As museums continue to generate more digital assets, it becomes increasingly clear how important it is to find the best digital asset management system (DAMS) for your institution.
Digital assets are always being added to your museum’s collections management software. New additions to your collections come with accompanying media, while existing collections may require updated photography, promotional filming, or related documentation.
Departments across your organization also create and require access to digital media, including marketing, education, public relations, fundraising, facilities management, and visitor services. So, it’s crucial that everyone can access and share assets when they need them.
By selecting the right digital asset management software for your museum, you can ensure it works with the systems you already have in place. Ideally, it should simplify your workflows, improve communication between teams, break down any potential interdepartmental barriers, and ensure your institution is set up for long-term success.
Going Beyond Collections Management
Most likely, your museum’s collections management software and the digital asset management software you decide to implement will have a few things in common.
Collections management software often includes digital asset management features that your collections manager already uses. As we already noted, your DAMS will be used by multiple departments throughout your institution. It can be difficult and time-consuming to fully train members of the marketing, fundraising, or outreach teams to use a data-heavy and complex collections management system.
As your digital assets grow, it’s important to ensure you have a DAMS that makes it easy for the whole team to stay organized. Ease of use is a key consideration to promote uptake and satisfaction with the newly implemented product. Ideally, you can also tailor the DAMS dashboard to only display the information relevant to each team, which further improves the user experience.
Two Systems, One Workflow
While it’s important to have your digital asset management software separate from your CMS, it’s equally important that the two systems are compatible.
As you decide which software is right for your organization, consider your current workflows and how you want to improve or change them with the addition of a DAMS. Making sure they’re aligned and easily integrated is the best way to encourage a smooth transition for your entire organization.
Finding the Right Vendor
There are a number of things to consider when selecting digital asset management software—and the vendor’s reputation is at the top of the list.
Look for a company with experience working with organizations like yours. Ask a lot of questions to ensure they’ll understand your unique challenges and be able to offer the support, solutions, and services you need.
Some questions to consider asking when doing your research include:
- Is this company established? Have they worked with museums and similar organizations? How long have they been doing so?
- Do they understand the needs of museums and organizations with large collections? How do they demonstrate that?
- Have they worked with organizations with similar size or type of collections?
- What does their customer care and support look like?
- How does their offering work with your current IT solution?
- How compatible is their product with your current collections management software?
- What is the cost, and what does it include?
- Do they understand the role of digital asset management in a collections environment?
While it’s an important consideration, price should not be the only factor, or even the most weighted one. Other factors that are just as important to keep in mind are: ease of use, integration with your current systems, access to support and training, and how the DAMS will benefit your organization overall.
Collections and Digital Asset Management—All in One Place
To ensure your collections management system and digital asset management software are as compatible as possible, the TMS Suite by Gallery Systems is a viable option.
The TMS Suite is an collection of interwoven solutions to manage, organize, and share your objects and digital assets, which includes TMS Collections, our industry-leading CMS, and TMS Media Studio, a DAMS designed especially for collections.
TMS Collections and TMS Media Studio share the same database—meaning, there’s no need for costly and cumbersome 3rd-party DAMS integrations. You’ll be up and running much faster, which saves you time and money, plus simplifies the implementation process.
When you choose TMS Media Studio as your museum’s DAMS, you can:
- Centralize the management of the digital assets you have now, as well as a scalable system for future assets.
- Assign user-specific permissions, so each team can only access the files they need.
- Set up metadata and taxonomy to quickly search a large database of digital assets.
- Put workflows in place for photography requests, rights management, copyright clearance, and more.
- Allow users to link assets to external loans, objects, exhibitions, constituents, event, and bibliography records.
- Align across teams and departments by leveraging a DAMS that uses the same database as your CMS.
With an interconnected system like the TMS Suite, you always have access to all your collections data, no matter which program you’re using.
A standalone DAMS product will require additional time, both to add your data and to integrate the product with your current CMS. Meanwhile, the TMS Suite’s holistic ecosystem circumvents any downtime typically associated with data synchronizations.
Download Our Free Guide
Looking for a more in-depth exploration of the DAMS selecting process? Gallery Systems experts have gathered best practices to help your team make a confident, informed decision.
All those involved in the process, from the registrar to the digital asset manager, the IT manager, and everyone in between, will find useful information in our free guide, How to Select the Right Digital Asset Management System for Your Museum.