How Amazon Delivers Creative Assets Faster Without Increasing Headcount

How Amazon Delivers Creative Assets Faster Without Increasing Headcount

Keeping pace with an increasingly demanding photo shoot schedule was becoming impossible for Jason Henrickson, a creative operations manager at Amazon who had no room to increase headcount beyond his core team of eight. By tapping into Superside, Henrickson was able to regain control over his team's deliverables schedule and refocus on creating the best visual work they can.
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Seattle

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E-commerce

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Full-stack Design

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The Background

When you’ve got an itch to shop, everything on Amazon can look tempting. But there’s a lot more thought put into the photo presentation of those products than many people might think, especially when you’re looking for home and lifestyle goodies. The Amazon Home team is responsible for making everything from furniture to toys to consumer electronics look like they’re a slice of real life. “This is editorial,” says Jason Henrickson, a creative operations manager at Amazon Home. “We shoot in situ. If we're shooting furniture, we build a set, we rent a house, we make it look lived in and feel authentic.”

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The Challenge

Keeping pace with an increasingly demanding photo shoot schedule was becoming impossible for Henrickson, who had no room to increase headcount beyond his core team of eight.

“At Amazon, it's pretty common to have a really big project and not be able to get the heads in fast enough to get the work done,” says Henrickson. “We had an influx of graphic design and production work that was clogging up our backlog and keeping us from doing more photography work.”

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80

Average number of hours per week an Amazon graphic designer was working to keep pace with demand

Henrickson’s art directors were being pulled off of photography projects to tackle production tasks like cropping, resizing and touching up photos, or lending a hand with the creation of banner ads to help promote products. And his solitary graphic designer was putting in 80 hour weeks to keep up with demand.

“It was slowing down our delivery schedule because we didn't have enough art directors to do the photo shoots,” says Henrickson. “We needed a skilled partner to come in and take over a lot of the production and design work, so we could focus on the photoshoots.”

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The Solution

To streamline production and free up his team to focus on art direction, Henrickson turned to Superside for help managing production tasks. Because Henrickson’s team fields requests from across Amazon’s many marketing and creative teams, the images they create often need to be resized or retouched to work on various places across the Amazon platform. The majority of that work, along with some graphic production tasks, like the creation of banner ads, was handled by Superside.

“Once we input our requests through Superside our dedicated project manager runs with it,” says Henrickson. “He reviews the project, comes back with questions and really does his due diligence to get into what we're looking for. Then he gets the work done.”

After the review process is wrapped, final files are delivered and the Amazon teams put them into their system to publish.

“It’s been really smooth sailing,” says Henrickson.

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The Results

After working with Superside over a three-month window, Henrickson and his team have been able to regain control over their deliverables schedule and refocus on creating the best visual work they can for Amazon Home. They’ve also signed on for an enterprise subscription plan and connected other creative leaders at Amazon with Superside. “At minimum, we saved 345 hours of work time,” says Henrickson. “Superside delivered 1,092 assets over 20 projects and that’s helped us speed up significantly.” Meanwhile, Henrickson’s beleaguered graphic designer is now back to a regular workweek while his art directors have been able to focus on clearing their production backlog and accelerating art direction on new projects. “Managing all of that graphic design production was a major problem,” says Henrickson. “It was slowing us down and Superside was the solution that got us moving faster without adding headcount. I’m really looking forward to growing my team’s graphic output with Superside’s continued support.”

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345

Hours saved in three months

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40

Average number of hours per week an Amazon graphic designer worked post-Superside

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1,092

Assets delivered in three months

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