In our previous article we already explained roughly how assets - pictures, drawings, documents, etc. - get into a DAM like TESSA. There are two very basic procedures:
- Without approval process
- With approval process
Both approaches are necessary and have their justification in order to increase the efficiency of companies. And - so as not to give the wrong impression - assets that enter a DAM without a release process should of course be ready and suitable for distribution. It is just that there is no need to create a release process in the digital asset management system any more, because normally these processes are correlated with the asset contents. In turn, two types should be distinguished:
- Assets with product reference
- Assets without product reference
The assets with product reference are usually the more important ones in the DAM, because after integration they are available for automated rejection, through which one gains efficiency advantages.
ASSET CLASSES WITH PRODUCT REFERENCE
Here we show you what types or classes of assets with a product reference are usually involved. The following list makes it easier to understand these processes - because only what enters a DAM properly sorted or can be enriched by adding metadata from other systems can subsequently be mapped error-free and efficiently in a search or reach an anticipated target properly:
- Product sketches
These often enter the DAM through upstream systems. They are, for example, clothing sketches that are necessary for pre-ordering by clothing retailers. Photographers can be commissioned on the basis of these sketches.
- Main product images
Of course, there are now several product images of most products. One of them has to be shown first in web shops or should be the most important one in catalogues. The labelling of such a photo can, in principle, be done in the approval process. Often, however, it is already clear beforehand which photo or rendering is involved.
- Other product photos
This includes all other product photos or renderings. As with the main product image, these are often product images with a clipping path. This allows the objects shown to be placed on different backgrounds. In contrast to this, there are often so-called ...
- Action, application or ambience pictures
These are representations of the product in action - the butter on the bread, the furniture in the living room, the e-bike with rider on the street, etc.
- Product data sheets
Especially in the B2B sector, product illustrations are often required within a document, in which the exact specifications of the product - dimensions, weight, features, etc. - are made clear.
- Instruction manuals
Whether it is operating instructions for technical devices in several languages, assembly instructions for furniture, care instructions for any product. It is now good practice not only to include these with the products, but also to offer them on websites and in apps.
Certificates are absolutely necessary for various product classes so that they can be sold within the EU - for example, the CE declaration for electrical products. In addition, there are many other certificates that can be assigned to products.
- Any other classes
Of course, you can assign any other asset classes to the products - regardless of whether these are films, 3D models, stickers, individual parts, etc. - if these can be assigned to a class through the file name, this is possible.
Beide Systeme – MAM und DAM – sind mit einem PIM verbunden, einem Product Information Management System. Ein PIM ist in der Regel die zentrale Verteilinstanz für Produktstammdaten im Unternehmen. Über eine Schnittstelle zum PIM ist es möglich, dass den Assets Metadaten zugeordnet werden. So funktioniert dies auch bei Tessa im Zusammenspiel mit dem Akeneo PIM – es gibt eine dedizierte API, über die Daten verknüpft werden. Dieses Verfahren hat enorm viele Vorteile: Das PIM „weiß“, welche Bilder und anderen Assets zu einem Produkt gehören. Beliebige Printprodukte werden damit automatisiert bestückt – nehmen wir beispielsweise Kataloge, Broschüren, Produktdatenblätter, Anleitungen etc. Aber nicht nur die integrierte Produktion von Printobjekten wird ermöglicht, auch das Zusammenspiel vom PIM und DAM reduziert Fehler.
Und natürlich werden auch allerhand Online-Objekte damit bespielt. Ob das nun Websites, Webshops, ganze E-Commerce-Plattformen, Marktplätze oder ERPs und CRMs im Unternehmen sind, alle erhalten durch die Datenbankanbindung stets das aktuelle Asset-Material in der gewünschten Ausprägung. Dazu später mehr.
ASSET CLASSES WITHOUT PRODUCT REFERENCE
Mostly, assets without product reference are photos, logos, templates for presentations or advertisements, sometimes also catalogues or brochures. A general class structure of these assets is difficult to recognise. Companies often come to us with a very long, very confusing list of assets. We then work with the client, if necessary, to develop a structure that is accessible to subsequent users of the TESSA DAM. This is one of the enterprise benefits of TESSA DAM. The tool is adaptable to the particular structure of your company. Of course, there are some requirements that need to be met in order for everything to run smoothly. This starts with a sensible file name structure.
Whereas in the case of assets with a product reference, the users of TESSA DAM are mainly concerned with automatically assigning the assets to products in downstream processes, e.g. on websites or in catalogues, the primary goal for assets without a product reference is usually to make them available centrally, to offer the current version of an asset and to inform the users of the asset in the event of an update.
FILE NAME STRUCTURE IN DAM
The more precisely the file name of an asset tells what it is, the more automatically it can be assigned to a product. There are some requirements for this, which are derived from the situation of the company that wants to have a DAM. Very simple and clear will be the fact that product-related assets must have a product number in the file name - otherwise they cannot be automatically linked to the product number in a PIM - for example AKENEO. And this link is important: it allows you to get all the attribute values of the product from the DAM and use them for the search. Conversely, all of your assets can be linked in this way for the PIM. With the product number or SKU, we have already taken the first step.
Then it is also the case that you want to pass on your company's assets with the TESSA DAM. For this - and also if you want to manage several brands with one DAM - it makes sense to include a brand identifier in the file name. This makes it much easier for your client to manage your assets. However, we advise using an abbreviation that has no more than four or five characters, otherwise this will be too time-consuming and error-prone for many products and assets. At least that's how it should be for importing assets. If you wish, we can also replace the abbreviation with the full product name in the export.
Now the basic work is done. What you still need for your naming concept are the asset types. For example, you could always integrate a "_P_" into the file name if it is a photo. This way it is recognised during the import that it is a photo. Your main product photo could always have a "_P1." in the file name. If they are photos that illustrate the structure of your product, they would be "_P_C1.", "_P_C2.", "_P_C3." and so on. The "C" would stand for Construction and the following number would clarify the sequence. For detail photos, a "D" would be suitable instead of "C", with an "A" for action, application or ambience photos. In this way, you can decode all your files and asset types. Then you just have to place them in an FTP upload directory and TESSA DAM will do the rest: assign them to the asset categories and link them to the PIM. The import is done. But perhaps you would also like to map your photography process with TESSA DAM? TESSA DAM has a workflow engine for this purpose.
WORKING WITH WORKFLOW AT TESSA DAM
Do you work with external photographers, maybe even in China? Are recolourings to be carried out in India, Vietnam or the Philippines? Then the photographer can upload his work directly via the TESSA web interface. You can get a notification in this case. If the photo is OK, it can simply be released. Often you will have change requests or suggestions for improvement. You can place these directly on the photo in the TESSA DAM. Typical instructions are, for example, "remove shadows", "rotate 10 degrees to the right", "remove wrinkles in this area". The photographer is automatically informed about your change requests and can edit them. After he has uploaded the new version, you will be informed and can continue working. You may have to change the file name or add metadata. Then you release the photo - done!
We have one more important tip: Choose a short and simple process. This will make your work much easier. Think about the Pareto principle and 80:20 and not about mapping possible contingencies. That makes it easier to get started.