The politics of document management for Mac: a creative agency's story
Majority Strategies

The politics of document management for Mac: a creative agency's story

Providing creative design and advertising services for the US Republican Party's campaigns is a demanding assignment: meeting urgent deadlines plus providing marketing materials of absolute accuracy and quality is the minimum expectation.

Majority Strategies, a leading influence marketing firm in the USA, fulfils this role through a range of direct mail, mobile advertising and a full creative service which also includes photography and in-house video creation.

But as well as having exacting clients, the creative team at Majority Strategies needs to handle the demands of managing industrial quantities of data, files and documents – 7.5 terrabytes of it! Being an Apple Mac-based operation with work generated mostly via the Adobe Creative Suite, the primary challenges have been storing files in one location, protecting against data loss and managing multiple versions of creative artwork and materials.

Bec Williamson
Senior Graphic Designer

Bec Williamson, senior graphic designer, explained: “As well as the real-time risk of losing active work, which means having to recreate designs to meet deadlines, we also need the ability to keep historical artwork. If that is lost, we also lose the time and effort that has gone into creating it”.

“Previously, we were faced with the stressful experience of managing data and documents on top of what is already an often-complicated and intense process”.

Her colleague, Whit Wilson, chief creative officer, also highlighted the problem of losing document versions not manually saved and the perennial risk of losing data if a server crashes.

Selecting DocMoto for document management

Having examined its challenges, Majority Strategies' third-party IT support vendor suggested DocMoto. In less than a year, the software has transformed the firm's management of data as well as providing other business benefits.

Bec Williamson said: “We needed to bring our data under one 'umbrella' and we knew that DocMoto was being used by law firms handling huge amounts of data”.

“Now we are doing a lot less manually and this has both made our operations more efficient and improved the team environment. As our writers and designers work collaboratively, it's great to know when someone is working on a document rather than having to ask. It helps workflow and removes the annoyance of document management issues”.

Enjoying special functionality

As well providing the ability to access documents, create different versions and revert backwards and forwards between the versions, DocMoto allows Majority Strategies to check out and work easily on a whole folder and its contents. Keeping all the elements of a folder together equally helps workflow and complements the way Adobe Creative Suite works.

What the agency has also benefited from is DocMoto's ability to stack data bytes in the versioning structure.

Bec Williamson explains: “We were looking for a way to minimize the data growth as we grow without purging any historical projects. In the past we were sometimes faced with choosing what to keep and what to eliminate”.

“DocMoto took our average of 10 or more versions of the same file that all contain much the same data and cut it down to one file with only the changes added to the overall file size, so saving on storage drive costs. Also, all versions were now in one neat package: 10 files have become one, with the ability to revert at any moment, shaving off tonnes of storage needs”.

“It also saves time, as with a click of mouse we can view all the different versions in sequential order with no need to fully open the file or try to guess when or how it changed; it's all there in the details in plain sight”.

In addition, the firm wanted the ability to view and search its collection of photography quickly with a Mac-style Finder function while retaining and managing the master images within DocMoto's storage system. Enabling the potential to sync DocMoto with an an external drive now combines with Adobe Bridge to allow creative staff to view a bank of photos simultaneously.

Customer support – the DocMoto way

For Whit Wilson, the introduction of DocMoto has solved the question of how to handle such large amounts of data, files and documents effectively: “This has been our hurdle for some years and, until now, we found no other system that could help us with such a large volume; everything has been too slow and cumbersome and even the Mac Finder feature wasn't intuitive enough to handle the searches”.

Bec Williamson added: “Even simple things – like being able to colour-code files – makes a huge difference to how we look at that data and visually process what's there”.

“Mostly, we asked the DocMoto team to make it more like Finder and easier to use without losing the functionality of the software programme and what it has to offer”, Whit Wilson added.

“DocMoto gives us more flexibility and a superfast response time when customising the software to our needs. They're always quick to help and we couldn't ask for better customer support”.

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