Section 01 | Standardization

The primary benefits from standardizing infrastructure and using standards-based products are reduced costs and increased agility, flexibility, and interoperability. Industry standards-based solutions promote common architectures for business applications, making it easier to integrate new applications and functionality into core business processes. This interoperability promotes application agility, allowing for rapid response to changing business conditions, particularly in the development of custom applications supporting a company’s business processes.

Product or buying standards can dramatically reduce IT costs based on several factors. A more consistent, less complex environment reduces support costs and downtime. Support staff spends less time diagnosing the nature of a user’s problem or the specific products involved and more time on problem resolution.

In this section, GlobalVision describes best practices regarding general standardization.


 

1.1 Standardize on the operating system and its version

RISK
Adverse effects on artwork, color, and/ or copy.

ISSUES

  • Inconsistent quality between suppliers.
  • Application software may behave differently.
  • Inability to open files or install software.
  • Higher IT costs.
  • File corruption/compatibility issues.

EXAMPLE
1.1-standardization
SOLUTION
Do:
Standardize on the same version of an operating system throughout the company.
Standardize on the same version of an operating system with all suppliers.
Coordinate your schedule when updating operating systems.

Don’t:
Maintain different operating systems throughout one company.
Maintain different versions of an operating system.
TIPS
Create an Asset Inventory Form; See Appendix 04.


 

1.2 Create a regular upgrade schedule for all software

RISK

  • Files may not open properly.
  • Unexpected content and layout changes.

ISSUE
Without a regular upgrade schedule, various departments may have different
versions of the same software. This can cause problems when trying to open a file
and cause unexpected content/ layout changes. Managing multiple versions of
software increases support and maintenance costs.

EXAMPLE
1.2-standardization
SOLUTION
Do:
PCreate an asset inventory.
Maintain an upgrade schedule.
Upgrade all departments at the same time.
Identify integration issues.
Renew support and services contracts.
Keep your technology up to date.

Don’t:
Upgrade different departments at different times.
Allow individual users to upgrade.
Support multiple versions of application software.
TIPS
Create an Asset Inventory Form; See Appendix 04.


 

1.3 Standardize on office software

RISKS

  • Files may not open properly.
  • Inability to open a file.
  • Layout changes.

ISSUE
Different departments may have different versions of the same software program.
Earlier versions may not be compatible with newer versions of the same software.
EXAMPLE
1.3-standardization
SOLUTION
Do:
Standardize on one version of office software throughout the organization.
Buy solutions that fit within the existing IT infrastructure.
Acquire programs that can enhance the value of existing infrastructure.

Don’t:
Have different versions of office software.
Allow individual users to download their own software.
Support multiple versions of application software.
TIPS
Create an Asset Inventory Form; See Appendix 04.


 

1.4 Standardize on design software

RISKS
Files may not open properly, resulting in unexpected color, font, and kerning issues.
ISSUE
Different design applications are not always compatible with each other. Designs
created in one program (i.e. QuarkXPress by Quark) may look completely different
in another (i.e. Adobe InDesign and InCopy). Colors, tables, and character
spacing may not appear the same. In addition, converting files from one design
program to another can corrupt files.

EXAMPLE
1.4-standardization
SOLUTION
Do:
Standardize on one version of a design application.
Certify conversion tools.
Check file integrity.

Don’t:
Have different versions of a design application.
Allow individual users to download their own software.
TIPS
Certify conversion tools and compare artwork files using GlobalVision tools.


 

1.5 Centralize communication within the marketing department

RISKS
Poor communication or lack of communication can create operational
inefficiencies in a marketing department.
ISSUE

  • Costly mistakes.
  • Decreased innovation and creativity.
  • Redundancy regarding work completed.

EXAMPLE
1.5-standardization
SOLUTION
Do:
Use collaborative tools.
Include local and global project team members when communicating
project updates and changes.
Hold an annual company meeting to communicate company-wide updates.
Update marketing tools and inform the whole company.
Collaborate between team members and departments.

Don’t:
Exclude team members from meetings regarding a project they are involved in.
Use inconsistent tools, resources, and processes relative to other departments.
Work in isolation from other team members and departments.

TIPS
The following tools can be used to improve communications in companies:

  • Microsoft Project.
  • Google Docs.
  • Intranet.
  • SharePoint CRM systems (i.e. Salesforce).
  • Branding guidelines.

 


Download the full pdf version

11 sections, covering everything you’ll need for a bulletproof file creation process.