Digital Media

Does My Organization Need a Workflow Analysis?

The journey from inspiration to a finished video is a complex one with many steps. When put together, these steps form your workflows, and your organization may benefit from a workflow analysis. Workflows can be direct and efficient or meandering with branches and loops. And the road changes as new tools and capabilities become available.

An organization’s workflow should continually evolve to take advantage of changing technology. Embracing continuous improvement is a hallmark of a high-performing organization. At times, workflows can develop through the work of existing staff. However, there are times when a workflow analysis is beneficial.

Here are some signs that your organization would benefit from a workflow analysis:

  • You want to implement new tools and software that will impact the workflow.
  • Your client base has shifted, and you are producing new types of video content.
  • You are implementing remote work or hybrid workflows, and your existing system was designed for on-Prem.
  • You have experienced growth, and your existing workflows are not maximized for the size of your team.
  • Your organization has hired an influx of new creators. Each member of the team brings new insights, experiences, and talents. A workflow analysis that includes observations and interviews with members of your creative team during the discovery phase can leverage these new creatives’ wisdom and identify improvement opportunities.
  • Inefficient workflows are having a significant impact on quality and productivity. When targets for timelines and quality are unmet, it can be a sign that your existing workflows are not as effective as they could be.

Benefits of Engaging with Workflow Engineers

An outside workflow engineer that provides deep consulting has a bird’s eye view of processes and operations that existing employees can’t replicate due to their role within the organization. These workflow engineers have experience with other production companies and can provide field-proven insights from their years working with a wide range of clients. They don’t just know your team’s tools and software; they have experience with other best-in-class tools and solutions.

When you engage with a solution architect to design workflows, you bring expertise with a high return on investment because workflow engineers are specialists in workflow design. You save time and money every time you produce a new video through efficient workflows.

But the engineer shouldn’t work in a vacuum and implement a cookie-cutter solution. Your team is vital in the discovery process because workflow design is about finding the best solution for your company and your creative team. Every company is different, and the process starts with identifying the goals and objectives you want to achieve with the design and implementation of new workflows. Are you seeking to address quality issues? Reduce production time? Improve access to media assets? Or work with clients in a new sector?

Once the goals have been established, workflow engineers work with teams to observe and identify ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Outside consultants offer objective insights not attached to the innovation-dampening perspective of “we’ve always done things this way.” Interviews with a wide range of users enable the workflow engineer to bring insights to the table from employees who may not typically feel comfortable sharing their viewpoints.

The deep consultation that a workflow analysis can do provides valuable information on your current workflows. All this information is documented in a comprehensive document that details the current system and workflows, any bottlenecks that have been identified, and recommendations.

Then the workflow engineer works on the design of your workflow solution. Your company will receive an integration plan that is designed to achieve the objectives.

But the benefits of a workflow analysis don’t end with implementation. An outside engineer can support your creative team post-implementation. And the improvements in efficiency from highly efficient workflows not only save time but create a working environment conducive to high creativity.

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It’s essential for creative applications to interact with network, storage, and media asset management systems in order to facilitate and streamline workflows. Oftentimes, editors experience the opposite effect when these systems are improperly architected and configured. CHESA can evaluate your current setup and make sure the right infrastructure is in place to meet your needs and deliver your product with quality, speed, and efficiency.

CHESA has a passion for the nuances of media workflow integration. We take a holistic approach in recommending solutions that bring real value and benefits to your organization, rather than selling technology for technology’s sake. Our team comes to the table with deep knowledge of the tools and vendors and is ready to address the demands and requirements of your environment and advance your business goals. Contact us today to find out if your organization would benefit from a workflow analysis.

Digital Asset Management

DAM vs. MAM vs. the Coexistence of Both

Digital asset management applies to files and media stored in a digital format. Digital assets include raw and original video and audio files, in-process project files, and finished files ready for distribution. The assets include branding elements, graphics, slide decks, text, music, and marketing files.

Digital assets for a single project can easily number in the thousands in any video production. Many of these files have multiple versions. Content is also coming in from many sources: production teams may upload raw footage, and your team may create new assets. Sometimes content is even produced by fans and customers.

There can be confusion between Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Media Asset Management (MAM). They both manage digital assets, but what differentiates them is where they are in the process and who uses them. An easy way to remember the distinction is that MAMs are upstream during the editing process, and DAMs are more downstream to share finished content with other creative teams, like marketing. MAM versus DAM is not an either/or. They should coexist in the asset management strategy for any production.

Without an effective Media Asset Management system, chaos can bog down production. An effective media asset management solution will handle the many formats used in video production, including video files, audio files, graphics files, text files, project files, color correction, VFX files, and audio mixing files. Your MAM software should be built for collaboration, allowing you to share with team members securely with permissions. It should feature enhanced metadata automation to maximize search capabilities with minimal downtime.

When the two systems coexist effectively, your DAM solution brings assets to the teams responsible for marketing and distribution. Your DAM solution should integrate well with marketing asset creation tools. There are many benefits when your MAMs and DAMs integrate effectively, including:

  • Better asset sharing. With a central location for all assets, team members can find, retrieve, and share assets from any location.
  • Improved efficiency. Team members can quickly get their hands on the assets they need; they can automate mundane, repetitive, yet essential tasks like asset tagging and metadata extraction so team members can focus on the creative and more rewarding parts of their work.
  • Better control of branding with the most up-to-date assets readily available.
  • Security. Access control and encryption features safeguard media assets.
  • Improved communication and collaboration.
  • Effective integration with various software applications allows creatives to find, retrieve, and edit without leaving their pane.

Fostering Collaboration with the Right Asset Management Tools

Video production can be a collaborative process that brings together the talents of many creatives. Often these team members work from different geographic locations. Media Asset Management Systems and Digital Asset Management Systems support collaboration with team members wherever they are. The benefits to production team members extend beyond the file storage capabilities, including:

  • MAMs help streamline ingesting and tagging. This efficiency can make a significant difference when on-demand production is essential, such as during news or sports events, where delays impact getting the video out on a tight timeline.
  • Nonlinear editing is supported.
  • The MAM enhances review and approval processes. Reviewers can comment, request changes, and approve assets. And nothing falls through the cracks because review and approval processes are managed within the MAM system rather than through other methods such as email.
  • Workflows are optimized and automated, allowing users to move through the process efficiently.

While we often think of video collaboration at the production team level, there is much to gain from choosing a digital asset management platform that allows collaboration with various team members outside the production team.

Increasingly, organizations are looking to feature teasers on social media channels and engage with influencers to get customers excited. Your marketing team members are using digital assets, creating new content, and sharing them with stakeholders through blog posts and videos for TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Contemporary marketing requires a steady stream of high-value creative assets to excite people about your project. Visuals are essential to getting the message out and ensuring memorable campaigns. When your marketing team has access to high-quality assets for marketing campaigns, excitement builds.

A DAM system also benefits your campaigns by facilitating internal collaboration in this area:

  • When your marketing and sales teams can access brand assets and clips through your DAM platform, marketing can get to work early in production. This readiness shortens the timeline for the launch of campaigns.
  • A powerful DAM will help ensure brand consistency and allow other departments to access the suitable library of assets for slide decks, internal presentations, and external marketing campaigns. Consistent branding builds trust.
  • The marketing team can use the DAM platform to quickly find video assets created for a specific product or campaign. An effective digital asset management system will identify high-performance assets and allow teams to repurpose these assets for existing or future campaigns. Since there is less generation of new assets, there is better branding control.

Selecting the most effective MAM and DAM solutions for your organization requires understanding your organization’s specific needs and requirements. Consider the size of your studio, the types of videos you produce, and the needs of your creative team, your sales and marketing teams, and your customers.

When your MAM and DAM platforms coexist effectively, your creative team can work efficiently without losing focus. These conditions enhance communication and collaboration for all stakeholders.

Contact Us Today

CHESA has a passion for the nuances of media workflow integration. We take a holistic approach in recommending solutions that bring real value and benefits to your organization rather than selling technology for technology’s sake. Our team comes to the table with deep knowledge of the tools and vendors and is ready to address the demands and requirements of your environment and advance your business goals.

Contact us today to learn more about how a Digital Asset Management or Media Asset Management Platform can foster collaboration at your organization.