Supplier Partnering

Improving two-way communication and streamlining workflows

What we do

It is not unusual to hear suppliers say that their clients just won’t let them help them. At Town & Town we know exactly what they mean, as clients often fail to give their suppliers the opportunity to contribute to the marketing process. More often, suppliers are simply on the receiving end of difficult jobs with impossible deadlines.

Busy marketeers are unlikely to have the time to sit down with their suppliers and listen to their suggestions for improving quality and workflow, but creative suppliers often have a unique understanding of the client’s business and can offer useful comparisons with the working practices gained from their other clients.

Similar issues arise with workflow, where internal systems are inadequate to handle ever-increasing volumes, and are clearly not ‘fit for purpose’.
As good listeners, unbiased in our views and with the time and skills required, we are well placed to develop better working relationships and more efficient workflow systems for our clients.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…

“What’s going on?” Account Exec Sarah had every reason to be annoyed with her in-house Design Manager, Dom. She couldn’t show the visuals to her client – they just weren’t good enough – and two days had been lost out of what was already a tight schedule.

“I suggest you get this fixed – and if you don’t have the time, then bring in someone from outside to sort out the problems with workflow.” Dom definitely didn’t have the time.

Finding a solution

There was obviously a breakdown in communication here that was leading to poor outcomes. Dom enlisted the help of outside professionals with special expertise in creative workflows and briefing, and followed their suggestions for the creation of briefing templates, service level agreements, order processing systems and a range of other fail-safe measures that tightened up the process for all involved. No more jobs were taken on without a proper brief and an agreed delivery date.

Resulting benefits

By improving communication between departments and setting up a professional workflow system, Dom soon saw big improvements in morale and output, with the creatives being left to get on with what they do best. And Sarah found that she had less cause for complaint when she dropped in on Dom and his creative team.