Global Marketing and the New J.O.B.

WorkflowPeople worldwide are connected to the web through their smart phones, tablets, smart watches and more recently, digital eyewear. Planning a global marketing experience for the mobile enabled consumer is a complex challenge. In addition to online and physical points of sale, retailers are creating virtual experiences and augmenting reality to attract buyers. Project managers coordinate the team effort to create the complete shopper experience. It is a demanding job where mistakes can trigger costly disasters. The team that brings products and promotions to global markets on-time and in full creates competitive advantages for their company. Having the right tools can make all the difference.

From Job Bag to Project Management

The market is ripe with workflow tools promising to simplify project management. Before the Internet age, most production was centralized at the manufacturing facility, and project management was a laborious workflow of physically carrying job bags between departments and maintaining a magnetic dry erase board with movable colored magnets to communicate the status of jobs through the production process. All the required elements were kept in a physical job bag. Project managers gathered in a morning production meeting to agree on priorities and manage on-time delivery. The physical routing of the job bag prevented most parallel activities, and the approval process relied on couriers and sales people to deliver finished materials for review. Global launches were rare simply because of the logistical challenge.

Today, the hidden cost of implementing a modern project management system is in the disruption to the business. Project managers are busy people and therefore rapid implementation is perhaps the most important system benefit. The tradeoffs come as requirements increase. Effective solutions are comprehensive. Long deployments are painful. The ideal system deploys in days, or weeks, but not months! Failed implementations are numerous and collateral damage comes in the form of lost business and talent. The need for rapid deployment is greatest amongst the most overworked, but solutions that fall short functionally create bigger problems. One-trick ponies don’t go the distance. Real workflow solutions are comprehensive, agile and intuitive.

The Cost of Workflow

The price of a workflow management system ranges from free (open source) to several hundred dollars a month per user seat license depending on whether the license is for a named-user or a concurrent user seat. In all probability, better process management will drive top line revenue, but the real ROI for a workflow system is measured in dollars saved. A dollar saved is pure profit while a top line dollar may only drop fifteen cents to the bottom line. The analytics that can be extracted from a well-deployed workflow system help companies be leaner and more agile. They learn to scale rapidly while maintaining detailed process control. The best workflow systems also integrate other systems to further streamline the process. They connect man and machine in a seamless and ever evolving way.

The workflow system scales to support a professional business network of supply chain partners operating globally. It is a multi-tenant system. Like SalesForce.com, a multi-tenant system manages thousands of discreet business units on a single server. This architecture upgrades all users with each software improvement. The multi-tenancy allows each business unit to configure their use of the system independently while the system administrator manages user access and permissions. An agile multi-tenant workflow system establishes a professional social network where any registered user can be tasked in any workflow. Project managers create ad hoc teams to perform role-based tasks for a broad range of global projects all securely running their own workflows on a global community platform.

Modern Solutions

Evidence of these platforms already exists in solutions like Google Drive. LinkedIn has become the global directory where professionals are hanging out their “shingle”.

Many modern social networks support single sign-on as a way of opening up network access. Even Facebook is wading into the business world with their new Facebook for business offerings. Multi-national corporations need solutions that can scale rapidly to support staff working in local markets to fulfill global strategies. The system must be secure and at the same time agile enough to engage local supply chain partners on any project.

Managing Projects Across The Enterprise

The Internet has enabled knowledge workers to ply their trade globally. This fueled rapid globalization. The independent contractor and the small business that serves global markets has become the new normal. They often operate on a project basis. New SaaS services perform the role of middleman bringing buyers and sellers together. The dynamics of managing global projects has changed. The stealth competitor is an agile team of exceptional talent operating in lean low cost ways to deliver great value on any scale. Projects are the new J.O.B. This is why CHALEX developed SmartFlo, a DAM enabled BPM system optimized for managing marketing projects for across the enterprise.

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Julien Broucke
Julien BrouckeCEO, Process Metronome

Murray Oles is the president of Chalex Corporation. Digital transformation advocate for DAM-enabled BPM. This concept makes SmartFlo uniquely able to provide its HOST with all the tools needed to create and manage the digital transformation of any supply chain commercialization process. This includes the lifecycle of consumer product packaging and promotion management.