DAM champ: Gil Comeaux

DAM champ Gil Comeaux is the associate digital asset manager at Tyson Foods. Over the past year, he’s been assisting with the implementation of Tyson Foods’ first digital asset management solution. He has over 13 years of experience in IT, multimedia, and technical roles.

DAM champ: Someone who supports finding, setting up, or maintaining a DAM system. There’s a wide variety of DAM champions who come from positions in production, creative, management, IT, and marketing.


Gil Comeaux digital asset management champWhy is DAM important?

As companies around the world quickly realize the value of managing and centralizing their digital assets, demand is growing for systems that allow users to easily find assets utilizing metadata tagging. Further, the surge of e-commerce is driving the need for consumer packaged goods companies to integrate packaging workflow systems with enterprise-grade DAM systems.

What aspect of DAM do you geek out about the most (e.g., metadata, analytics, permissions)?

The aspect of DAM that I love the most is the concept of metadata tagging. This function provides a whole new way of thinking about organizing and finding assets. Metadata is especially useful in an organization with individual business units that find and utilize assets in different ways.

Another critical function of DAM is digital rights management. The ability to define an expiration date of an asset, assign usage rights, and manage governance enables administrators to confidently manage a large repository of assets.

What does your DAM system help you accomplish?

Our DAM helps us to efficiently manage and leverage a large, enterprise-wide repository of digital assets. As the single source of truth, team members are now able to quickly and efficiently find assets for use in customer presentations. Integrating systems such as our packaging workflow system allows for an automated flow of e-commerce assets from creation to end use.

“Since the implementation of our DAM, we have seen numerous examples of users exponentially increasing work efficiency when working with digital assets.”

Asset reuse provides substantial cost benefits, decreasing the need to recreate images.

What is your day-to-day involvement with the DAM system?

As associate digital asset manager, I regularly curate the system to remove duplicated and low-quality assets, add metadata to existing assets, and refine the user interface. A typical day involves ingesting assets and assigning metadata so they are searchable in numerous different ways to the end user. Our users have different permission sets depending on the business unit, so it is critical that assets have the appropriate metadata.

How do you promote your DAM system throughout your company in order to increase adoption and awareness?

Promoting and rolling out our DAM happened in different phases. First, we started with a small group of beta test users and performed user acceptance testing sessions to ensure the system was intuitive. From there, we started rolling out the system to business units prioritized with the most need. Company emails targeting specific groups generated interest and helped us to further spread the word.

What’s your biggest challenge working with DAM? How could this be easier for you? How have you been working to make this easier?

Digital rights management.

In a large organization with over a 100,000 assets, it is a difficult task to manage the usage status of each asset.

“We have found that it is necessary to empower and encourage business unit stakeholders to use the system often to ensure their assets stay current.”

The establishment of a governance committee has helped us to review and curate existing assets as well as establish guidelines for each business unit, refine the system, and drive confidence in the user experience.

How do you know your DAM system is successful? Are you using metrics to measure and track success?

Success can be measured in a variety of different ways. The use of metrics allows us to gauge the number of users in the system, hot search terms, and the ways users interact with assets. Ensuring the DAM has only high-quality assets that are tagged with searchable metadata attributes provides multiple ways for end users to find the appropriate assets, building user confidence in the system.

What advice would you give other DAM professionals?

Ask many questions and have an open mind. We have found that with an enterprise-wide system, it must be flexible enough to meet the needs of all users and business units. Creating a taxonomy that works well for the sales team may not suit the needs of the packaging design team.

“Asking many questions in the early stages of implementing a DAM and engaging stakeholders from across the company will help to provide insight into the kind of DAM that users want and expect.”

Hold user acceptance testing sessions. Starting with a small group of users to provide feedback early in the implementation process helps to identify issues prior to rolling out to a larger audience. These groups will challenge the system administrators to craft a user interface that is intuitive and easy to use across the company.

Do you have any resources, conferences, forums, or news sources that you’d recommend to people looking to learn more about DAM?

If you are looking for a DAM, there are multiple resources to assist in the process. The Henry Stewart DAM conferences have a variety of vendors and subject matter experts holding informational sessions around choosing a DAM. Blogs such as the vendor-agnostic DAM Champs series contain stories from DAM professionals with vastly different experiences and help shed light on how different companies approach the challenges of managing digital assets.

Are you a DAM Champ or do you know one? We want to talk to you! Submit your contact information here or connect with us on Twitter.

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