Photo Studio Automation - A Buyer’s Guide by PhotoRobot
Discover how digital asset management integrated into workflow software improves overall productivity for high-volume content creation and distribution.
Digital Asset Management software enables businesses to securely store, manage, and share modern web content & digital experiences. These include product imagery, PDFs, and most often video to effectively sell merchandise online. There are also data sheets, product demos, and brochures to manage for both digital and print advertising.
If you don’t use DAM software, most likely your business has a system combining processes. Usually, this is with many disconnected tools and databases. However, systems such as these are often resource-intensive and costly. They involve many manual steps, as well as the workforce necessary for each stage of production.
But when is it time to invest in a more comprehensive DAM solution? In this post, we’ll help you evaluate how you manage and share digital content today. We’ll look at the pain points different types of companies encounter, and how DAM systems impact overall costs and sales. Read on to find out more, including when your business can benefit most from DAM software.
In general, the more content you produce and distribute, the more your business can take advantage of DAM software. For one, DAM solutions eliminate many manual and repetitive processes. This reduces both long-term and high-volume operational costs.
DAM software can also connect multiple systems. They enable businesses to accomplish more in less time, and with fewer people involved. But, these aren’t the only advantages to DAM solutions. Let’s get right into it. Below are the reasons why different businesses use DAM software, along with how PhotoRobot meets client needs.
One of the main reasons companies consider DAM software is to reduce time necessary for managing and sharing digital assets. Typically, this is when a business needs a more sustainable approach for high-volume content production & distribution.
For example, PhotoRobot clients often manage a wide range of digital assets. This is with the help of automated, eCommerce product photography studio solutions that drastically speed up content production. All it takes is a single photoshoot to capture complete image galleries alongside marketing angles, video, and 360 product photography.
Outputs then need to go through quality assurance, and finally for publishing or sharing across any channels the product appears. Yet, each of these processes can be complex, especially without a software that centralizes your digital assets. This is why PhotoRobot integrates DAM into its suite of software.
By integrating DAM into client workflows, PhotoRobot helps companies to:
Another common problem companies face is that it simply takes too much time to manage their digital assets. And usually, this is due to the countless repetitive tasks that go into content management and sharing. Just to name a few of many, these involve tasks such as:
Much of the value of DAM solutions can be measured by the level of automation it brings to the studio. An effective DAM solution will:
Losing digital assets can amount to losing sales. This is as true in eCommerce as it is in any sales and marketing. And, truly, it’s easy to lose track of digital assets without centralized tools and databases. If any go missing, it can be a long, complex process to retrieve them. It’s even more so at higher volumes of digital asset management.
Let’s take for a general example one of PhotoRobot’s larger manufacturing clients.
In this case, how could any one person — or team – accurately and consistently ensure every product has its required assets? It’s simply impossible.
An effective DAM solution will make high-volume production easier to manage for the entire team: project managers, photographers, and QA.
Let’s take PhotoRobot’s integrated Digital Asset Management for example.
Without centralizing digital assets, granting access to internal or external parties when they need it can be complicated. In fact, sometimes it’s simply impossible. Team members, external parties, and clients are often spread across different time zones. This can mean requests for access to digital assets around the clock.
When team members can’t access what they need when they need it, everything slows down. They either have to produce new assets to replace what’s missing, or, worse, distribute an incomplete product portfolio. Each costs more time, can result in less sales, and comes at higher operational expenses.
Take for example an outsourced retoucher on a tight deadline, or a project manager who needs to publish content on-time. If they can’t access what they need when they need it, sales as well as the business reputation are on the line.
DAM software will ensure responsible team members, external parties, and clients can access their assets at absolutely any time. Take Digital Asset Management with PhotoRobot for example again.
Another challenge is securing all digital assets, especially any unfinished, confidential, or top secret company materials. With disconnected systems, this can quickly become unmanageable.
First, somebody has to take on strategizing, developing, and implementing a security plan across multiple systems. They then have to find a means to monitor activities, enforce security, and backup all company assets. This is an extremely tall order, one that more often than not leaves assets vulnerable to loss or theft.
Just consider how much time – and cost – goes into producing content, from the photography itself to the editing and QA. Your assets are also extremely vital for sales, with time-to-market a top priority for marketing in high-volume operations. Assets thus need reliable security, as well as regular backups just in case.
In order to secure storage of all your digital assets, PhotoRobot boasts several unique security features.
If working with distributors or resellers, they will have their own formatting requirements and regular deadlines. If you don’t meet expectations, sales can quickly take a downturn, as clients won't have up-to-date content to distribute. Yet, formatting and distribution can be a regular chore to say the least. It can also be a pain-stakingly slow and expensive process. Let’s take larger manufactures as an example again.
For medium to large manufacturers, this usually calls for a full-time employee responsible for formatting and distribution. However, DAM software can still manage much of the heavy-lifting.
Content formatting and delivery is another area that DAM software can partially to fully automate. Let’s take for example the PhotoRobot content delivery process.
Automation further allows for automatic formatting according to each client’s individual profile. The goal is to simplify getting digital assets to all relevant clients, while meeting the unique requirements of each.
The longer it takes product content to reach the market, the longer it takes assets to generate value. Consider the typical stages of production that go into getting content to the consumer.
If each stage of production is spread across multiple systems, as well as internal & external human resources, it gets costly. It’s even more so when using tools disconnected from your workflows, and with little to no automation.
In addition to automated file formatting and delivery, PhotoRobot’s DAM solution can reduce time-to-market in several ways.
Together, these features help centralize all stages of production. They amount to less delays, and less moving assets between systems or resources. In the end, this means significantly reduced time-to-market, and thus more content in the hands of consumers.
When assets are spread across multiple systems, another challenge suppliers face is standardizing and managing metadata. An example of this is attaching metadata to a file with product information like its description, weight, or dimensions. It could be a date of ownership, info tags, or image alt text for online publishing.
By adding metadata to a media file, it becomes indexable, searchable, and more manageable. However, this often requires a lot of manual input. Then, with more and more media to manage, implementing standards across multiple platforms grows ever more complex.
Imagine trying to standardize metadata across 1000+ products, each with their own portfolio of digital assets. Some contain marketing angles, close-ups, and detailed shots. Others might include a 360 spin, video, or 3D model. Attaching metadata to all of these assets quickly and in a cost-efficient manner just isn’t possible without the help of DAM Software.
An effective DAM software will automate many stages of standardizing metadata. Take for example how PhotoRobot has integrated CubiScan into workflows and digital asset management. CubiScan allows us to obtain the exact weights, measurements, and dimensions of products before we begin photoshooting. This information we can then store in a database as soon as we record it.
Beyond this. PhotoRobot’s DAM system provides several solutions for metadata management.
Over time, digital assets can reside across more and more systems, making quality assurance difficult or missing entirely. This is even more true when working with different departments, suppliers, distributors, or resellers.
Some images are in catalogs. Others are in marketing promotions, distributed to resellers, or in various sales initiatives. Yet, you need each of these to represent the brand as it is today, and with its best photos forward.
Without a centralized system, this can become impossible. It simply isn’t easy to monitor and ensure the highest quality for your digital assets across all channels they appear. High-quality marketing shots eventually get mixed in with lower quality product content. And, in the end, lack of consistency makes the business look unprofessional. Even worse, it isn’t good for sales.
DAM within PhotoRobot software helps teams to better monitor and enforce quality assurance processes, whether internal or outsourcing. This is thanks to a wide range of project sharing and client approval features.
Another complication when working with digital assets over time is dealing with duplicates across different systems. Duplicates occur when formatting media to meet different client requirements (file type, quality, resolution, etc).
In turn, storage requirements and storage costs increase. Duplicates also make it difficult to index and search for content, and thus equally difficult to manage. With 1000s of assets, it can be an expensive, time-consuming process at the very least.
With PhotoRobot’s DAM integration, it’s possible to completely eliminate the need for duplicate content. Users also have access to all digital assets, from original files to the final outputs for various client networks.
PhotoRobot integrates digital asset management with studio photography hardware, automation technology, and workflow software. Because of this, we know PhotoRobot won’t be right for every business. The software connects all stages of production, and is the driving force behind our automated product photography equipment.
It does not and never will integrate with other hardware manufacturers, nor will our hardware function with other control systems. Thus, PhotoRobot is for businesses looking for the complete studio solution. We manufacture various size 360 turntables, robot camera arms, multi-arm systems and more – each with software-driven, workflow automation.
Curious to learn more about what PhotoRobot can do for your business? Consider booking a demo today. We’ll take your product line and create a custom studio configuration for your specific demands, from production to digital asset management.