All About IDEA

IDEA: Interactive Digital Entry AssistantWe all fancy ourselves creative folks here at Affinity Express, yet if you hear us talking about some “idea”, you might be surprised. The “idea” in question is less likely to be a creative concept and more likely to be the Interactive Digital Entry Assistant, our online ordering system that many of our clients use.

All you need to use IDEA is your log-in details (and you can register for free!).  Clients use IDEA not just for placing orders but also to submit quote requests, pick up finished work, store important customer files, check the status of their orders and communicate with the design team.

IDEA was developed way back in 2004, as a better way of sharing files, instructions, order status and other communications between clients and our teams. The use of IDEA served to dramatically improve communication and efficiency. It enabled clients to upload or access projects anytime from anywhere.  Last week, the one millionth order was uploaded to IDEA!  (By the way, we do have other workflows like the Affinity Express Service Bureau and also work in client systems–so we passed our one millionth order years ago.)

Check Order Status

Prior to IDEA, orders were sent via fax or email, and files through email or FTP servers. When clients wanted to know how the job was progressing, they had to call or email, and the team here would have to talk to the designer and then get back to the client. Now each client simply logs into their account and can see the status of every order at a glance.

Transfer Files

IDEA makes it easy for clients and our teams to share heavy design files securely. Saves a lot of bounced emails and full in-boxes!

Access Files as Needed

All closed orders are stored in the locker, so that a client can access a file at any time. Earlier, many of the queries to customer service staff  asked for an old design that the customer had lost and wanted to be sent again. Now clients has access to all files whenever they need them.

Less Support Required

Before IDEA, most of the queries that our support staff answered related to order status, followed by requests to re-send design files. IDEA not only helped clients get immediate access to order status and design files, but also dramatically reduced our need to provide support.

Given all of the above, we couldn’t do without IDEA! We even use it for internal projects, such as when the Marketing Team needs design support from the Online Team. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that it’s extremely easy to use.  Customers have mentioned that IDEA is “funky” and easy to use.

If you use the Affinity Express IDEA system, tell us what your experience has been–we’re always looking to make enhancements.  If you haven’t tried it yet, we’d love to hear about other workflows you’ve used with providers of advertising and marketing services or what has been effective for you internally if you have a design team.

About Unmana Datta
Senior Marketing Manager at Affinity Express, Unmana is an obsessive consumer of blogs and social media, and fascinated by their use in marketing.

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