Project Management and Outsourcing Solution
Case Study: Hearth & Home Technologies™
Describing the Company
Hearth & Home Technologies is the world’s leading producer and installer of hearth products. The company offers a full array of gas, electric and wood-burning fireplaces, inserts, stoves, grills and more.
Defining the Problem
The creative department at Hearth & Home Technologies receives a nonstop flow of requests. At any one time during the busy summer season, the 12-person department manages as many as 500 projects. Requests come from brand managers, channel managers and their staffs, who support the company’s three primary brands and retail channel. Most requests are for product launch kits, consisting of up to 11 individual components, such as brochures, sell sheets, competitive matrixes, PowerPoint slides and showroom signage.
The volume of work stretched the creative department’s staff beyond its capacity. Projects took too long to complete and were sometimes even cancelled due to time delays. Industry seasonality couldn’t justify hiring additional full-time employees.
Hearth & Home Technologies also experienced high costs in proofreading errors. Too much money was spent on alteration charges once creative was sent to the printer.
Finding the Solution
Creatis developed a solution to help the creative department address varying workload demands, meet diverse skill requirements and ensure accuracy in every written piece. Project managers from Creatis work on-site at the company, managing projects produced internally as well as those outsourced to Creatis.
The on-site managed solution is staffed by the project manager and a team of Creatis employees that includes production artists, designers, traffic managers and account managers. The team is scaled to fit fluctuating workload and deadline demands, and has become an extension of the Hearth & Home Technologies’ creative department.
To meet an ongoing need for frequent customized materials, Creatis developed an outsourced solution. An integrated team of designers and copywriters is at work in the Creatis Studio, completing customized projects assigned by an on-site Creatis employee at Hearth & Home.
Along with providing the right talent at the right time, finding the most efficient methods and procedures was also critical to Hearth & Home’s success. Creatis consulted with the client on traffic procedures and implemented improvements to shorten timelines and ensure accuracy. Among other new steps, procedures now include an outsourced proofreading program, in which all pieces are reviewed within a 24-hour period to ensure quality and accuracy.
Measuring the Results
- Increased capacity within the lean creative department to meet high seasonal demands.
- Improved service to internal clients. Deadlines are met with the attention they require to do them well.
- Additional time gained to focus on priority projects.
- Cost savings in alteration charges with a proofreading program to correct errors before pieces are sent to printers.
“One of our most difficult challenges is making sure people have the skills they say they have. Creatis has done a nice job of understanding and testing an individual’s skill set and seeing how they match with our culture and skill requirements.”
Creative Services Manager