Unorganized Product Samples

Brands, retailers, and commercial studios work with thousands of product samples annually. With samples constantly flowing in and out of the content studio, it can be a painstaking task to keep track of individual items.

Common Obstacles

What's the problem (and our solution)?

Manually checking samples in and out cost time and error
With so many moving parts, it’s often difficult to quickly check in or out samples and make sure they get to where they need to go to be photographed. This includes keeping track of their physical location.
Our Solution: Barcode scanning and unlimited locations

In Creative Force, sample management is built into every workflow. Barcodes enable team members to track every sample throughout the entire production process, from check-in to on-set to storage and more. Stakeholders get full visibility into the production status of individual samples with real-time updates.

Samples can be organized into unlimited locations, sublocations, and containers, making them easy to track, no matter how many you have. Finally, with audible alerts, rule-based flow logic, and on-the-spot data edits, automation lowers the risk of mistakes.

Sample labels don’t include enough information
Often there is a limited amount of information on sample labels, meaning teams may not have enough information at their fingertips to quickly identify and route samples to the next step in production.
Our Solution: Custom sample labels and properties

Creative Force takes sample management to the next level by incorporating EAN codes, custom properties, and bespoke sample labels. With a quick scan, teams can see the brand, description, color, where it came from, product data, timing (including how long it’s available), and much more. 

Samples and production tasks are not linked
If sample management and production workflows aren’t fully integrated, it’s very difficult to get a quick snapshot of the production status of any given sample. Without a detailed and accurate picture of what needs to get done for each sample, shots might get missed. Or worse, samples might get sent back without ever being photographed.
Our Solution: Samples are tied directly to production tasks

All information about each sample is immediately and automatically uploaded to Creative Force. Each sample is tied to a dynamic style guide that determines the required production tasks, so it’s easy to track whether tasks are done, in progress, or not started.

If for some reason a sample is being checked out that hasn’t been shot, an alert will chime, making sure that the team is aware of the situation and can fix the issue. 

We only have one label scanner (and I don’t know where it is)
Custom sample labels are great, but if you don’t have (or more often, can’t find) a barcode scanner, it makes it very difficult to move to the next step in the workflow.
Our Solution: Creative Force Mobile App

The Creative Force mobile app makes it easy to turn any smartphone into a barcode scanner. Quickly scan barcodes wherever you are in the studio and see precisely where that item or container should go next.

And on the off chance you don’t have a barcode scanner or smartphone handy, you can always bulk upload a CSV file or manually type in product codes into Creative Force to track samples.

Mistakes throughout the check-in flow
Over time, manually entering sample information will lead to mistakes. These mistakes can be as simple as inputting the incorrect product number so that it appears that a sample hasn’t arrived yet when it’s actually on-site or the wrong sample gets used for a shoot. Even worse, if someone misses checking in a sample or box of items completely, it could result in items being shipped back without being shot at all.
Our Solution: Automated check-in/check-out system
Creative Force automates much of the check-in flow, ensuring teams have a real-time overview of all the samples. By leveraging barcode scanning and reducing manual inputs sample management teams can work faster, make fewer mistakes, and get a more accurate picture of their sample inventory.

A closer look

Sample management made simple

To streamline the production process and minimize errors, it is crucial to integrate studio-specific sample management into your creative production process. Let's examine how Creative Force handles physical samples.

Creative Force provides a robust sample management tool for content studios that allows for custom barcode printing. This connects physical samples to virtual records in Creative Force, ensuring an efficient and organized workflow.

Once the sample is linked to the virtual record, Creative Force automates file handling and production tasks. The barcode can be scanned to initiate photography, update the sample's location within the studio, or review assets.

Creative Force’s mobile app enables sample management on the go. It includes core functionalities like check-in, checkout, and location updates that make it easy to manage physical samples.

By leveraging the sample management tools in Creative Force, studio workflows can be improved, and automation possibilities can be unlocked. This allows your teams to prioritize tasks that matter to customers and stakeholders, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency.

Feature Focus

How to Automate Sample Management

Sample management is a complex process that requires a systematic and organized approach. Learn how Creative Force links physical samples to digital production workflows, enabling brands and retailers to streamline sample management and minimize errors.

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Creative Force, and how does it work?

Creative Force is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that helps brands and retailers accelerate their eCommerce creative content production. It simplifies the process of planning and producing eCommerce content, improves cross-team collaboration, and ensures more transparency across every stage of production. With Creative Force, companies always deliver the highest-quality content on time and on budget.

Built on “flow production” principles, our platform utilizes intelligent automation to streamline workflows, resulting in consistent and repeatable processes. Creative Force also integrates seamlessly with existing systems, like Capture One and Adobe Creative Cloud, and features an intuitive interface.

How does flow production work?

In traditional batch production, all assets go through a single production stage before moving to the next step. This approach can lead to bottlenecks and delays. 

Creative Force simplifies content production through a continuous process called "flow production." This process involves moving individual assets through various production stages as soon as they are ready, resulting in an efficient and scalable content production workflow.

Who can use Creative Force?

Creative Force is for brands, retailers, and commercial studios with in-house or external teams that produce and manage eCommerce content, such as photography, video, and copywriting.

Creative Force provides intelligent workflow automation, enhanced production visibility, and a range of collaboration tools that benefit all teams, including studio intake, styling, capture, post-production, marketing, and more. By choosing Creative Force, you can scale your content production, gain better operational visibility, and speed up time-to-market.

Does Creative Force integrate with my existing systems?

Yes, Creative Force is designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing tech stack. We have industry-leading integrations with Capture One, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more.

The platform’s API-first architecture enables our customers to seamlessly connect with Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, Product Information Management (PIM) systems, cloud storage platforms, and any other required destinations. 

Creative Force also makes it simple to work with external post-production vendors via FTP or API integrations.

Finally, our VPI Management extension makes it simple to work with product vendors to request, receive, and manage vendor-provided images (VPI).

What kind of support can I expect?

We understand that implementing a new system can be challenging, but our team is here to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Our onboarding team will work closely with your team to set up Creative Force and empower your future success.

After onboarding, your Customer Success Manager will check in regularly. Our customer support team is also available 24/5 to help you with any product questions or concerns. In addition, we offer self-paced learning resources such as academy courses, help center documentation, and other materials to help you along your Creative Force journey.

In addition to providing best-in-class customer support, we continuously update our platform with new features and improvements. Our biweekly releases can be easily installed without interrupting your work.