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Asset Management--The Search Is On

August 2000
A Fortune 100 company was conducting an assessment of how it uses digital assets. Management discovered that a single stock photograph had been purchased by some 50 departments at a cost of $500 per purchase. With just this one image, the company could have saved approximately $24,000 if technicians had placed the image into a company-wide digital asset management (DAM) system!

Now think about the cost savings if the company had done the same with 100 or more images. The cost is staggering, not to mention the time and employee productivity lost finding, purchasing, receiving, then finally using the image in each project.

Time and capital are the costs of having no digital asset management system. So any form of image management must be a step in the right direction, right? Not necessarily. The wrong system could be just as costly, as it could drain not only time and capital required to purchase the system, but could cause a company to invest in a technological infrastructure it may not need or may soon outgrow.

Digital management of digital files is essential to an efficient print production workflow. FLM Graphics, based in Fairfield, NJ, realized this when it acquired New York City-based Access Images in 1996. The purchase moved FLM, a 24-year-old printing company, into the realm of technology-based graphic communications services, including asset management. One of its first clients in this new world was automobile manufacturer Volvo International.

With a huge database of graphic images and other digital assets, Volvo needed a way to make those assets available worldwide for various printing and marketing purposes. The company turned to FLM, which employed Access Images' Media Asset Management (MAM) solution to drive a custom Website.

Now, Volvo employees, ad agencies, local dealers and others with approved access, can enter Volvo's MAM site to view, extract or replace updated images, recent jobs (of the past two years) and Volvo-authorized fonts and logos. Also available is an interactive CD-ROM for an off-line tutorial of the site and how to maximize the assets available on it.

FLM's MAM solution is modular; it can be customized for each client, installed and maintained at the client site or maintained on FLM's servers. Built with an open architecture, the solution is platform-independent and accessed via intranet, secure extranet or a Web-based browser.

This solution is one of more than 60 currently available to aid the printing industry, and others, with the digital management of digital assets. Each solution has its own set of features and capabilities, custom options and service packages.

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