How to detect and fix the bottlenecks in your own studio
Find where your process slows down and become more efficient.
E-commerce is more or less defined by speed. E-commerce offers clients quick orders and speedy deliveries just by clicking a few buttons.
This new type of commerce has created a certain need and expectation in customers. Everybody wants the latest collections “right now“, delivered to their homes tomorrow.
That’s why “time to market” is so essential and the brands that underestimate it or fall behind, risk losing potential clients or currently existing ones.
In order to cope with these serious market demands, brands need to optimize a lot in their production, especially content creation to keep up with the fast pace of the digital world.
In order to be quick, you have to investigate what is slowing down your process. One of the best ways to approach this is to play detective in your own studio and observe what bottlenecks there are in your content production process. Make a note of where things slow down and how can you optimize these processes. And if you don’t know what to look for, we can help you with that.
You can look up the theory of constraints to get yourself more familiar with how your organization is as strong as your weakest link.
Let’s start with some common pitfalls with studio content production:
memory card is missing
the camera doesn't work, probably the port of the camera is ruined
the tripod is missing or it's been moved
a lot of walking around (models or stylists going around, searching for things)
the settings of the camera are changed
a lot of "manual" file movement
If any of this sounds familiar, let’s get proactive.
1. Break down your flow to see where your constraints are
See what's holding you back. Note down everything on the day(s) of shooting and observe carefully. Set out to investigate on a particularly busy day. That way you’ll be able to see where you’re most likely losing valuable resources at scale.
2. Don’t interrupt or try to solve, just observe
Don’t interfere with the work your team is doing and don’t necessarily announce what you’re doing either. Simply observe and make mental notes about what is going on, step by step. Remember, the point here is not to judge and point fingers. The goal is to see which parts of your process can be improved.
When you’re in the middle of it all, you might not be able to judge and think as objectively. While observing your studio’s workflow, it’s best to just pay attention and make (mental) notes.
Later, in the comfort of your own office or home, revise what you noted down and start thinking more in-depth about what you’ve seen and experienced. You will be surprised how clearly you can make objective conclusions when you didn’t force yourself to make any while your studio was working at full speed.
4. Seek effective and efficient solutions
More often than not, the reason for slowing down or not being as efficient in your studio is simple: humans.
We are great at the creative stuff yet we’re not designed to operate as robots - without making mistakes, without involving feelings or just doing something repetitive perfectly.
That’s why automation is your friend. There are so many great things we can achieve if we simply let ourselves focus on the important things and let automation help us with the more meaningless tasks.
Remember, automation is not about replacing people's skills; it's about making things more organized and efficient. The goal of automation is to repeat and execute as perfectly as possible the same tasks over and over again. In those cases, the human’s goal is to create, craft and put into the world great products.
Automating your studio’s content production workflow will only inspire creativity within your team rather than hinder it. If you have a system that can do everything from shooting to editing and exporting automatically (like these ones e.g.), your team of experts can focus on creating and innovating, rather than dealing with time-consuming, repetitive tasks.
It’s important to remember that automation does not kill creativity.
When observing, analyzing and implementing new solutions for optimization within your studio, don’t stop asking yourself the following questions:
does this process (I'm currently observing) add creative value?
is it just busy work?
is it very long?
how long does it occur?
what does it take to automate?
can it be solved with better tools?
Putting more thought into your process initially will save you valuable resources like time, money and effort down the line. Keep on revising everything that you want to improve or that you haven’t improved yet.
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