CASE STUDY: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK
ENDING THE PAPER CHASE
TEN: The Enthusiast Network – a premier collection of automotive and action/adventure sports brands that includes Surfer, Transworld Skateboarding, Motor Trend and Hot Rod – seriously needed to get its advertising operations in gear. In addition to its 50 print magazines, TEN had expanded its platforms to include more than 60 websites, 50 annual events and a subscription video service. But its ad ops remained mired in an email-and-folder based management system that put a drag on print revenue and prevented the company from taking advantage of its broadening digital reach. Following a comprehensive analysis of TEN’s existing workflow, Breeze Advertising Solutions presented a comprehensive digital solution that streamlined ad ops processes across the company, enabling TEN to reduce errors, improve customer satisfaction and cut costs.
Recognizing that its existing ad-ops structure stood in the way of growth and profits, senior management at TEN sought a solution that would improve workflow, communications and efficiency, and enable their ad-ops team to be more responsive to both their advertising customers and their sales staff.
Armed with 30 years of experience, Breeze Advertising Solutions brought more than technology to TEN. They offered a whole new approach, starting with a complete, on-site investigation to determine where TEN’s existing operations bogged down. “We did a really thorough investigation of our workflow,” said Pauline Atwood, Senior Director, Operations, TEN. “We examined every aspect of our operation, from proposal, to when an order is booked, all the way to billing.” At the end of the analysis, management was presented with a current state assessment that mapped out key processes and detailed where operational benefits and savings could be realized.
“We looked at every vendor and solution that was out there,” Atwood said. “The interesting part of Breeze is integrated seamlessly with our Élan billing system from Media Services Group. It gave us the ability to expose orders to customers, and the workflow aspect was really appealing.” Other portal-based solutions offered little more than a queue in which ad materials sat until someone searched for them. Better than relying on email, perhaps, but not enough. Further, Breeze’s automated alerts and document management tools keep TEN’s campaigns: whether digital, video, events or print; moving from start to finish.
Breeze Advertising Solutions presented TEN with a new approach that removed artificial walls in sales, ad operations, and accounting. Processing of insertion orders, ad materials and billing were streamlined through the integration with Élan. Key business information, previously scattered across emails, shared folders, and stacks of paper is now all in one place and easy to find. Backed up by a comprehensive suite of ad-management tools, the Breeze solution allowed TEN to revamp its workflow, reduce errors, improve customer satisfaction, cut costs and set the stage for increased sales.
And with a central group workflow approach, sales reps, ad-ops staff, billers and advertisers alike can access insertion orders and contracts in the Breeze system. Guesswork is eliminated and so is the need for departments to call on each other for critical business information. Campaigns move forward even if the point person on the account is unavailable. And browser, tablet and mobile technology allows full access for reps on the road.
The Breeze dashboard allows billers immediate access to all contracts, agreements and related information. Missing signatures or documentation can be quickly addressed. Credit status feeds into the system as well, and integration with PayPal allows prepayment.
Through Breeze’s web-based advertiser-access point, customers become active participants in the process. Advertisers can use it to submit creative materials, review and mark up proofs, sign insertion orders, review e-tearsheets and view campaign history. “Errors have gone down to zero,” Atwood said. And by significantly reducing billing errors, Breeze not only saved processing time, but boosted revenue previously lost through mistakes. “Breeze was more than a portal,” Atwood said. “It completely changed our workflow from start to finish.”
And on the cost side, better communications, shared document access, and an efficient, automated workflow allowed TEN to re-allocate staff and resources from print to their digital operations.