If you’ve ever washed your hands or flushed a toilet, you’ve probably used a product sold by Ferguson. They’re the largest U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing supplies. They started as a local distributor and have grown into a $13.8 billion company with 23,000 associates at 1,400 locations and serve customers in all 50 states, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
They’re known for world-class service, products and industry knowledge. It’s an organization that holds itself to high standards for delivering the best experience, which is reflected in their motto: “Nobody expects more from us than we do.” This carries over into every job, especially the creative team responsible for the Ferguson brand.
Clogged Creative Workflow
In 2014, Ferguson’s Marketing and Brand Creative team consisted of five designers and three project managers. For a team that size, things had to run perfectly in order to keep up with the required output. Unfortunately, the team faced a series of workflow challenges that were limiting their productivity.
These five designers supported Ferguson’s eight kinds of business (KOBs) for whom they produced over 4,000 jobs per year. These jobs included promotional materials, product documentation, sales sheets, in-store collateral and more. Designers were assigned to projects based on availability. Because projects changed hands frequently, projects and designs sometimes lacked visual continuity and adherence to existing style guides.
Finished assets were stored in multiple locations – desktops, cloud storage accounts, network drives and more. When it came time for the next person to complete or update a project, it was nearly impossible to track down the assets they needed. A designer wouldn’t know where to look or even who to ask for help. Creativity suffered as frustrated designers spent more of their time tracking down and recreating assets than imagining and creating eye-catching designs.
Workflows were also obstructed by the way Ferguson handled outdated and retired content. Ferguson handles product shots and logo files for 6,800 vendors. When vendors retire products or make changes to their brand identity, Ferguson needs to remove the old images from circulation. With so many copies of the files stored across different platforms, it was impossible to track down every file and remove it from use. Designers also didn’t have an easy way to know which images were out of date, so old products occasionally made their way into catalogs and other materials.
Tasked with bringing an end to the chaos, graphic designer, Megan Jefferson, sought out a way to better organize Ferguson’s creative content and improve creative workflows.
Get the Whole Story
If you want to learn more about how Megan and her fellow designers and project managers transformed their process, read their customer story. It details how they use Webdam features and integrations to organize their digital assets. The results were impressive and show just how much a small creative team can get done when they have the right tools.