Asset Management Pays Off

Panelists at the Henry Stewart DAM symposium say they have saved money and gained much-needed control of digital properties; some see digital rights management as the next step. (

NEW YORK—A forum of experienced executives shared their strategies for streamlining workflow at the Henry Stewart Digital Asset Management Symposiumhere this week.

While all began with a clear idea of the direct savings that they would realize through a DAM initiative, forum speakers said, many discovered synergies that exceeded their expectations.

"The original return on investment was bringing creative back in from the print vendors," said James Voris, vice president of technology for the Playboy Entertainment Group Inc., "keeping it locally so we dont have to pay for those [service bureau] charges."

Voris soon found value "based on time savings for the dot-com group, because theyre able to produce 300 times the amount of work they were doing before." Because Playboy can repurpose content into so many different revenue-producing products, Voris said he expects a continuing stream of benefits.

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"We produce assets in a lot of contexts right now; to have a single centralized place that people could go to use those assets we knew was going to be a huge business driver for us … [Because theres] lots of reuse of [content] in our company, we knew that just by having them all in one place wed be able to make new products and ultimately make a lot of money," Voris said.

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Direct cost saving was also the goal of Alex Karinsky, manager of prepress at Columbia House, despite the daunting upfront expenditures, he said.

"We also bit the bullet, realized that we needed the whole kit and caboodle; we needed to have our people on the best platform possible to leverage the new foundation. An outsourcing operation would have cost us about $125 per page, and that didnt even include file delivery systems," Karinsky said.

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