Manage the process

The issue

The above recommendations will greatly streamline and simplify the process of gaining customer approvals. However, getting the process to work effectively will take effort, especially when managing internal staff, liaising with third party printers, and chasing customers to give their approval for proofs.

Attempting to streamline the approval process in a piecemeal fashion can potentially get some quick wins, but without a systematic process that is enforced by strong management, things will ultimately fall apart. For example, you may decide to implement a project setup template that requires customers to provide names of official approvers that can also be used to collect feedback for each version. If not properly managed or embedded, then over time, the customer may stop using the template and simply revert back to email.

Few people like change and customers are no exception, especially when it means extra work and having to make commitments. Unless the process is simple and properly managed, customers will drift back to their old ways.


Take time to design a higher-level systematic process for managing the workflow of the customer approval process. This process should include the involvement of third party printers too. The various roles should be clear, as well as the responsibilities that each role entails. A critical aspect of this process should be the creation of new projects and how each project is managed. There should be some flexibility built into the management of each project but within the context of the overall system.

This systematic process should be recorded and the documentation should also include how the process itself will be managed along with any disputes and investigations. Most importantly, staff should be trained on the aspects of the process that relate to them and provisions should be made to train new members of staff. Customers will need to be briefed on the process at the start of each project. Lastly, the management of the overall process should be integrated within the general operations management.

Customers love Approval Pipeline™ because it requires less work than email. Printers love it because it is a ready-made systematic process for managing the customer approval process. They especially like the management dashboard that enables them to see the current approval status of all projects. It is easy to integrate within existing processes and training can completed by simply watching a short video.

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