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Drive Brand Performance With An All-Digital Workflow

Posted By: SGK May 26, 2015

To become more nimble, marketing organizations need to think “lean” and remove non-value-add tasks from their branded material supply chains. Although this is much easier said than done, being “lean” can and should be applied to every area and every process in your organization. This means leveraging automation and technology advances over manual, resource draining tasks: going digital.

Take for instance, the everyday hassle of having to request and traffic files using CDs and printouts. This is the absolute opposite of a lean process, especially for large, global companies. Those files need to be shipped, stored and managed, and they can’t be indexed for searching on your computer. Issues also arise when different departments or approvers are trying to access the “latest” version of a file. Where does it live – is it stored in multiple places? How do you know that the asset you’re looking at is the most updated version? Who owns the “original” version? These questions all have consequences including wasted time, rework, inconsistent updates, routing and approval churn cycles, and lost or corrupt files. 

This is where an all-digital workflow comes in. Eliminating manual tasks and utilizing an all-digital workflow can empower your organization and drive speed, efficiency, and accuracy throughout the enterprise. And this velocity can help you achieve the competitive difference that you’re seeking. 

Recently, a health and beauty client we worked with had been requesting hard disks and three sets of printouts for all of their final artwork files. These assets were then stored and scattered across expensive office space in midtown Manhattan. After working through the perceived needs of the organization, we suggested a workflow and file management strategy to completely eliminate all of the disks and printouts. 

The results? The client was able to save thousands of dollars in shipping and courier fees, cleared up valuable office space and mitigated the need to organize and store thousands of files annually. 

Another client operates regional department stores across the US, and runs a photo studio to shoot their sample merchandise for print and online imagery. The photo studio had become very conditioned to a manual workflow, which included checking off image shots on a piece of paper and circulating that one sheet of paper among photographers, stylists, and admins. These manual efforts resulted in wasteful time and a huge risk for human error. Understanding that there was a better option, we helped the client utilize and optimize software that could make this workflow digital, helping them save 31.25 weeks/year of wasteful work. It also vastly improved visibility within the entire workflow, since the merchandise teams could now log in and find the image and sample location, knowledge previously restricted to the studio teams.

So how do you know if your organization could benefit from an all-digital workflow? See if any of these tasks sounds familiar:

•    Printing artwork and supporting documents
•    Requesting files on disk
•    Requesting printouts of artwork
•    Manually routing printed artwork to stakeholders for approval
•    Storing hard copies in multiple locations

If you nodded in assent to any of the above, then it’s likely time to investigate, invest and implement a digital workflow to help you remove non-value-added time and energy from your branded material supply chains. Learn more about how to streamline your processes – Download 6 Ways to Get Your Branded Materials to Market Faster, by SGK’s Continuous Improvement Practice.