4 steps toward a better work process

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Wed, Feb 04, 2015 @ 06:59 PM

Tags: Google, assets, online proofing, marketing, process, change, productivity, streamlined, transition, Shawn Herring, Proof HQ, marketing agile, project management, designers, share, approve, resolutions, creative, online collaboration, risk, challenge, stagnate, procrastinate, comfort zone, identify, research, choose, achieve, thought leader, 4 steps, eliminate rounds, confusing comments, compensating, expense, paper proofing process, digital proofing, eliminate rounds of confusing comments, cut your costs, save time, focus on end product, process change, end results, marketing department productive, online proofing tool, online proofing software, revisions, teams, manage, creative workflow

                       Dollarphotoclub 71673318

Why do we get complacent? Why do we let things, like bad work processes, continue on “as is,” even if our “as is” stinks (and we know it)? Why do we enable our problems by compensating in other ways, at our own expense? Because climbing out of our comfort zone takes work, is uncertain and potentially risky. Yes, yes and yes. (Sorry, it is.)

So for those of you brave enough to say “what the hey, I’m going for it anyway,” here are four steps that can help you get the right information and confidence to build a platform for change, or at least a good argument for the consideration of change, within your team:

Step 1: Identify your problem spots...the roadblocks, the inconsistencies, the unorganized processes...all those things that keep you from producing the end product that you want, in the timeframe and budget that you need to work within. Once you know where your problems lie, you can begin the process of putting a name to the solution(s) that will fix them.  

Step 2: Google your problems using “normal people” words like, eliminate rounds of confusing comments. It’s actually better NOT to try to use fancy technical terms because, chances are, many other people have Googled the same way you are for the same sorts of problems and, chances are, they also didn’t know what they were looking for at the time. You might even notice that Google finishes your query for you as you type it into the search area. That means you are hot on the trail!!

Step 3: Research what comes up. Stay neutral...resist the urge to pick a solution at this point. Instead, do your homework and compare a few ebooks, white papers, slideshares, whatever you need to educate yourself so you can make a good comparison between a few viable contenders.

Step 4: Choose two or three solutions and do a deep dive...ask for free demos...why not, they’re FREE! Soon enough, the right choice will become very apparent and you will be ready to venture forth out of your comfort zone knowledgeable and prepared.

And for all your hard work, you’ll undoubtedly Achieve recognition as a thought leader and positive change maker in your company!

Five ways to tell if it’s time to upgrade your server

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

Tags: assets, images, digital assets, server, infrastructure, enterprise server, purchase, files, replace, upgrade, five factors, outgrown, Apple iPhone, Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus.

iStock 000028334318Large resized 600

If you’re one of the over 4 million people who pre-ordered the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus within the first 24 hours, you already get the idea that you need to upgrade to enjoy the very best in technology. And you knew, without actually being told, that when you bought your new Apple iPhone last year (or the year before, no matter, it wasn’t that long ago) there’d be a newer and better one soon enough. You’re willing to go through the expense year after year because you know that each generation of phone has a more powerful architecture to handle your increasingly demanding, and changing, mobile tasks.


Yet when you bought your enterprise server, let’s say, five years ago, you pretty much called it a done deal. It was a significant expense, though worth it. After all, your infrastructure houses ALL of your digital assets. You know, the ones you simply can’t stay in business without. So, you had to do it...but you figured you were done and wouldn’t need to do that again, for, well, at least for a good long while.


Oooops. Wrong.


As you know, time changes everything; the natural accumulation of your files, newer, faster, more demanding applications and updates, more complex operations, shorter deadlines, and more automation. Sure, you took good care; patched, tested, paid for the maintenance contract, and treated the solution as the precious resource it was. Meanwhile you’ve left your infrastructure as is. Not so terrific...and here’s why.


As the infrastructure ages, for all those reasons above, performance slows down. Not all at once, but a bit at a time. It’s gradual. As with all pain, you live with it. First, a twinge. Then, an ache. Eventually, something makes you realize that it’s time for action. What used to be fast and efficient, isn’t any more. Your team is pulling out their collective hairs because they can’t meet deadlines due to slow or, worse, down servers.


It’s also painful to need to budget all over again. “We solved that in 2011, what again?” But reality is, to keep up and keep on productively you should plan on replacing your enterprise server every three years. Is your time now?


Here are five factors to help you determine if you have, indeed, outgrown your infrastructure:


1. Your database is falling behind

2. Maintenance costs are rising

3. You're afraid to reboot because the server may not come back up

4. Newer enterprise applications aren't compatible

5. Backups are still running on Monday


And...as a bonus #6 to all our blog readers...you’re realizing your server is anything but energy efficient.


The good news is, as time was busy making this purchase necessary, it also made it more affordable than before.


So, maybe it’s time now. And for all the right reasons. But how to stay on track for the future? Why not use something easy to remember? Try setting your server replacement schedule for every other iPhone release.


Update and up your productivity! Explore infrastructure options here: http://napc.com/hardware