Jake Jaroch and Ryan Messier discuss Digital Asset Management
Here are the questions asked:
- How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
- Why does an organization focused on motorcycles use a DAM?
- What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset Management?
- What advice would like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: [0:00] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Jake Jaroch and
Ryan Messier. How are you?
Jake Jaroch: [0:12] Good. How you doing?
Henrik: [0:13] Good. How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Jake: [0:16] I oversee our photography department, art studio, and I oversee
our Digital Asset Management System. The way I’m tied to Digital Asset
Management System is I do more of the long-term planning and the functionality
for the system. Ryan does more of the day-to-day, hands on operations support of the system.
Ryan Messier: [0:35] I handle the day-to-day operation for the DAM and support
the system from the admin side. I also handle requests from different
stakeholders, both internally and externally for the company. Any projects that
come across the table from an asset management standpoint is my responsibility
to take care of.
Henrik: [0:52] Why does an organization focused on motorcycles use a Digital
Asset Management System?
Jake: [0:56] Believe it or not, we have about 170,000 in assets in our system. We
have assets sent to us from other departments within the company, for instance,
our motor clothes which aim with our clothing line, our parts and accessories,
our retail environment group, marketing, communications, our HDM, which has
derived our archival, imagery and video. So we’re actually getting fed a lot
of assets from the company and it allows us to reuse the assets in other areas of
the company, therefore saving us a lot of money.
Henrik: [1:36] What are the biggest successes and challenges with Digital Asset
Jake: [1:40] I think some of our bigger challenges is with the DAM system, for
extracting from the system search, our metadata, training our stakeholders how
to use the system. We have such a custom vocabulary here at Harley Davidson.
For instance, we have some of our miles are named Dyna, Touring, Softail, so
these are kind of unique names. For instance, Touring might mean something
else to somebody outside of this company. Therefore our search was very complicated.
It was hard to use a synonym dictionary.
Ryan: [2:15] The synonym dictionary that we had to establish, would optimize
our search and it was just difficult to establish that taxonomy because it is so
unique to a company.
Jake: [2:24] Then another challenge that we faced was selling our leadership on
actually investing money into the system. It’s very hard for leadership to see the
value in something that they are not getting a return on, or a hard number of
return on. It costs us a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of resources, the implications
of using assets without rights, all these things cost the company money.
[2:49] If we have all that information in the DAM system and we’re able to reuse
the assets, we’re able to save the company money. It was very difficult to sell
that to leadership.
Henrik: [2:59] From my understanding, it’s basically a soft cost savings. You’re
not selling things directly from the Digital Asset Management system. Is that
fair to say?
Jake: [3:07] Yes. That’s exactly right.
Henrik: [3:08] Good. It does save you time likely in search, provided it works
well, to save the amount of time it would take if there wasn’t a system in place to
find those 170 some thousand or however many assets you have til they understand
Jake: [3:21] Right. I’ve run some numbers. I said before that they’re soft numbers,
so it’s really hard to come up with the actual number. We save the company
hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by reusing assets and by
having the rights on all of our assets. [3:35] The successes of the DAM system
are pretty much the same thing. Exactly what I was saying was one of our most
difficult things, selling this, was actually probably one of our most biggest successes.
We were able to sell it to leadership, they bought into it, and they stuck
a lot of money into it.
Ryan: [3:50] The system itself is a great success. Our old system that we used
years ago was very difficult to navigate and very difficult to use. Users had a
hard time getting the assets that they actually needed. This new site has vastly
improved the general user-ship, and everybody has received it quite well. [4:09]
That was a huge project that Jake took on over the last three years. I came on
two years ago, and I’ve been running the day-to-day since then. That was a big
success basically, just from a company standpoint.
Henrik: [4:19] What advice would you like share with DAM professionals and
people who are aspiring to become DAM professional?
Jake: [4:24] I would tell them to run.
Henrik: [laughter] [4:27]
Jake: [4:28] Run while they can. No. I’m just kidding. It is a very difficult field to
be in though. You’re basically a pioneer. DAM has been around for a while, but
still it’s not perfect. [4:40] It’s a very difficult world to be in, and it feels like you’re
only one. As stupid as that may sound, it’s like nobody speaks your language.
It’s very difficult to find a friend in the DAM world, if you will.
Henrik: [4:53] I’ve heard that many times, honestly.
Jake: [4:56] You really need to be organized. You have to have thick skin to be
in this profession. I don’t want to turn anybody off by going down this path,
because it is very rewarding, but it is difficult. In a sense, it is kind of fun being a
pioneer and going down this path that most wouldn’t dare travel.
Henrik: [5:18] It’s definitely exciting, one way or another.
Ryan: [5:22] Playing off of that pioneer analogy, most people, when you tell
them that you’re a DAM Asset Manager or something along those lines, they
don’t know what you’re talking about. Even, for instance, my family really don’t
have an idea of what I do. But knowing that you accomplish such a grand accomplishment
for the company or whoever you work for.
Jake: [5:44] It is the truth. I wouldn’t change what I do in the DAM world. But
looking back at the last six years that I’ve been involved with the DAM here at
the company, it has been very challenging to break down those walls and those
barriers of bringing the DAM system to the company.
Henrik: [6:01] You’re implementing change management across the organization
of how they’re managing their people, processes, technology, and information.
I totally value your candor and honesty on those points. Thanks, guys.
Ryan: [6:11] Thank you.
Jake: [6:12] Thank you.
Henrik: [6:13] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
onto AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom
and iTunes. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me
at AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.
- Another DAM podcast interview with Kyle Hufford (anotherdampodcast.com)
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