August 11, 2011
Heh. So--not a computer question per se, but a terminology question.
My company's main business is developing and building custom advertising for various markets. We have a very robust project and workflow management tool that tracks and streamlines the work from the time it's ready to be built to the time it's sent to the printer to be printed.
However, we don't have anything for the front part of this workflow - and until I can figure out what kind of software I need I don't even know where to begin shopping (or if I need to modify our existing workflow tool).
So--here's kind of the process (generalized for your brains):
All projects require two key pieces of information before they can start down our workflow path. We'll call that point (on the workflow path) Ready to be built.
Prior to being ready to be built, the process of the gathering of that two pieces of information occurs.
All of our workflow is initiated via an order form that comes into our office. That's one of those pieces of information (see, we're 50% done).
The other half, however, is the basic information necessary to produce the ad (how many pages, what products do you want on those pages, themes, color scheme, etc). Now for some of our customers this is pretty straight forward and the layout information comes in with the order.
For most of our customers however this is a drawn out process. They'll request an 8 page ad, and provide 3 pages of layout information and 22 pages of "if you can fit this in" information. Information can trickle in slowly, via email, mail, fax, phone calls, etc. During this gathering phase we are very disorganized.
We've tried various methods, such as adding notes to the workflow tool (difficult as multiple bits can come in at once), using folders on the network to store the information (this has not been successful), etc.
Any thoughts as to what I need? I'd love something that can integrate fairly smoothly into our enterprise systems, but that's optional at this point.
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