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Turnaround Time

Turnaround time is a critical KPI for eCommerce content studios and refers to the time it takes to produce assets (like photos, video, and copy), from the moment a sample arrives at the studio until the requested assets are delivered.

Common Obstacles

What's the problem (and our solution)?

Increasingly complex productions
Every time you add a content type, a requirement, a rule, or an exception, you increase your production complexity, often to the point where keeping it all straight exceeds human capacity.
Our solution: Let software deal with all the complexities
Using best-practice production logic, our automated workflows and digital style guides eliminate complexity and help your team master notoriously difficult elements like color accuracy. All your production requirements, rules, and exceptions are built right into your workflow, so you and your team can focus on creating the best assets possible. Creative Force will handle the rest.
Human errors
A major cause of long turnaround times is human error; misplaced files, incomplete sets, incorrect file names, and the list goes on. And identifying and fixing these errors is both time-consuming and costly.
Our solution: Workflow automation and countermeasures
Repetitive, error-prone tasks like file naming and file handling are fully automated in Creative Force. And for tasks that do require manual work, built-in countermeasures, such as color references, check-in/-out alerts, auto-QC, and reference image alerts make sure you get it right the first time.
Batch production creates bottlenecks
Batch production is a stop-gap measure to handle increasing complexity. But it rarely works as intended, doesn't handle exceptions well, and tends to create bottlenecks.
Our solution: Flow production
Creative Force enables flow production, which allows parallel processes throughout production and where no task or product is held back by individual outliers. Tasks are completed and assets are delivered independently, greatly decreasing your overall turnaround time.
Limited access to assets and information
Your teams – whether internal or external – need certain information to be able to do their jobs, let alone do their jobs efficiently. The time spent requesting, receiving, finding, and parsing that information takes time and introduces the risk of miscommunication and error.
Our solution: The information you need, when you need it
Creative Force gives team members exactly the information they need, when and where they need it. For retouchers, an integrated Photoshop panel provides color references and image requirements. Photographers and digitechs see required style guide positions and reference images for each product sample they scan on set. Stylists get pop-up alerts if a specific sample has associated styling notes. And in QC reference images are available as overlays, so it's easy to maintain consistency. These are just examples – this approach to information-sharing is found throughout Creative Force.
Rigid processes break easily
When your production process requires eg. your Art Director to be available on set in order to approve or comment on production assets before a task can be completed, what happens if they're traveling, in charge of multiple sets, or something as simple as stuck in traffic?
Our solution: Workforce flexibility
With a cloud-based workflow platform, including access to all the latest data, information, and production assets in real-time and from anywhere, you get workforce flexibility. Your AD can now run multiple sets, anywhere in the world, simultaneously, so production is not held back if they can't be on set at a specific time.
The lack of insights makes it hard to improve
Limited tracking makes it difficult to follow production progress and identify problem areas, forcing you to rely on gut feeling or incomplete data when attempting to optimize studio processes. Or perhaps even worse, you get a false sense that everything is running as it should, not seizing on the opportunity to drastically increase efficiency and lower turnaround time.
Our solution: Track everything automatically
Everything – events, progress, samples, vendor and team member efficiency – is tracked automatically throughout production, giving you not only quick overviews but also complete audit trails. All this data can be customized according to business needs and exported or accessed in the form of dynamic reports. When you know exactly how each element of your production is performing, you can make focused, continuous improvements.

A closer look

Automation in Creative Force


Workflows, one of the foundational settings in Creative Force, outline particular flows, or defined paths, that your samples and product records follow during asset creation. With a defined workflow and software to manage it, you can take full advantage of the automation Creative Force offers.

Every studio has some type of workflow, but whether it is clearly defined and documented is another matter. A Creative Force workflow transforms a sometimes abstract idea into a clearly defined path that fully leverages customizations and automation.

In the Creative Force platform, the workflow guides the process that your samples and assets follow, outlining things such as production type and how images are selected (and by whom), post-production processes, and how final assets will be delivered. You can set up as many workflows as you need and have them work along with the style guide to automatically assign product records to the appropriate workflow.

Combined with a style guide, a broad workflow captures many different types of products, while a specific workflow contains particular products, brands, or clients. And creating new workflows or updating existing ones is simple and accessible. In Creative Force, you have complete control to set workflows exactly how you need and to refine them as your studio evolves.

Digital Style Guides

In creative production, there are a lot of decisions to be made, from which images to shoot to what they should look like. In many studios, once these decisions are made, they are documented for future reference in the form of a style guide and available to review for on-set teams who may need guidance. 

But what if your style guide was more than a static document? What if your style guide was a driving part of a larger production system and used to trigger workflows, provide reference information, and name your final assets without any manual input required?

That’s style guides in Creative Force. They work together with workflows to guide production throughout the process, from the time a job is loaded in the system until final asset delivery.

At a high level, the style guide in Creative Force contains information that most style guides at any studio do. It shows you how many images you need and gives references to show you what they should look like. But it goes a bit deeper than that. In Creative Force, the style guide impacts the entire production process – it determines how many images to look for and whether or not to allow additional optional images, and it stores information relevant to photography and retouching teams.

The platform makes that information available with just a click and provides it in context – joined to appropriate files for the specific product your team is working with, and within the proper platform where you can make pertinent edits.

These settings affect how your teams interact with the integrated image capture panel for Capture One or Lightroom (using the Creative Force app Kelvin) by providing places for your photographers to drop necessary images, and the integrated Photoshop panel (using the Creative Force app Hue) by feeding important retouching notes and guidelines to post-production teams.

When it comes time to produce final assets, the style guide contains naming conventions and automatically titles approved images in accordance with customizable naming requirements.

Establish as many style guides as needed, and make them as broad or specific as desired. Because Creative Force is a powerfully automated multi-client platform with style guides created at the client level, there’s no limit to the level of detail and nuance that can be achieved.

Feature Focus

Automated File Handling

By setting up detailed, conditional workflows before production even begins, you can automate the time-consuming, error-prone tasks that drastically affect your overall turnaround time. In Creative Force, one such workflow automation is file handling.

See how files are automatically routed to the right team members, at the right times, to keep production flowing.

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Questions? Let's ... expand.

How does Creative Force work?

To simplify things a bit, Creative Force enables and elevates what we call flow production – a collaborative and continuous way of producing content at scale, where assets are moved individually through the many stages of production, as soon as they're ready.

This is in contrast to traditional batch production, where a single production stage is completed for all assets before they advance to the next step. Flow production eliminates bottlenecks and hold-ups, and Creative Force supercharges that concept with automation, metadata enrichment, integrated review tools, and so much more.

How is Creative Force different?

Let's first differentiate between studio software and studio management software. Creative Force is studio management software that optimizes the processes around specific areas of studio operations, like sample management or post-production management – in some cases by integrating directly with studio software your team uses daily, such as Capture One or Photoshop.

Other studio software solutions do a fine job of solving problems within particular, well-defined areas of operation. But only Creative Force takes a holistic approach to studio operations and provides the tools to effectively increase productivity and visibility across the entire content creation process.

Read more about how Creative Force compares to some alternatives out there

Who can use Creative Force?

Creative Force is built to meet the needs of brands, retailers, and commercial studios engaged in high-volume content creation for eCommerce or editorial projects. If you work professionally with any of the above, chances are you'd see remarkable improvements to your workflows with Creative Force.

Every team from studio intake to styling to capture to post-production and beyond will benefit from the extensive workflow automation, increased production visibility, and many collaboration tools.

Read some of the many great Creative Force reviews here