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The Advantages of Workflow Automation Other Solutions for Marketing and Creative Teams

     Marketing and creative teams looking to address inefficiencies in their workflow often consider or already have other technology applications in place. Common applications used in the creative production process include project management, online proofing, and digital asset management tools. It's important to understand how workflow automation solutions differ from these tools, so you can find one that best fits your team's needs.

How is workflow automation different from project management?

Project management tools are wide ranging in their breadth and function. Largely, project management tools for creative teams provide a central source of information on tasks associated with a project, their deadlines, and who is responsible for completing the project.

Project management tools are ideal for large scale projects that have a lot of concurrent tasks and require a large team or a long-term effort.

Workflow automation provides many of the basic functions of project management such as task lists, deadlines, and team member assignments. These solutions may be less robust in creating complex timelines with conditional tasks and Gantt charts. However, since most projects tend to have a short lifecycle, Workflow automation solutions are usually adequate for typical project management needs.

Additionally, since workflow automation solutions incorporate online proofing and creative brief management, they provide a unique benefit over project management tools in that the work that is being done on a project - like reviewing creative assets and submitting briefs - actually takes place within the application.

With traditional project management, these activities take place outside of the application and statuses have to be manually input into the project management tool. In a workflow automation solution, creative brief and proof statuses are automatically updated in real-time and can often be archived as an audit trail.

How is workflow automation different from online proofing?

Online proofing tools allow creative teams to upload assets that their stakeholders can then view in their web browser. Online proofing solutions vary in the types of content they support (graphics, documents, web, video, etc.) and also differ in the how the reviewers provide feedback and approval. In general, an online proofing tool is going to be comprised of an upload portal for content creators to share proofs and a review environment for stakeholders to provide feedback.

Workflow automation solutions will include an online proofing tool but with more options for routing proofs to multiple reviewers. Many workflow automation solutions provide customizable, rules-based routing for automating even the most complex workflows. They typically also include proof notifications and status reports. Most importantly, workflow automation solutions link the creative content being proofed with their originating creative brief and project tasks, deadlines, and team members.

How is workflow automation different from digital asset management?

Digital asset management tools are usually intended to catalog and store final, approved assets for use in the marketplace. These databases provide a centralized, easily navigable portal for staff across various departments to find the right asset for their initiative. They also ensure that only current, brand-compliant assets are being disseminated.

A Workflow automation solution is intended to manage the process of producing those assets - getting creative work from concept to final approval so it can get added to the DAM and out to market. Digital asset management and workflow automation are complementary applications and frequently are integrated for maximum efficiencies.

Copyright (c) 2013 inMotionNow

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inMotionNow is a leading provider of creative department workflow solutions, facilitating efficiency and productivity from project kickoff to final approval. The company's flagship SaaS product - the inMotion Workflow Automation application for enterprise creatives - combines creative brief management, project management, and review and approval management in a single solution.

Posted on 2013-09-01, By: *

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