If you are merging, restructuring or reorganising your metadata system, the key to success is simplification. Simpler systems are usually faster and more economical to work with, and require far less maintenance and have far fewer IT issues.

Here are some tips on how to achieve that outcome:

1. Get some advice before starting – You can save yourself a lot of trouble if you find a consultant who is aware of the appropriate software and how easy it is to use.  Talk to a few of them.  Tell them you want a simple solution, and see what they deliver.

2. Talk to users, not salespeople – When assessing the simplicity and usability of a metadata/image library system, talk to people who have used it elsewhere, not just the salesperson’s pitch.  That way you’ll get an accurate picture.

3. Get industrial-strength hardware and software – Almost every application works fine enough when not under load.  You need to be sure, though, that as volume and needs increase (including storage space) that the system can cope.  Don’t try to skimp by trying to turn consumer software or hardware into something it’s not.

4. Reduce your pathways/processes – When receiving or sending out images, or doing any other task, try to stick to as few ways of doing things as possible.  That might require an uploader and an FTP, but not multiple FTPs or several different programs for adding metadata.

5. Have clear separation of functions such as sales, admin and production  – That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be integrated, but don’t confuse the issue by doing things like using an FTP folder to do double duty as a place to upload new images and also hold admin information.

6. Have a central point for monitoring and information – The most effective thing is to have a dashboard with all the key information collected automatically.  Huge amounts of time can be wasted looking in different places to find out what’s going on, if anything.

To find out more about how to improve your system and get advice, click here.