Thousands of Hours Lost Looking for Files

I Know It's Here Somewhere...

Most of us can identify with the frustration of knowing that a file exists, or that a colleague said it did, but we just can’t quite put a finger on exactly where. Various studies underline the scale of the problem. According to K2’s Going Paperless report, 15% of documents are misplaced and, even when found, 30% of documents contain obsolete information.

Iron Mountain’s research last year discovered that 45% of respondents in Europe said their access and storage capabilities were under “significant strain,” leaving them unable to retrieve information quickly enough. A couple of years ago, Harris Research (on behalf of Perforce Software) found that over 70% of respondents in the UK and US experience issues every day, searching their hard drives and email inboxes for the most up-to-date or correct file.

The Bottom Line

Does it matter? Yes! Consider the amount of time, effort, cost and risk involved. The bottom line is that most organisations are guilty of unnecessarily wasting time searching for documents, and that has an impact in a variety of ways. Obviously, there is the cost of employee time, but also the fact that if a file is not easy to find, it is very tempting to just re-invent the wheel. One of Northplains clients used to spend thousands of dollars every year sending out images via CD. They did this some 13,000 times a year at an average cost of $100 US dollars each time, simply because that content was not easy to find on the company’s own system.

Even if a file is finally found, it may turn out that it is out of date, doesn’t have the correct rights management information, or wasn’t fully approved. When this is the case, it’s back to square one, guys.

Let DAM Take the Strain

Easier, faster and more efficient location of the correct version of a file is one of the main reasons that organisations across the globe are adopting digital asset management systems (DAMs). The right DAM can make sure that all assets are being used to their best advantage, while reducing unnecessary costs and not imposing onerous restrictions on users. For instance, depending on the system and the user rights in place, remote users may be able to localize a file, safe in the knowledge that they are remaining compliant and adhering to guidelines.

Remember that company we mentioned, spending hundreds of thousands, even millions, sending out their assets on CDs? They saved an estimated $1.3 million US dollars, simply by implementing a DAM and making it easier for internal customers to access marketing content.

Manage Your Risk and Protect Your Brand

DAMs don't just provide cost savings; an asset management system can also manage version control and workflows. Gates are in place to ensure that the right file is used, by the right people at the right time and with a clear ‘audit trail’ of what happened. As Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute has said:

Marketers now have to track and manage access rights, trademark, and other restrictions of use. They need to know where an asset has been used – digitally and in print, as well as who has actually seen it, and if they were moved enough to engage in its call-to-action.

These benefits of a DAM could be transformational for a company’s marketing strategy, or, at the very least, eliminating the amount of wasted time, cost and effort associated with finding the right file quickly has to be a good starting point.

What's Next?

Download the DAM Purchasing Guide to learn how to choose the right DAM for your organization as well as how to build your business case.

Maxine Ambrose
Ambrose Communications