Automation in Action: How 4 Global Brands Save Time, Money, & Effort
Companies pay top dollar to marketing directors and app developers for their creative genius. Yet today’s rapid pace of business has increased the day-to-day administrative tasks of these talented professionals, making it harder for them to continually add value without burning out.
So, what’s the solution to keeping top talent engaged? Industry leaders are discovering it’s greater adoption of digital work automation technologies.
Download our free 2017-2018 State of Enterprise Work Report to learn how automation is changing the future of work.
Global organizations are speeding throughput by supporting their marketing, creative, and even development staff with digital work automation software that jumpstarts typically low-value, time-consuming tasks such as managing incoming project requests and scheduling resources.
Why? Work automation’s benefit: keeping high-value professionals focused on the uniquely human skills that drive differentiation.
Recently Fender—an iconic brand at the forefront of revolutionizing music and culture for decades—discovered its marketers spent unnecessary time in the project discovery phase because the company lacked a way to centrally manage details and timelines. As a result, creatives tracked only their own work.
Today, Fender’s most valued resources, its employees, are more efficient because Workfront automates tasks, such as simplifying request handling using standardized queues and templates.
Jenna Plummer, Fender asset and project manager, calculates, “Workfront saves me at least a couple of hours a day, if not more.” The solution is “really about working smarter, allowing us to work faster and more efficiently,” she says.
Optimizing for Value-Added Time
Digital automation is a boon to business because it reduces the time skilled professionals spend on routine tasks.
When individuals and teams use digital automation, they have an opportunity to do more of the work they love, including being more creative, collaborating to overcome client challenges, building internal and external relationships, and delivering effective solutions.
- Multiple back-and-forth emails from a variety of stakeholders about their new projects are replaced by templates that standardize objectives, strategies, and stakeholder approval information in one place.
- Consistent information captured in one format is easily stored in one centralized system—quickly available and accessible by all authorized parties.
- Teams don’t have to review, forward, and respond to each email—transferring rote tasks into creative thinking and execution time that leads to more effective deliverables.
- Collaboration is enhanced by transparent online proofing automation that streamlines reviews and approvals because everyone can see what everyone else thinks about the design of the final product.
At FOCUS Brands, automation through a work management solution is improving team efficiency by an estimated 20%. More specifically, Katie George, the company’s creative services traffic manager, reports “five hours saved in administrative time a week” and the near elimination of paper-based routing.
Automation speeds up mundane tasks that employees shouldn’t have to think about doing—such as immediately emailing a colleague when a task is completed, so that person can get started on the next.
It also improves project consistency and supports employees’ desire to do higher level work that helps their organizations transform businesses and disrupt industries. As an added bonus, it can help drive top-line growth.
Katherine Haven, FCB vice president and director of the strategic operations PMO, says automating work management helps her organization “because we can now truly begin to cross collaborate.”
Her colleague, executive vice president of integrated production and operations for FCB Health, Graham Johnson, reports the work management solution increases productivity and billable hours:
"Workfront eliminates shared spreadsheets and the sending of daily breakdowns of resource availability via email which was taking multiple offices about 20 hours per week or 1,000 hours annually."
Automated processes create a natural workflow that moves teams quickly and efficiently from start to finish on every project—without the need for regularly scheduled status update meetings. Work automation software supports teams by
- Managing work – From project intake and assignment to stage gates and reviews, teams that automatically route work provide global visibility into every project
- Controlling workflow – By automating approval processes, teams accelerate timeframes and reduce rework
- Organizing data – Leveraging centralized data, teams can automate customized reports and dashboards for complete transparency
- Creating archives – Teams can speed the collection of completed work directly from project tasks using automation
Instead of focusing on what has been done in the past, employees find digital work automation supports the way they want to see the world—looking forward.
Laura Antos, senior manager, 360 marketing operations for Northstar New Jersey, a company that manages sales and marketing for the New Jersey lottery, sums up the benefit of her company’s creative teams using Workfront this way:
"Now that all communication and collaboration is captured in Workfront, creative teams can be more efficient, spending less time on manual tasks and more time on creative work."
Across time zones and industries, digital work automation software is proving it saves businesses time and money. Work an hour, get one free. Most important, it’s keeping critical staff from burning out by helping them stay focused on the work they love to do.
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See "5 Trends in Artificial Intelligence that are Changing the Way We Work" for more about automation in the office.