Organizations tend to use a lot of high-touch manual processes in their early stages of growth. While some of these practices are quickly replaced by automated systems that are much more efficient, others become deeply entrenched by habit, making them difficult to dislodge. As the organization grows, these manual tasks can be a drag on productivity and hold the business back from reaching its full potential. They also increase the risk of mistakes and oversights resulting from human error, any one of which could easily result in lost revenue, missed opportunities, and damaged brand equity. Organizations can avoid these problems and improve both performance and efficiency by implementing automated solutions, including digital asset management (DAM).

The problems with manual processes and digital assets

Content-focused departments frequently rely on manual processes when it comes to managing their digital assets, such as video, images, and audio. All too often, these practices are not well defined or ad hoc in nature. This is usually the case when a small team grows quickly. Rather than establishing a clear structure for determining how multiple people will access and work with digital content, organizations end up taking one of two approaches to managing assets:

  • They use existing tools to decentralize content management, which results in a chaos of lost assets and version confusion.
  • Or they centralize all work through a single decision maker, which creates tedious bottlenecks.

A few examples of these inefficiencies include:

Sharing assets over email

Email was not designed to manage collaborative projects, but that doesn’t stop people from using it to send multiple versions of files to various recipients in the absence of a better solution. Unfortunately, sharing content over email can quickly become confusing, especially if files are being sent as attachments that are widely downloaded, edited, and resent. Teams end up wasting time sifting through various versions of content to identify which one is the most current or accurate. Email is also vulnerable to several security threats that could easily compromise proprietary digital assets.

Juice brand marketing content created with streamlined workflows.

Using basic cloud storage

Since many organizations already have cloud-based storage solutions in place, they frequently use these systems to organize their digital assets. But managing access privileges to these systems can be quite complicated, especially if people outside the organization (such as freelancers or agencies) need to upload or open assets. Basic cloud storage platforms also don’t do a very good job of organizing content intelligently. Rather than automatically identifying different types of assets and sorting them according to a clearly defined hierarchy, they must be labeled and organized manually. If just one file isn’t identified and sorted properly, it can be next to impossible to find.

Managing workflows manually

Most content creation projects have multiple steps that require assets to pass between several team members before they reach completion. Without a centralized system that makes it easy for everyone to organize, find, and share assets quickly, creative teams end up engaging in a disjointed, back and forth process of obtaining the right materials for a project. Instead of having ready access to everything they need as part of their workflow, collaborators must fall back up on inefficient tools like email to clumsily move projects forward.

Decentralized content review

Organizations want to be sure they’re not pushing out content that contains errors, oversights, or other problems, so they frequently have a robust review process to catch potential issues. Without some form of automated system in place that efficiently routes content to the right person for approval, this review process can become a chaotic mess that grinds projects to a halt. The people tasked with reviewing content often have to spend time tracking down files across multiple platforms or may not even be aware that materials are ready for review. These delays create significant bottlenecks that slow production and make it difficult to spot and address issues effectively.

Tracking digital rights manually

Making a mistake with copyrighted digital assets can quickly land organizations in costly legal trouble. Unfortunately, managing the licensing status of this material manually is next to impossible due to the sheer volume of content most creative departments are working with on a regular basis. Without digital rights management (DRM) tools that track how digital assets can be used, it’s easy for someone to accidentally use restricted content improperly. This can both expose the organization to liability or undermine business strategies by making proprietary assets publicly available.

Juice brand imagery with Canto's digital rights management options.

Eliminating manual content processes with DAM

For both small creative teams and large-scale enterprises, eliminating the potential for human error and confusion in content production can greatly enhance efficiency and production quality. Digital asset management (DAM) solutions can streamline and automate key elements of the content creation process to reduce the mistakes and wasted time associated with manual processes.

A DAM platform provides a single source of truth for an organization’s digital assets. Content can be uploaded easily by authorized users or by way of temporary links shared with people outside the organization. Once assets are in the system, they can be organized quickly using keywords and tags that allow people to easily find them again. Copyright information can be extracted automatically to flag licensed content and restrict what can be done with it.

Linear workflows also ensure that all collaborators have access to the assets they need to complete key tasks during content creation. Collaborators can easily comment on and then approve or reject projects as they make their way through the automated workflow. This eliminates the need for clunky review processes that so often create production bottlenecks.

By using content portals that allow people to access preselected content, DAM solutions make it easy to share digital assets without resorting to confusing email correspondence. Since assets aren’t being sent as attachments, they remain within the secure DAM system where version control can be strictly maintained.

Unlike cloud storage platforms that require organizations to manage permissions and credentials in order to share content, a DAM can provide access to designated content with a simple link. These links can even be set to expire, which eliminates the need to manually manage who has access to digital assets over time.

Improve collaboration and productivity with Canto

Implementing Canto as a DAM solution is a fast and easy solution for streamlining digital content creation and eliminating manual processes. By creating a single source of truth for digital assets, organizations can reduce human error, break down collaboration barriers, and avoid bottlenecks that undermine productivity. Canto’s simple and intuitive design allows creative teams to find, use, and share the assets they need quickly so they can spend more time generating high-value content and less time stumbling through inefficient workflows.

To get a hands-on look at how Canto can help your organization do away with time-consuming manual processes that expose your digital assets to unnecessary risk, sign up today for a free trial.