The conventional feedback and approvals process is not purpose-built for proofing.
The hodgepodge of email, phone, in-person and project management tools, are just not designed to accommodate the complexity and range of modern creative workflow needs. This slew of tools results in information silos and poor experiences for internal teams and clients alike.
Creative teams routinely find themselves bogged down by unnecessarily cumbersome processes, confused about the who, what, when, where and certainly why of project details. Workloads become bloated by administrative chores, miscommunication and unnecessary revisions, inevitably generating considerable amounts of time wasted.
Here’s where an online proofing software will save you time, and with it, money.
Let Project Managers Manage Projects (Not Feedback)
With a non-purpose-built proofing process, it can take longer to coordinate files and route feedback than it does to actually review and mark up the material in question.
We’ve worked with teams and businesses that had designated entire roles in order to account for the work of compiling, sorting through and collating feedback from its various sources. For other customers, the account or project manager spent most of their time coordinating feedback.
With online proofing, they can spend less time managing feedback – and more time on the creative and relationships.
Consolidate and Centralize Feedback
Breaking down the silos is critical to levelling the information playing field. Imagine a project where important details weren’t stuck in an endless email chain, in a water cooler conversation, or an impromptu offline meeting between the account manager and the client.
There is no accountability without the ability to trace a conversation.
Online proofing centralizes and consolidates all your feedback and files, with threaded comments and the option to work synchronously or asynchronously. It means you spend less time on feedback-sourcing and tracing chores.
Version Control and Rework
For many teams, digital asset and version control is a downright nightmare. You might use a file system or version numbering, but nearly always, finding the latest version requires a bunch of emails.Without the ability to easily access, compare, and contrast new versions against old, or quickly reference a ready archive of the decisions made and tasks assigned, feedback can be easily missed or misinterpreted.
An online proofing solution makes version control highly intuitive.
Task and Feedback Accountability
Online proofing’s capacity to designate clear roles and transform comments into tasks directly on the proof makes miscommunications much less likely. Why a decision was made is always available to all stakeholders. Progress is both visible and traceable.
You get to reclaim time and resources that might otherwise have been spent revisiting work and on additional rounds of revisions. And of course, you can hold clients and teams accountable to contract terms – because version rounds are out in the open.
Cut Down on Meetings
How much time is spent in meetings clarifying or gathering feedback?
The ability to gather both synchronous and asynchronous feedback in one space will save you a lot of time. And travel costs. Yes, meetings with customers are important, but limiting them to key project milestones is critical to timely deliverables and holding on to those profit margins.
ReviewStudio has a Present Mode, where you can hold a virtual meeting, with built-in note-taking – ensuring that everyone is looking at the same content.
Reduce Hard Proofing Expenses
More traditional methods of hard proofing have a whole range of costs that online proofing reduces in a variety of ways.
While for some hard proofing workflows printing can still be a preferred method, saving the printing for the last stage can save money and time in between feedback rounds.
Certainly, with most big PDF projects, presentations, catalogues, and marketing campaigns it can all be done solely with an intuitive online proofing solution. And you’ll be saving courier costs, toner and trees in the process.
And video proofing is a whole different challenge.
Reduce User Friction
When you send someone work to review, be they a colleague, client or other collaborator, the speed with which they respond depends entirely on the ease and intuitiveness of the medium through which it has been shared.
Here’s a common sequence of events: Your designer/creative director clicks through to a third-party file transfer site (or FTP server), where first they have to download a zip file, then unzip, sort through the contents, open the file(s) in the appropriate software(s), and then either transcribe their feedback into an email or find a clumsy way to annotate the file itself, and if they’ve chosen the latter, save and repackage the files, re-upload to the transfer site, and send.
With all the potential ways that this feedback process can break, whether the inability to download a software with IT support, or unclear email feedback, or the lack of one file that is the source of truth, it’s simply not a path to efficient turnarounds.
An online proofing solution lets you simply send a link that takes collaborators directly to the work – no downloads required, with an intuitive markup process. This is so important when dealing with outside freelancers or consultants on creative.
There is one intuitive piece of software to take up and everyone is on the same page, literally and figuratively. No FTP server security. Simple licensing and admin. No downloads. No security risks.
Hit Your Deliverables
Delays in deliverables are one of the more obvious time and money drains. Contracts will often include penalties for missed deadlines. There is certainly a cost internally when projects bleed over their project timelines (often resulting in a resource jam).
Delays in giving and receiving feedback, miscommunications, and a lack of clarity will all have significant impacts on your deliverables.
Using a proofing software will help you track the status of your creative, from version 0.1 to delivered. Setting deadlines, reminders, approvers, tasks, collating versions, and having it all in one visual space can not only help you meet your deadlines but ensure your clients are happy in the process.
Boost Team Morale
The importance of happy collaborators and clients can’t be overstated. There is little doubt that there’s a link between contentedness and productivity, one study showed that workers are 13% more productive when happy. Frustration has a real cost – both a human one, and a financial one.
We might be biased, but poor feedback is a sure cause of unhappiness.
Keeping creatives and their collaborators happy by making their jobs as easy and unencumbered as possible is good for the work, and for the bottom line.
Let them focus on the creative work.
As the expression goes, hire smart people, give them the best online proofing tool, and get out their way.