December 4, 2001, 12:00 AM

Digital asset management systems on the rise

Storing, organizing and sharing images and content--only lately viewed as assets--from a central repository could boost productivity in graphic arts departments by as much as 75%, says Delphi Group.

Product images are more than just photos as retailers spread merchandise out into multiple channels and communication into different media formats. In digital form, able to be reformatted and re-used again and again, high-quality images are corporate assets, as surely as the real estate that supports a brick-and-mortar store. But that’s a realization that’s come only of late to many retailers, IDC analyst Josh Duhl tells Internet Retailer.

“It’s only in the past few years that companies have started saying, `Now that we’ve got all this content, we have to put it under management,’” Duhl says. “People may spend as much as half their time trying to find images stored on the server. There’s a significant loss in terms of time, effort and dollars when you can’t find them and have to recreate them.”

Research from Boston-based Delphi Group shows that on average, workers may spend the equivalent of one day a week looking for information they need from various sources to fulfill their jobs. That figure can go as high as half their time for some information-intensive jobs, including graphic and art department and marketing mangers, says Delphi Group analyst Nancy Tubb.

Digital content management systems have sprung up from technology vendors, to help retailers and others store, organize and share images and other digital content within the corporation and with its business partners. Some also extract, generate and distribute the stored images in different formats on demand, as needed for different media uses. But not all digital asset management systems offer this as a customer-facing application, which has made dynamic image generation technology as an add-on solution a fast-growing area of technology development.

The benefits of adding a centralized digital asset management system vary widely among retailers and others depending on what system they have in place for managing images and content already, says Tubb. “But it’s not unrealistic to expect a 30% to 75% improvement in productivity, depending on how bad the problem was in the first place,” she adds.

 

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