Know your DAM requirements

Know your DAM requirements

When your boss tells you to research digital asset management (DAM) systems, the first thing you’ll probably do is head to the internet to search for information and learn more about what DAM systems can help you accomplish. That’s great, and really important, as all research needs to start somewhere, but you may be missing a very critical step: internal research to determine what requirements are most important. That internal research will help you find a DAM solution that’s right for your company.

The fact is, not all DAM systems are the same. Some systems are a fit for certain organizations, while others aren’t. That’s why understanding your own organization’s needs first is key to finding a solution that will work for everyone.

We recommend creating a document that lists your requirements. You can use the template below as a guide. Start it off with a description of your company. List what industry you’re in, what you do, and anything else relevant that you think your DAM provider should know. Do you do work with outside partners that will need access to the DAM? Do you have multiple locations that need to collaborate together? Do you have multiple language requirements?

Then include a summary of your DAM requirements. You can start the sentence off with, “We are planning on using our DAM system for…”. Other ideas for this paragraph include: “The most important functionality for us is…” and “We would like the ability to…”. You can write this paragraph last, after you fill in the table below.


(company logo)

(Company name) Digital Asset Management System Requirements

In our search to find a digital asset management system for [company name], we’ve realized that having DAM requirements are essential to finding the right solution. We’re planning to use our DAM system for [this reason(s)] and have found this [this functionality] is most important. We’ve created the table below, which includes more details about our requirements.

Media sizeAudio: number of audio files
Documents: number of documents
Other media type(s): number of other media type(s)

Media typesVideos: number of videos
Photos: number of photos
Audio: number of audio files
Documents: number of documents
Other media type(s): number of other media type(s)

File typesMP4, MPEG, MPG, MOV, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, MPS, WAV, M4A, AIFF, CSV, XLS, AI, EPS, etc.
Pricing ModelWhat kind of pricing do you expect? A one-time purchase or an ongoing subscription? What would you like to be included in the price (implementation, support, etc.)? Would you like the price to be based on users? Are there maintenance costs?
On-premise or SaaS solutionWould you like the system installed at your location or would you like a SaaS solution?
Essential feature(s) (e.g., categories, refine search, previews in search, file conversions, bulk metadata editing, etc.)This can be any feature(s) you feel is essential to your organization. You can also have multiple rows with essential features. Indicate the essential features in the left column and your description here. Let the vendor know why you need the features and how you’ll be using them. If you’re not sure about what features you need, check out our persona-based scenarios resource.
Implementation How much help do you need through the implementation process? How much up-front work do you expect to do? What kind of timeline are you expecting?
Support What kind of support do you need? 24/7 availability? In-person? Phone? Online chat?
Total budgetWhat’s the maximum amount of money you can spend on the system and all the costs associated with it?

For more help filling out this template, check out the Digital Asset Management (DAM): What to Know Before You Go! and our persona-based scenarios resource, which can help you understand how digital assets are used throughout your organization.

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