, but then I also do work with some of our partner agencies and their assets as well.
[0:43] Through the time that I have been doing that, I started getting involved with our agencies internal system. I’m currently working to make some improvements with that system, and kind of rebranding for a new launch stock this summer to all of our internal employees.
Henrik: [0:58] Jamie, how does a full‑service marketing and communications agency use digital assets management?
Jamie: [1:03] At my agency, Digital Asset Management has been fully growing over the time I’ve been here. I came on board again seven years ago when there was a legacy system in place. It’s been in place for a very long time, before I started.
[1:18] That system was never really fully utilized to its fullest potential. It’s functioning kind of as a server that people can mount locally to their machine and browse through on that side. There are practically no users who log into and use the web interface that links over the repository.
[1:37] We definitely use the solution that we purchased a while back kind of as that functional server side, but not to the fullest extent of an asset management system that it really could be. That’s what I’m working on now with my team is overhauling the system, making improvements, doing some upgrades and things like that to make it a functional and usable system.
[1:58] We’re hoping to launch it this summer in phases to various departments at our agency. It’s still the same legacy system, so basically our end goal is to increase user adoption. Awareness is going to be a huge part of that. A lot of people don’t even realize we have a system like this.
“…our end goal is to increase user adoption. Awareness is going to be a huge part of that. A lot of people don’t even realize we have a system like this.”
[2:15] We’re doing all these things. We did the improvements on increased functionality and the user interface and things like that, so that when we do launch it this summer, hopefully we’ll have some great adoption, because it will really easy to use.
Henrik: [2:26] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?
Jamie: [2:30] At our agency, probably the biggest one is just simple lack of knowledge about the system that I just mentioned, because it’s been utilized just people think of it as a server, which has the very basic. You log in and mount the server on your desktop and you click through folders and your finder window. There is no smartness to the system. You just have to manually click through things.
[2:51] Sometimes they don’t even know that we have a librarian, like myself at the agency who is tagging files and making things easier for people to find our assets and things like that. That’s one of the biggest challenges, is just teaching people that across the agency.
[3:05] Once people know about it, they get really excited and they really see the value. When we roll out this summer, we’re hoping to partner with our human resources department and launch some training sessions.
[3:16] Get in when we have new hire sessions so we can get even 10 minutes intro with those new groups coming in to tell them about the system and get them log in from the beginning and things like that.
[3:29] Another challenge that I mentioned earlier was that this is a legacy system. We did look into a few years ago purchasing the new system, we did the whole use cases and things like that, but just couldn’t really get the dollars to spend the money from our financial team.
[3:46] We do have this system, and it was set up so long ago and no one has ever updated it since then, so we have out of date processes in place and out of date user profiles and things like that. We’re working hard to overhaul that and really bring it up to 2015. How we work now, it’s very different than how we worked when we first purchased the system and set it up.
[4:08] As far as successes go, right now we are in a very exciting time at the agency. We are working with our IT department, and we’ve got some buy in from higher up people to make some upgrades and enhancements for our user interface and increase some functionalities.
[4:26] We are excited to re‑brand and re‑launch our asset management system as a tool to our agency. People are pretty excited, there are some buzz going on, because they are starting to see the value of a digital asset management tool.
[4:39] Obviously, which a lot of listeners are going to be familiar with, but especially I think at ad agencies the time to market is so quick and creative and project managers in various departments are stretched so thin and doing so much. I consider anything we can do as our jobs as librarians to help them find the best assets in the quickest amount of time.
[5:01] They can really save hours, if not days off of a complete schedule, especially if we can find something that might have already been retouched and approved asset, we can save all of that retouching time and approval routing time and get that right out of their schedule and save them days. It’s definitely going to be a powerful tool.
[5:20] People from the feedback I’ve heard are very excited to have it launched. We’re also just starting to work and ingest new kinds of assets into our system. Up until now, we had been working just with static print assets, but we are going to be working to ingest our broadcast team video files, and potentially our digital teams’ digital banner files, and website files and things like that.
[5:47] It’s pretty exciting to be broadening up our horizon into those different mediums as well.
Henrik: [5:54] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Jamie: [5:59] This is a good question. When I first started at the agency, I didn’t even know what digital asset management was. I was just out of college and I was excited to have a job at a great agency. Over the years as I’ve learned, I think it’s important to be your own advocate, to be an asset management advocate.
[6:16] If you’re lucky enough to be in an environment where there is already an established asset management system in process, that’s great, but if you’re one of the many people I have a feeling who have a pretty small group and it’s not well known, I think you definitely can’t be afraid to do research and come up with ideas to push your asset management system forward.
[6:38] Especially if asset management isn’t established at your company, no one else is going to do it for you. You have to definitely be your own advocate.
[6:47] The other thing I would say, I think it’s great to participate in any opportunities you can. I do webinars and Webex all the time with vendors that aren’t our own vendors, but just to familiarize myself with what else is out there, other services. You make contacts that way.
[7:04] I think conferences are also great. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Henry Stewart Conference in New York City two or three times now. I think that’s a wonderful conference. There are so many vendors there. It’s a great place to walk around and you can get a demo of pretty much every big system in the space, all in one day, which is a great opportunity.
[7:24] I think it’s just great information, the sessions are great and it’s very eye‑opening and informative. It’s a great couple days. I always find it very inspiring and exciting.
Henrik: [7:34] Thanks Jamie.
Jamie: [7:35] Thank you.
Henrik: [7:36] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, log onto anotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM podcast is available at anotherDAMpodcast.com to find 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview.