How Two Catalogers Are Saving Time and Money Using Digital Asset Management
Linda May Ellis has been on the front lines of digital asset management since long before the term’s conception.
Ellis, the image librarian for Norwell, Mass.-based WearGuard, a business-to-business cataloger of work apparel and accessories, started with the company in the fall of 1992, long before the firm took its catalog production digital.
“In 1993, we started getting computers — Macs,” she recalls. “Before that we were doing manual paste-up galleys with wax.
We used transparencies, but were finding we had more and more digital images.
“Using computers,” she continues, “enabled us to work faster. So we were able to do more work and produce more print pieces. But we also had way more images than we ever had to manage before, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them.”
Before WearGuard put a digital asset management (DAM) solution in place, Ellis’ job was labor intensive and largely paper-based. “After a catalog was done, I’d manually go through each page and put a sticker on each image. The sticker referenced the archive number I’d assigned to [the item],” Ellis recalls. “So when someone wanted to pick up an image from page 112 of the last catalog, for example, I’d have that printed reference, and I’d know where to find it. But I was the only one who had easy access to that information.”
With more images in digital form, it became easier to pick up and reuse them from catalog to catalog. However, many of the images took on new lives in the form of different versions, and Ellis’ image library grew exponentially.
“We might have had a photo of a man in a particular shirt in one catalog, but for the next, we might change the personalization on the shirt. Or we might change the color to navy in another catalog,” she recalls.