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Digital Marketing
April 17, 2023
February 2, 2024

What is the difference between DAM and DMS

Gouri Sasidharan

What is the difference between DAM and DMS

April 12, 2023
February 2, 2024
Gouri Sasidharan


These days, everything is literally at your fingertips, and we have been locomoted to the digital era. Every document and paperwork is being made on computers even in the small corners of the world. With increasing digital assets and creatives, organizations are adopting software that stores their materials online.  

Also, with the amount of work and competition in the market, it is necessary to keep up with the pace both efficiently and effectively. That’s where Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Document Management System (DMS) tools come into the picture.

What is DAM?

Imagine having to search for an asset that’s placed among millions of others, tiring right? Digital Asset Management (DAM) software helps you centralize your digital creative assets like the brand logo, product images, videos, social media content, and more in a library. It helps you to find assets quickly and makes sure of maintaining brand consistency to increase customer loyalty. 

Top examples of Digital Asset Management include Bynder, Artwork Flow, Brandfolder, Air Inc., etc. 

What is DMS?

Document Management System, as the name suggests, manages and structures the overall cycle of your documents such as forms, reports, invoices, etc from its creation to the final draft.

Examples of Document Management Systems include SharePoint, Adobe Document Cloud, OneDrive, Docuware, etc.


Choosing DAM or DMS or both depends on what types of files your business works with. If you work with a lot of documents—proposals, forms, invoices, etc.—you are likely to lean toward a DMS solution. If your business makes use of lots of creative visuals (photos, illustrations, videos, design documents, etc.), then a DAM solution might be the right choice.

Top Features


1. Organizing

First, a digital asset management platform is used to centralize and organize your company assets in a digital library. Here you can search your files, share, control access, upload, download, comment, and more which makes it very convenient for employees, agencies, enterprises, clients, etc to maximize each asset’s potential.

2. Searchability

DAM tool’s advanced search option enables you to search your files quickly and saves you time. A good DAM will use auto-tagging, custom tags, and filters to make finding digital assets easy.

Artwork Flow - searchability feature
Image source: Artwork Flow

3. Sharing files

When you work with external stakeholders on longer and bigger projects, it's difficult to share files with high quality. DAM system allows you to share extensive files by generating links over URLs, emails, etc.

Artwork Flow - sharing files feature

5. Version Control

With version control, it is easy to keep track of the changes that you have made to your collaterals. If you make a mistake, you can always go back to the previous version of the document. It will also help to see who all had viewed, commented, or edited each version giving you an idea of whom you interacted with.

Version control is a feature in Artwork Flow platform

5. User access

To ensure that your assets are not being misused, the DAM system provides a feature to create user groups. Here the owner of the asset can control who views, comments, edits, or shares them. This way both internal and external stakeholders can work together seamlessly without simply degrading the quality of the creative. 

6. Task management

Too many tasks but don’t know where to start? One of the key features of a digital asset management is it can help you prioritize your endless tasks and track your deadlines. This way you can simplify your complex tasks and work on them efficiently.


1. Audit trails

It shows you who accessed a particular document, when it was accessed, and what changes were made. This secures important information and keeps it authentic.

2. Document management

From the ideation of a document to its final output, DMS manages the entire lifecycle of the document which includes live editing.

3. Check-in/check-out and locking

To ensure continuity, the user automatically logs out of the document when another user accesses it. This also saves the content and doesn’t overwrite one other’s work. 

4. Sharing

Sharing is another important feature of DMS. You can share your documents both internally and externally along with controlling whom you want to share the file with. It has an additional safety feature of sharing documents.

5. Mobile-friendly

You can access your document and work on them from anywhere using your mobile phone.

Key Benefits


1. Brand Consistency and Integrity

DAM focus on centralizing your brand assets easily by allowing you to update them to keep them uniform and maintain brand consistency that improves the brand image itself. 

2. Rich metadata

DAMs are rich in metadata. It automatically generates the description or tags for each creative based on the content in it. This makes searchability easier along with adding relevant keywords in the search bar.

3. Better control of assets 

When your assets are stored and organized in a single place, it is easy to manage them. You can also keep track of each asset and its users and their activities. It helps to maintain authenticity in the content if it contains sensitive information. 

4. Analytics

Analytics and reporting tools provide you with data-driven insights helping you to plan better for your upcoming marketing campaigns. It also tells you which assets are performing well in the market.

5. Quick reviews and approvals

With an intuitive project management workflow, you can easily follow up on reviews and approval tasks. Get all stakeholders involved in the project to operate on a single platform and give and receive feedback quickly for timely execution.

Quick project approvals with Artwork Flow


1. Less cost

More work means more papers which actually would cost the company a lot. Once you adopt the DMS system, it not only reduces the cost but also saves time and increases efficiency. 

2. Quick access

In today’s fast world, your team and business need to keep up with the rising market. So, searching a pile of files at a crucial moment can slow down your work process. A major benefit of document management systems is that you can access your files quickly on most devices from anywhere.

3. Indexing

Your staff and you will have access to robust knowledge management tools, including indexing capabilities, which make it possible to track everything. Even if you’re flooded with files, spending a minute or two to ensure a proper organization is all it takes to stay on top of things.

4. Quick implementation

Managing documents with DMS is easier than you might think. It can take a little time to get used to it but once you do, all your work will be done in a jiffy. Also, a few DMS tools provide assistance to ensure you reach your work goals on time. 


Over the last few years, users of DAM and DMS tools have seen a transformative growth in their field. Here are a few industries that flourished after switching to these tools.


1. Marketing and sales

DAM software can play a major role in the operations of the marketing and sales team in every organization. Using it, teams are able to collaborate creatively and communicate efficiently on digital assets that are stored such as images, social media posts, videos, and other marketing materials. This practice also helps streamline marketing campaigns.

2. Creative services

DAM tools can manage the creation, review, and approval of creative assets such as images, videos, and other materials. It also has app integrations such as Adobe creative suite making the work of designers easy for them.

3. IT

IT professionals can use DAM to relieve the extra work on resources needed for managing permissions and system maintenance. It streamlines metadata management and the design of custom configurations through APIs and seamless integrations.

4. E-commerce and retail

DAM tools can help manage product information and assets, making it easier to create product listings and update information across multiple channels. This also makes sure that you don’t leave room for any errors guiding your customers to make the right choice and giving them a good brand experience.

Amazon - a popular e-commere platform uses DAM tool
Image source: Amazon

5. Agencies

With a digital asset management platform, it is easy to share digital assets with your external clients from any part of the world and get their dynamic feedback and approval on time.

6. Food and beverages

Your team can have a successful creative process by adhering to the compliance regulations of your company. The brand compliance feature in the DAM system helps you avoid the smallest of mistakes and verifies that you are following the brand guidelines helping to maintain brand integrity.


1. Healthcare

If you work in the healthcare sector, you will have to collaborate with various departments. DMS helps you to streamline the workflows by managing and securing patient records and other medical documents in compliance with regulations such as HIPAA. 

2. Education

DMS software is adopted by educational institutions and councils to manage student records, lesson plans, and other educational materials. Improved management of structured data of student records also helps in the smooth integration of school/university applications, grants, and scholarships.

3. Legal  

In legal, it is important to access vital documents consecutively. It might contain sensitive information as well. So, a DMS tool is used to store and secure legal documents such as contracts, patents, and intellectual property documents. 

4. Financial services

Those in the financial sector, such as banks and credit unions, need a secure, streamlined, high-quality way to share client information. That’s where DMS comes in where it helps retrieve your important records instantly that include all your account details and financial statements.

5. Government

There is no doubt that government agencies handle numerous files every day. These agencies have to maintain efficiency, low costs, and public perception. So DMS tools can be used to manage government records and documents, ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. It will also help in accessing public information at any point in time.

Which suits your business better?

In this comparison table, we are taking a closer look at these popular tools: DAM and DMS. With its unique features and benefits, let’s find out which software suits your organization well. Whether your business leans towards handling extensive creative visuals or document-centric workflows, the choice between Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Document Management System (DMS) significantly impacts your efficiency and effectiveness in the digital era. DAM, designed for managing digital media assets, provides advanced features for organizing, searching, and controlling access to creative materials. On the other hand, DMS excels in handling the overall document lifecycle, offering benefits like audit trails, document management, and check-in/check-out functionalities, making it a robust choice for businesses dealing with numerous forms, reports, and invoices. Evaluate your business needs and choose wisely for optimal digital workflow.

DAM or DMS - which suits your business better?

The end

In summary, Digital Asset Management (DAM) is designed for managing digital media assets such as photos, videos, and audio files, while Document Management System (DMS) is designed for managing digital and physical documents. DAM typically has more advanced metadata management, search capabilities, and scalability. DMS, on the other hand, requires low-capacity storage and costs less. Integration with various software systems is available for both DAM and DMS. It all depends on the requirements of your organization.

With that, now you would have an idea of what you are looking for. If you’re team DAM, then you can always begin with it by checking out Artwork Flow’s intuitive and user-friendly tool. It is a powerful digital asset management platform that offers notable features like online proofing, creative collaboration software, creative intelligence, brand asset management smart AI tags, version control, and more.

Get to know more about Artwork Flow with its 7-day free trial for you!

Artwork Flow - free trial
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