Hospital’s In-House Agency: Three Advanced Automations for Improved Cycle Times and Reduced Complexity Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis


In early 2020, a leading provider of hospital and healthcare services with hundreds of facilities across the U.S., recognized the importance of keeping its high-performing in-house agency focused on the right work.

The arrival of Covid-19 made this objective even more of a priority. With a team of 70+ creative and operations professionals completing thousands of tasks per month, and managing complex approval processes involving key stakeholders, leadership determined it was time to make a change in favor advanced automation.

The healthcare organization tapped Zee Jay Digital, a marketing transformation consultancy, as its partner in undertaking this critical strategic initiative.

The provider of healthcare services had three central requirements to meet a market-driven increase in volumes under the constraint of current talent levels:

intake and approval processes for requests submitted by facility marketers
resource allocation across multiple projects
deliverable reviews to allow for fewer clicks and less manual work

"Configuring a system that delivers immediate results was just one of our objectives,” said the client’s Senior Director of Creative Services. “We were also looking for a flexible efficient solution to position ourselves for long-term success." 


Figure 1: Automated Process Flow


Automation is key for this healthcare organization, which needed its in-house agency to spend less time clicking and more time creating high-quality communications for facility-driven marketing campaigns.

Pairing modern work management solution Workfront with Workfront Fusion, a codeless, integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) offering robust, customizable workflow automation and data mapping capabilities, made it possible for creative ops leaders to address three critical requirements to help meet near- and long-term goals.

Working closely with Zee Jay’s implementation consultants, the healthcare organization’s marketing and marketing ops leaders determined the three requirements to help them meet near- and long-term goals:

REQUIREMENT 1: Streamline Intake and Approval Process
Before adopting Workfront, the in-house agency’s legacy system captured marketing collateral requests with a two-step process that resulted in a less-than-optimal user experience. The intake and approval process required manually routing approval requests to stakeholders using a spreadsheet.

Marketing team leaders recognized the value of automating intake and approval requests, eliminating the need to comply with unique business rules for each facility, and eliminating the need to select from among thousands of potential approval paths.

Using Workfront Fusion and the business logic provided by the client, dynamic creation of an approval workflow for each new request on demand was deployed, providing both the agency team and the facility marketer with full visibility into all approval stages.

Upon approval, the request is now automatically converted into one or more projects, based on the number of needed assets indicated in the request form, and routed to the appropriate project owner.

REQUIREMENT 2: Simplify and Automate Resource Allocation
Prior to this initiative, resourcing lacked consistency across teams, some of which were not using the organization’s legacy system, leaving project managers with an unrealistic view of capacity.

Using Workfront Fusion and working closely with Zee Jay, the client deployed an automated method for assigning resources. The new process considers hours needed from each job role to complete a project by the due date and assigns the next available user in each job role based on priority and business specialty.

For example, each facility served by the in-house agency has a primary copywriter, but if that lead copywriter isn’t available, the backup resource can take on the work. With Workfront Fusion, this decision point is automated, and all the project manager has to do is review and confirm assignments. This frees up the project managers’ time, takes the guesswork out of resourcing, and enhances Workfront’s OOTB resource tools.

REQUIREMENT 3: Automate Deliverable (Proof Workflow) Reviews
Similar to the request approval process, the in-house agency recognized that its creative deliverable reviews were more manually intensive than desired. When the proofing workflow was managed separately from the project schedule, the burden fell on the project manager to keep timing aligned between tools.

Based on the request and project details captured earlier in the process, the healthcare services provider deployed an automated workflow with Workfront Fusion that applied project tasks representing the various review paths to the project schedule, then created a matching automated ProofHQ workflow assigned to the design file.

Uploading a creative asset to a specific folder within the project triggers the workflow and alerts stakeholders to review a proof. In addition, creative and review tasks automatically close upon upload, and reopen based on proof decisions, allowing teams to spend their time on more strategic efforts.

To ensure everyone stays on task, Zee Jay worked with the client organization to add secondary workflow that creates an issue if a deliverable review exceeds three rounds. The issue is assigned to the reviewer and serves as an alert that the project schedule may change as a result of the delay. This new capability keeps everyone in the loop and enables continuous improvement measures to prevent undue reviews.

Figure 2: Workfront Fusion Automation


The Workfront/Workfront Fusion integration, undertaken in partnership with Zee Jay Digital, resulted in the automated selection and deployment of:

  • 40+ project deliverable templates to standardize around common process for clear accountabilities
  • 100+ deliverable proofing workflows to save 1000s of hours annually seeking approval at hundreds of facilities
  • Dynamically generated request approval paths to replace more than 1,000 possible approval paths thereby ensuring the right managers review the right materials to ensure quality
  • 300+ direct and indirect field mappings to transfer data from requests to projects resulting in an extensible system of record with no double entry
  • 15+ automated job role assignments for creative production and approval users removing question of roles and assignments

This initiative is now delivering the benefits needed to help the healthcare organization better meet the challenges of managing marketing in the age of Covid-19:

  • Maximized efficiency and reduced administrative burden to manage approval processes, projects, and resources so each person stays focused on work that offers the greatest impact to their organization.
  • An improved approach to resourcing for better project management.
  • Enhanced data-capture accuracy and timeliness for reporting, offering both agency and facility marketers true real-time visibility into the status and condition of campaigns and projects they are responsible for.

"We appreciate the value brought to the table by Zee Jay on behalf of our marketing operations improvement team, and look forward to continuing to benefit over time."

Helping clients formulate and execute a roadmap for success is just one of the ways Zee Jay Digital adds value to in-house agencies and enterprise marketing organizations. The services provided by Zee Jay are helping this healthcare organization better manage in the new normal, and laying the foundation for the ability to meet the needs of the patients they serve well into the future.

Stay in
the loop

Join our mailing list

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Please see our policy to learn more.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram