Boxer Creative gains more control with DALIM SOFTWARE’s ES 3 project management system
For Boxer Creative, packaging is much more than just a container – it’s a central way for a Brand to tell its story to consumers.
Chicago-based Boxer is a full-service Brand Design agency headquartered in Birmingham UK, that is part of The Marketing Store Worldwide. While The Marketing Store’s main focus is promotions, CRM, and product development, Boxer focuses on creating and crafting the big brand idea that lie at the heart of the brand story, inspiring every medium to speak with a coherent brand voice be that packaging, retail development or other consumer touch points.
Ensuring that it is telling the right story requires constant communication and collaboration with clients and internal partners, a challenging proposition given that not everyone involved in a project is in the same room, or even the same time zone.
At the back end of 2011, Rob Tarpey – Boxer’s Director, Integrated Production – was looking to build on Boxer’s well-received Creative Approval workflow which was utilizing DALIM DIALOGUE. ES 2 would give the company more job management features and help expand some of DIALOGUE’s functionality. As fate would have it, before ES 2 was purchased and implemented, Boxer’s system integrators, Larry Chase, Jim Kay and Scott Tully of NAPC, had come from the DALIM User Conference, fresh with information about ES 3, DALIM SOFTWARE’s advanced version of its customer-facing project management technology.
“We were one of the first companies to kick the tires of ES 3,” notes Tarpey. While a SaaS solution was considered, “due to contractual agreements, it is important for us to own all the client’s assets and know where they are in our own firewall at all times. With certain cloud-based solutions, we wouldn’t always know exactly where a file was going.”
One of Tarpey’s major goals was to access a more robust user management experience, giving Boxer more control while simplifying the user’s end of the process.
“The approval structure possible with ES 3 does just that,” says Tarpey. “We now have the ability to designate reviewers vs. approvers, and to set up more complex workflows. I can put ten people in a group and define some as ‘almighty reviewers’, and others as casual reviewers. Some global users just review and can’t impact or disrupt the workflow we have in place.”
It has allowed us to more efficiently administer our creative review workflows with a much slicker and user-friendly end user experience Adds Tarpey, “It has allowed us to more efficiently administer our creative review workflows with a much slicker and user-friendly end user experience. It has a customizable interface, wider browser support and is more in line with Xinet and other systems in our production group. We can scale the system up without completely revamping the workflow, like adding TWIST, when we are ready.”
Key to Boxer’s successful migration to ES 3 was how little the workflow changed, from the user’s perspective. Tarpey worked closely with NAPC with the support of Blanchard Systems to create a workflow that was custom fit to their needs. “The end-user experience stayed the same,” comments Tarpey. “We are still using the DIALOGUE Engine for content review. Also, we still use our third-party color calibration software. We don’t have to overhaul our softproofing workflow or add a new monitor-based system.”
With ES 3, setup is faster following the definition of workflows, says Tarpey, especially noticeable when a new country comes on board. “When we add new countries to the workflow, there’s a lot less administrative work. We can now set new ones very easily, which wasn’t the case before. There was a lot more manual project and user setup.”
The system develops a centralized record of what is always a messy approval process, says Tarpey. “With each project, there are so many creative iterations and our global clients find it useful to have an historical record of what’s been done. It is also a security measure for us to have all the facts as undisputable evidence to help resolve issues.”
When dealing with complex approvals for nutritional info for a major client, ES 3 simplifies what can be a difficult process. Each region, such as Europe or North America, has nutritional updates that reflect those regions. Zonal clients are in place to approve that info.
”We route that final file via ES for approval,” explains Tarpey. “In Europe, one of the zonal clients became a champion for the system. She really sees the benefits.”
Along with DALIM SOFTWARE, NAPC, a key player in getting ES 3 on board, gave Boxer a sneak peek of ES 4. Tarpey is intrigued by DALIM SOFTWARE’s bringing in video into the workflow, something he foresees being a bigger part of the agency’s toolkit in the future.
“However, what I am most impressed with is that DALIM SOFTWARE is not too protective with their technology; they make sure it does what the client base wants it to do,” says Tarpey. “Some of the things they talk about happening with ES4 were a result of DALIM SOFTWARE addressing what we mentioned needed improving with ES 3. They understand the importance of a software author, customer and integrator working together to provide a winning solution. They listen to their customers, something that is not as readily apparent from others in the industry.”