Your team of designers and photographers are essential to the success of your promotions and marketing efforts. Whether you’re increasing sales through POP displays or handing out yard signs for your political campaign, the creativity involved is what catches the eyes of shoppers, voters and other passersby. Naturally, you want your designers’ productivity levels to reach as high as possible. Below are four tips to strengthen the productivity of your creative teams:

1. Analyze their strengths

Forcing your animator to work as a graphic designer might work in a pinch, but it’s a poor creative strategy for the long term. Make sure your teams’ assignments reflect their abilities. If necessary, conduct a SWOT analysis. Review each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to understand what sort of assignments will work best.

2. Set communication standards

“Poor communication slows the design process.”

Does your team know what information needs to be shared and when? Do they know who to turn to when a project falls behind? What about the best channel for getting in touch with people? Your team needs answers to these questions. Otherwise, they can easily confuse irrelevant data with information you need to know, slowing the design process and your entire marketing or promotional campaign.

3. List clear expectations

Ambiguity is one of the business world’s biggest productivity killers. Without clear directives, your creative team will spend too much of its time making mistakes or wondering what to do next. To avoid this pitfall, make sure everyone is aware of deadlines and other expectations.

Similarly, your teams should send clear instructions when your graphic is ready for print. Your printing partner will need certain information, such as fonts, Pantone colors, die lines, hole sizes and other important details. Make sure your team has these specifics ready to go when sending the artwork to avoid lost time with your print vendor.

4. Upgrade their technology

With the rapid pace at which tech is evolving, it’s natural to have some systems that are slightly outdated. But unless you make necessary upgrades to improve performance, your teams won’t be able to reach peak productivity.

We at NGS understand that dilemma, which is why we continuously invest in top-of-the-line equipment and software. Earlier this year, we were the first in the industry to get our hands on the Zund D3 digital cutter. The machine’s second cutting beam lets us increase production by up to 90 percent, adhering to tighter deadlines and completing higher order quantities. The time and money we save with the Zund D3 are passed directly on to you, and upgrading your tech in a similar manner gives your creative staff the same benefits.

The tools and assignments you give your creative staff can make the difference between a successful, productive campaign and one full of mistakes and missed deadlines.