Automation has been something of a bad word in the creative industry, but there’s no reason that it has to be. After all, creative agencies can save a lot of money if they automate some of their business processes. They’ll also leave their crews with more time to focus on the actual creative process that they specialize in.
The main reason that many people started to think so badly about automation in the creative industry is the fact that people, at one point, attempted to automate design. Rather than doing this, however, agencies may wish to automate their marketing strategies instead. On top of this, creative professionals can use some automation tools to make their own workflows a little easier.
Reducing Workload by Streamlining Workflows
Take a few moments to think about all of the chores that your organization deals with on a daily basis. More than likely, you’re doing either 3D modeling, visual illustration, web design or possibly something architectural. Those who find themselves doing design on this level are more than likely faced with a number of repetitive business tasks that are barely even related to the actual creative process.
Unfortunately, these chores can eventually start to raise costs since they’re reducing the overall amount of time that you have to attend to the needs of your clients. Some processes, like billing and invoicing, can easily be automated without sacrificing the human touch. That should help to make this attractive even to the most skeptical of creative agencies who prefer to do everything by hand. Business process automation software can dramatically drop costs by rearranging your daily schedule.
Companies that are used to taking time away from client projects won’t have to do so once they streamline the communication side of the equation. Naturally, you won’t want to replace human-written messages with those manufactured by a computer algorithm. However, it’s a good idea to have something to manage all of your receipts for you so that someone else won’t have to do that later on. It’s also a good idea to have all of these calculations performed by some sort of business automation tool in order to dramatically reduce the risk of mathematical mistakes.
Some of the other chores that these programs can take care of include accepting and managing appointments. If you currently do everything over the phone, then you might want to consider completely streamline the process by allowing people to simply use an online calendar app to pick an appropriate date. Software systems geared toward design agencies will then automatically send out SMS notifications or email messages to interested parties so that they can be ready when the time comes. One online booking platform can customize all of your forms to match your needs and any unique branding that you might have come up with over the years. Others have provided integrations for apps you more than likely already use, like Outlook Calendar.
Design firm managers might also want to take the opportunity to process employee records and perform other chores while they’re online. That can help to save time over doing it by hand while, once more, slashing the number of errors that one might fall afoul of. Eventually, though, any design agency that’s serious about reducing their workload will have to ask themselves whether or not they could streamline their creative workflows.
Streamlining Creative Work without Sacrificing Quality
Anyone who has read a spun article that got spit out by a computer system is well aware of the fact that machines aren’t very good content creators. As a result, you might be very concerned about your clients not responding well to material that’s not created by hand. If that’s the case, then you might instead consider increasing your overall staff by working with a group that can help you outsource graphic designs. Since these agencies normally operate in such a way that you would still retain the rights to the work that they create, you won’t even have to worry about whether or not your clients would own the final commissioned work.
Creative agencies that work on web design but don’t have staff on hand to create logos or draw custom artwork for the people that they work with will want to explore this option in particular. Over time, it’s become difficult to predict the needs of clients online, so it can be helpful to have the ability to work with outside organizations from time to time in order to explore additional avenues when necessary.
Some creative processes can be managed through additional automation tools, however. Something like the clone function on a photo editor can massively speed up how long it takes to create repetitive designs. Using a fill bucket or other related tool can also help a lot. While these are very simple examples, they’re often forgotten about in spite of the fact that they come with many of the desktop applications that creative agencies rely on every single day.
Making Use of Forgotten Automation Tools
Perhaps no other type of creative automation tool is as forgotten about as the lowly font switcher. Various type styles can be explored very quickly without any concern for kerning or leading. By not setting every little detail at first, designers can blow through a number of options all at once.
Using a dedicated coding font is much simpler with this method, since you can then swap away from your drafting typeface and switch to something more appropriate for the finished product. Web designers who have to provide a source listing will find this particularly attractive, as will those who have to typeset mathematical texts. Regardless of what you’re doing, however, you’ll want to make sure that you never forget about those tools that are right in front of your face.
They might be the ones that can help you save the most money, after all.