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Digital Asset Management for Large-Scale Manufacturers

Discover 5 key innovations in digital asset management to support high-volume production, reduce costs, and free up valuable human resources.

5 Key Innovations in High-Volume Digital Asset Management

The digital asset management demands of manufacturers widely differ from those of retailers, etailers, and smaller webshops. For one, the product line of the manufacturer is much larger. It also has to be regularly updated and distributed to ensure all of the manufacturer’s customers have the latest product content.

Additionally, manufacturers are responsible for supplying their customers with the product information necessary to sell their products. This entails meeting industry image standards, formatting specifications, and customer file delivery requirements. There are also a range of digital assets to manage, from eCommerce photography to 360 spins, video, audio, data sheets, marketing leaflets and more.

An effective DAM system will support not only the mass production of digital assets. It will also enable high-speed content delivery. It should centralize both the production workflow and DAM in one system for quick, easy & productive management. In this way, even extremely large-scale manufacturers can ensure all customers have relevant, up-to-date digital assets.

Read on to see how PhotoRobot connects all stages of production for effective digital asset management. We’ll share 5 key innovations to handling high volumes of product content, going in depth into PhotoRobot’s unique DAM system.

Product photography studio workflow

1 - Integrating the production workflow with a DAM system

The wider the product line, the more important it becomes to centralize your production workflow with digital asset management. Working across numerous disconnected tools and databases is often resource-intensive, costly, and involves too many manual steps. There is also the workforce necessary to keep operations running smoothly.

This is in part why PhotoRobot workflow software supports DAM to connect every stage of production, from product-in to product-out. The software integrates hardware control along with automation features for producing, QAing, publishing, formatting, sending, and managing digital assets. It aims to enable sustainable, high-volume production and content delivery suitable even for large manufacturers and production halls.

Let’s consider the benefits of integrating production with digital asset management.

  • A centralized system enables easy access, tracking, reporting, and management of digital assets. 
  • Workflow status reports provide oversight on each stage of production: ‘item received’, ‘captured’, ‘ready for retouch’, ‘edited’, ‘approved’, ‘published’.
  • Photographer pages make it easy for production teams to stay on task, find assignments, and communicate progress.
  • Retouch access controls simplify sharing work with internal or external team members.
  • Automation technology allows for automatic post-processing and immediate content delivery after approval.
  • Client sharing tools and client pages allow for quick QA, verification, and downloading the latest product content.

DAM software workflow reports

2 - Connecting digital asset management to customer profiles

Manufacturers also must maintain unique relationships from one customer to the next. Consider a general customer profile:

  • The distributor, retailer or etailer has their own subset of the manufacturer’s products.
  • They require sometimes 1000s of images for all the products they sell.
  • Images must meet specific requirements: file naming, formatting, resolution, size, frequency and method of delivery.
  • The customer requires additional data for their digital assets: name, SKU, ID, timestamps, weights, dimensions, etc.
  • These requirements are unique to the customer within a wider network of the manufacturer’s sellers, each with their own specifications.

Now, manufacturers can have a few or hundreds of suppliers. The more suppliers, the more complex, costly, and time-consuming meeting each of their unique demands can become. Thus, an effective DAM system will help to:

  • Organize customer profiles within a wider network.
  • Automate formatting requirements according to customer needs (such as with PhotoRobot Presets).
  • Automatically generate industry-standard product data (GS1, PIES) alongside the production of digital assets.
  • Automate image editing according to unique customer & branding requirements: size, image optimization, background removal, etc.
  • Distribute digital assets immediately after production to each customer.
  • Provide a platform for customers to easily access, QA, approve, download, and publish the latest product content.

Product photography automation software features

3 - Reducing time & costs on repetitive tasks

The level of automation within a DAM system is a crucial factor to determine its overall value. This is because of the countless repetitive and thus repeatable tasks that go into digital asset management. Let’s consider the benefits to PhotoRobot’s integrated DAM system.

  • The software can partially to fully automate repeatable, time-consuming tasks.
  • It eliminates many manual processes: file naming, structuring, formatting, attaching data and metadata.
  • Software Presets (saveable configurations) automate repeatable capture and post-processing operations.
  • Users create unique presets to apply across batches of similar types of products (e.g. footwear, jewelry, light or dark products, etc).
  • The PhotoRobot Cloud enables batch processing and automatic bulk editing of 100s of product photos simultaneously.
  • Automated post-processing often produces web-ready results, with minimal to zero need for manual retouching.

By automating repeatable tasks, manufacturers can focus more on their core business. They likewise free up human resources, reduce operational costs, and improve product content ‘time-to-market’.

Automatic post-processing user interface

4 - Simplifying file delivery for product content distribution

In PhotoRobot’s workflow software, content distribution takes only a few clicks. There is no switching from one system to another, or copying & transferring files manually (or via script). 

Instead, all imagery is immediately ready after capture for upload and automatic publishing via the Cloud platform. Customers logged into the system can mark images ‘approved’ to publish instantly. They can host images via PhotoRobot's 360 Product Viewer, or connect directly with eCommerce export feeds. It's also possible to integrate with their own platforms via API.

Meanwhile, the cloud-based global CDN provides real-time image optimization for pixel-perfect resolution on any end-user device. Support for JSON and XML formats are available, as well as JPEG and WebP image formats. Customers can export images in bulk in the desired quality, format, and resolution from within the app or via a standalone export utility. Each item is in computer-readable format, with properties for: Name, ID, SKU, Status, Timestamp and more.

PhotoRobot Cloud-based Digital Asset Management

5 - Accommodating industry image standards & formatting

Manufacturers must also adhere to product image standards such as the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) or GS1 standards. These standards stipulate digital asset file type, file size, dimensions, resolution, and various data that must be included. They also describe how suppliers must deliver digital assets for more efficient and cost-effective data transfers.

For consumers, standards exist to provide accurate, relevant, and transparent product information. In the context of digital supply chains, they provide visibility and traceability superior to spreadsheet or ERP-dependent supply chains. 

This is why PhotoRobot systems can automate for example the production of GS1 images in tandem with 360 spins. While producing the 360, the software simultaneously extracts GS1 images (marketing angles, planograms), and organizes them in a separate folder.

The software can also automatically attach product weights and dimensions to files when CubiScan is present in the workflow. Further, unique capture solutions make it possible to extract for example ingredient lists, as well as nutritional or on-package data. If more data is required, users can manually enter or import data to attach to files. All file delivery then benefits from automated formatting, uploading, and organization for extremely quick ‘time-to-web’.

GS1 compliant digital images

Take full control over your digital asset management

Digital asset management on any level can be a complex process. However, automation technology enables even industrial-scale manufacturers to simplify production, QAing, publishing, formatting, sending and managing digital assets. Combine that into a centralized system utilizing specialized photography robots, lighting, and cloud-based workflows, and you have PhotoRobot. It’s the complete studio automation for any digital asset production & management, no matter the size or scale of your business.