Creativity, Inc. doubles productivity with Vertabase project management software
Creativity, Inc. of Van Nuys, California produces supplies for scrapbooking, jewelry making, card making and other crafts. Divisions of Creativity include Westrim Crafts and Blue Moon Beads.
Creativity has remained competitive over the years through its product innovations and its efficient operations.
The company traditionally tracked the work being done in its Art Department manually. Employees moved jobs through the steps needed for completion without a formal process. With dozens of work orders in the works at any one time, and new ones being added daily, employees often had to shift focus from their creative work to the administrative tasks of tracking down materials and moving work through the system.
The Search Process
Creativity looked to software and automation to further increase its edges in product development and turnaround times. One of its industry partners recommended that Vertabase project management software could help them further enhance productivity. Vertabase has a history of strengthening collaboration in internal art departments and improving turnaround times.
Management viewed a demo of Vertabase and immediately saw how the system could help the Art Department better manage its work.
“Initially what caught my eye was how clearly Vertabase identifies the steps needed to complete each project,” said Creativity Vice President of Information Technology Jim Mulholland. “We could see that Vertabase would be a great fit and that we would be able to get the system up and running quickly.”
Creativity launched Vertabase project management software within a month of viewing the demo. The system was launched as a hosted solution, and later switched to a network-installed version. Vertabase can be maintained for customers either way.
A Perfect Match
The Vertabase feature set was a nearly perfect match for the functions that Creativity sought.
“Within the product demo itself, 80 percent of our questions were already answered,” said Mulholland.
Westrim management views Vertabase as a perfect fit for its needs. The system provides exactly what it requires to help manage work flows – no less and no more – so it isn’t cumbersome for users.
Support for Collaboration
Vertabase creates a framework for getting things done faster. Centralized document storage and web-based access capabilities foster a more collaborative and time-efficient environment within the Art Department.
Vertabase has enabled employees to create integrated workflows, notifications of next steps, and other communications that help things run smoother. Because all steps are visible, the traffic manager always knows what comes next in a work flow and can easily check the status of all work.
“Put simply, the system keeps people and processes connected,” summed up Mulholland.
Vertabase Doubles Productivity
Before Creativity launched Vertabase, moving work from one step to another usually required paper forms.
Today, the process is seamless, simple and almost entirely automated.
When a new job is requested, descriptions of the artwork and design requirements are entered into Vertabase. A project number is automatically assigned and the Art Department receives an electronic notification. Continued notifications help the team members drive work through the proper steps.
The entire Creativity workforce has been pleased with Vertabase. Members of management note that the accessibility of real-time data has made them better decision-makers, and the Art Department reports that it has doubled its productivity. The time saved in not having to chase down documents, and knowing where things are in the process, has enabled the team members to be twice as effective.
This dramatic increase in Creativity’s response time from concept to pitch to delivery helps the company stand out even further in the highly competitive retail crafts environment.
Minimal IT Support Needed
While it wasn’t one of the benefits that drove Creativity’s initial selection of Vertabase, the minimal IT support required for the system has greatly satisfied management.
Said Mulholland, “I’ve never found a solution that is more reliable and less IT-intensive than Vertabase. Once set up, the system was up and running immediately.”
“In nearly four years, Vertabase has performed flawlessly. Frankly, it is the perfect solution from both an IT and a user perspective.”
Today’s environment requires that Creativity meet extremely tight deadlines. Customers demand quick turnarounds and there is no time for the creative staff to reinvent the wheel or get confused about the steps they need to follow.
“Vertabase provides the flexibility and agility we need to meet the needs of customers without complicated steps behind the scenes,” noted Mulholland. “We now have a project management process where everyone knows what steps need to be done to complete their work.
“The process is simple and centralized, allowing us to seamlessly manage customer requests, changes, and status reporting. We are able to deliver the best possible service.”
A Personal Touch
Mulholland finds the personal touch he receives from Vertabase to be remarkable.
“As principal evangelist for the product, Mark Phillips takes an active role in serving the Vertabase customers,” notes Mulholland, “and you don’t often see that level of service with an enterprise solution.”
“Vertabase is a great project management tool – easy to use, flexible and capable of helping any size company or department map and manage their day-to-day work processes.
“I would strongly recommend Vertabase to coordinate project management activities for internal creative teams. There is absolutely no downside.”