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Why Choosing the Right DAM Can Speed Up Time-to-Market for New Products

Digital asset management (DAM) software is a must-have for any company responsible for delivering new products to the consumer and B2B markets. With the recent expansion of online shopping, direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce and an accelerated restructuring of the retail sector, reaching the end-user with new products requires speed, precision, and focus. Having DAM software that is in tune with your product offerings can help you get your product in front of the right customers, in the right markets, at the right time. Here’s how:

Connecting the Complete Product Lifecycle

Product lifecycle management is a critical function that, unfortunately, many companies are less than ideally equipped to effectively execute. The lifecycle of a product crosses many individual disciplines including product design, production, inventory management, marketing, sales, and distribution logistics.

This cross-disciplinary process can create significant barriers to smooth and timely market entry and are where most breakdowns in data and communication can cause time-to-market expansion. Quite simply, the company finds itself stuck within a series of bottlenecks each time there is a cross-functional handoff. Product design to production operations to marketing to ecommerce. And sales needs product data and detailed information. While there is no silver-bullet system that does it all, there are optimal combinations and each company can and should build their best stack of solutions to smooth the go-to-market process. When you’ve got to create many new SKUs and each process to bring products to market requires precision, then a common digital language can greatly accelerate things and streamline bottlenecks.

While you can add manpower and dedicate more bodies towards optimizing these individual processes, it won’t necessarily get you closer to the goal of a smooth and speedy overall flow. Some are turning toward advancements in DAM and PIM to transform the ability of your business to compete effectively.

Understanding the True Power of DAM

The solution in many cases is implementing a single source of truth, for which many turn toward implementing DAM software. New technology in DAM represents a huge innovation because it allows the whole lifecycle of the product to be connected. This should come as no surprise since most companies are centered around either the introduction and marketing of new products, or the production and distribution of them.

Only a handful of global leaders have mastered the simultaneous challenges of achieving rapid product innovation, smooth supply chain operations, and flawless market entry — and typically, they are companies whose entire supply chain is vertically integrated or who exert an incredible amount of direct control over each stage (companies like Apple come to mind).

Overcoming Challenges to Content Throughput

The use of a DAM doesn’t necessarily lead to instant success but configured correctly, it can dramatically improve content throughput. Enterprise systems are needed for the effective alignment and acceleration of product lifecycles, but it takes a commitment to a clean critical path to achieve time-to-market impact.

One reason a DAM can be so powerful in that regard is that it can use automation, asset tagging, and in some cases even artificial intelligence to configure incoming assets for use in multiple downstream applications.

For example, a designer can upload files for a new product and expect that the DAM will prepare and flow each asset type to the appropriate downstream resource. In other words, product information can go to the manufacturing and distributions teams while pricing and SKU data can go to the eCommerce team and images for marketing can be formatted and presented to the retail operations team. DAM software allows for a shift in process because content throughput is historically a bottleneck, and the right DAM system can directly eliminate many of the root causes of these difficulties.

Leading the Way to Market Acceleration

One strategic advantage of modern DAM software is that it can help companies shift their thinking from piecemeal, functional silos toward pursuing streamlined solutions. This will help them increase their efficiency and effectiveness, but it also means that a DAM implementation needs to be led by internal champions with the authority and vision to tighten linkages between functions (whether they be internal departments or a combination of internal and external functions).

By using an effective DAM solution, companies that are largely product-driven are empowered to create libraries for their materials that make it easier and faster to complete downstream stages. For example, more consistent and instantly available product information or design resources enable faster prototyping, which in turn leads to more effective design-for-production and manufacturing engineering.

When product design reconfigured the shape of the product case, they didn’t necessarily understand that the new shape could require a different configuration for the injection molding dies (or a switch to a different thermoplastic with the necessary structural properties). With DAM providing seamless cross-functional access in real-time, the end result is a more responsive design cycle, which helps make better products. Modern DAM software gives you control over relevant data on materials and products, making it possible to reduce the amount of rework required by your design or production teams.

All of these factors can lead to your products achieving shorter time-to-market while providing you with ongoing improvements in the agility and efficiency of your processes. This, in turn, can lead to improved revenue and profitability.

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Summary

Digital asset management (DAM) software is a must-have for any company responsible for delivering new products to the consumer market rapidly. With the rapid expansion of online shopping, direct-to-consumer (D2C) eCommerce and an accelerated restructuring of the retail sector, reaching the end-user with new products requires speed, precision, and focus. Having DAM software can help you get your product to the right customers in the right markets at the right time by connecting the complete product lifecycle, overcoming the challenges of content throughput, and enabling streamlined solutions for real-time access and coordination of functions across teams for a more responsive design cycle and faster market entry.