In addition, if there were multiple products featured in a file for review, it was difficult to determine which comments referred to which products. This caused frustration and confusion between teams. Also, the high volume of emails quickly filled inboxes, requiring Microsoft® Exchange Servers to be upgraded and forcing staff to delete messages from their inboxes to make room for large attachments.
To centralize and streamline this creative process, TPF Sports turned to OpenText™ Hightail™, a file sharing and creative collaboration platform. Mark Barlee, business analyst at TPF Sports, explained the initial approach with Hightail. “Our aim at the beginning was to create a regimented process around product approvals. It was basically an indemnity against mistakes, so we were clear about which file was the approved version, and we could have that archived correctly so when the pre-production samples arrived, we could benchmark it off that approved artwork. The trial was conducted with three AFL clubs, three National Rugby League clubs and two motorsports teams, including Red Bull.”
To encourage clients’ full adoption of the new creative process, the TPF team would share each client’s artwork in a project Space in Hightail, accompanied by an email outlining the new process and the steps required within the new platform, including commenting, reviewing new versions and approving work. Barlee noted that it can take time to get some clients used to following a new process, but Hightail’s intuitive interface has been easy for clients to pick up. “The onboarding process was straightforward. OpenText Hightail is intuitive and we believe in it. This made it easy to encourage adoption.”
Clients can see a small thumbnail preview of every item in a Space and then click on each one to see the detail. Targeted comments have had the biggest impact. Selecting an area and writing a comment on the artwork is preferable to listing multiple comments in an email and it improved communication throughout the process. Another key success factor was having clients designate one person to take responsibility for approvals.
Barlee described the TPF creative process before Hightail as “horrible.” Fast forward to today and the new creative process has been praised across the board. Internally, the creative team has benefited and eliminating many of the once frustrating elements of the creative process has boosted morale. The project coordinators at TPF Sports manage the creative process with clients and are responsible for communicating creative changes to internal teams. “Some newer coordinators don’t know what life was like before OpenText Hightail and have found it easy to pick up,” Barlee said. “Those who were here before we switched now swear by it.”
Clients have also responded well to the new solution and enjoy having a centralized space, with every asset located and decision made in one place. They also appreciate the transparency in communication between departments. Additionally, every client now has a creative process in place that minimizes the risk of production mishaps.
With Hightail, TPF Sports has cut the average number of creative reviews in half. In addition to the efficiencies gained, the user-friendly platform has increased customer satisfaction, both internally and externally. Barlee summarized the company’s success with Hightail: “Finding better ways to do business goes a long way in showing that we are challenging standard practice, which our clients appreciate. OpenText Hightail is the only way to manage change and approval for creative assets.”