In the coming weeks we will be detailing the workflow changes that will allow us to step above the rest...

This week, the first major implementation of our new reporting tools goes into practice along with a new process of booking creative resources.

The first rollout of this tool will be with the Creative Services folks (Studio, Traffic and Production). As task level time is captured in real-time it will be compared to the estimate or budget and alert key managers when variations or certain events occur such as approaching a budget (i.e. at 80% of budget, hitting budget or exceeding the budget) or when jobs incur pass-through expenses, like printing or color retouching, digital proofs and the like. On the surface what this means to you is that you will be able to get real, fact-based information as your job progresses through the creative process. It will allow the agency to more accurately assess and provide estimates using "like-job" historical data. And, most importantly it will flag situations in the lifecycle of a job as they occur that might require additional oversight. Our hope is this prompts client communication to overcome workflow inefficiencies or provide the factual backup needed to bill incremental costs. Immediately you will recognize that the daily Traffic Schedules are automated and updated throughout the day as job status changes. These will be distributed on a pre-defined basis and soon you will be able to access traffic schedules online or receive email notifications once your job status has changed. [click here to see a sample Traffic Schedule]. A variation of the Traffic Schedule will be a Daily Assignment Sheet for each Creative resource. So that everyone has budget exposure we include Creative Budget Hours, Creative Time Incurred, and Creative Budget Hours Remaining on both the Traffic Schedule and individuals Daily Assignment Sheet. Traffic Managers will prompt Account Teams for corrective action to ensure projects stay on schedule and within budget.

As we validate our agency level of effort with facts to our clients then we can better position our value added proposition by removing the smoke and mirror mentalities that often pit client vs. agency. With better use of Virtual Ticket and Job Manager not only will this organizational tool bring controls and time-savings, it will also allow us to adopt best practices from shared learning. From a staffing standpoint, we will better be able to balance workflow or right-size the Studio to meet client deliverables. As we better understand the committed agency deliverables and realistic timing demands we will move away from everything either being a crisis or reactive. The end result will be an on-time, high quality deliverable and a stabilized workforce.

With a firm belief that SPEED is the result of KNOWLEDGE + PROCESS we will be incorporating a fundamental workflow process that will allow us to more accurately set and meet client expectations. Immediately you will begin to notice Sign Off Stickers and Out of Process Stickers. These are to ensure creative excellence and error-free deliverables. In the coming weeks we will begin to train Account folks on the Online and Offline Process and give increasing responsibility to delivery/traffic.

And, one final point. Much of the Agency financial analytics are derived from timesheets. It is critical that you keep on top of your time tracking in Job Manager. This will allow us to know what capacity we have to handle other jobs or substantiate new hires to accommodate agency growth. With your help we can ensure fiscal profitability while growing the agency here in Miami and beyond.

Understandably this new way of doing business will require training (both internally and with our clients) and we will provide guidance so that everyone understands and values the new process. All of these tools are fully customizable to Sapient's needs and can be tweaked and changed to make them successful.

As always, I welcome your comments, concerns, questions and suggestions.

 1.] How do I book a new creative project?
 2.] Can I request a specific creative team/talent?
 3.] Who books Studio time?
 4.] Why do I have to book Studio time?
 5.] What if my jobs can't be scheduled or the turnaround time is too
     quick to book resources?

 6.] Do my jobs have to route through Proofing?
 7.] How many rounds should my job go?
 8.] Who determines turnaround time?
 9.] Who is responsible for the job budget?
10.] Who routes the sign off slug and ensure approvals?
11.] What if I get flawed layouts from the Studio?
12.] Why does my job have an Out of Process Sticker?
13.] What is a Creative Activity Flash Request?


Shaun O’Donoghue
Director of Creative Services

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