301.280.0313|info@cellaconsulting.com |

The Impact of Process Improvement

Life is a process, and just like life, our work too is a series of continuous, repeatable and sensible actions. By practicing and improving upon our processes in our daily work, we can become more successful. Over the past few years, as we have progressed and grown to a healthy team of over 150, we have learned that we must continually evolve our processes. With multiple specialized teams comprising our in-house department, working collaboratively has sometimes been quite challenging.

For many years, we never focused on operations. As a creative team, we thought that making things look pretty was good enough, but this in fact wasn’t the case. We needed to take a hard look at our systems and processes. After assessing the variety of projects we tackled every day, we realized that one defined process does not suit all. We engaged with Cella’s team of in-house agency consulting experts to kick start and solidify our momentum for change. With their help, our one original process became the foundation of many.

We customized our processes according to categories, creative needs, deliverables, timelines, etc. We also assessed the availability of our resources, the needs of our clients, the capability of our people—especially our leadership, and the vision of our company to come up with a few different, fluid processes. By improving our processes not only did our team’s morale increase, but we now produce more beautiful and higher quality end products.
Where did we see the biggest impact?

1. EFFICIENCY – We are no longer wasting time with redundancy. With new technological advancements and ever-changing trends and needs, we need not be stuck in the 1980s.

2. ACCOUNTABILITY – We are now more aware of expectations on every level. This limits frustrations and surprises on all sides and helps us know the quantity and capability of staff required to get the job done.

3. MORALE – We now take the time to stop and listen to what’s circulating on the floor. By listening, working towards efficiency and holding everyone accountable, we are challenging people, and they are rising to the challenge.

4. BETTER RESULTS – We are a creative department, which means beautiful visuals are our bread and butter. A good team with a good process in place works better together and creates a higher quality product.

5. BETTER CLIENT RELATIONS – We eliminated redundancies and improved communication, which led to faster turnaround times. Making our designers happier has also led to better quality products for our clients.

Process improvement does need to have limits. We cannot make hasty changes whenever something goes wrong. Instead, we must assess and patiently work out the kinks. Listen to your team; they are the cogs in the machine and live in the process every day. Process can become a double-edged sword, and we should be careful not to become its slave. Especially in the creative world, processes should be workable and continuously reevaluated, not rigidly adhered to.

Overall, the greatest impact I have seen is that we have grown tremendously as a department. We are in a much better place today than we have been in years, and our leadership team has gained a better perspective on how we can continue to grow.

Process improvement wasn’t an overnight fix. It has been a wonderful challenge for us, and we are so much stronger working as a whole rather than working individually. We continue to build trust and camaraderie each day.


Chee Wei Potter

Chee Wei is the executive director of the art/creative department for Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts retail chain. Her team consists of over 150 talented graphic designers, crafters, photographers, writers and various management and support staff. With over 20 years of experience with Hobby Lobby, Chee Wei mentors and develops the team throughout the process of cultivating an extensive catalog of exclusive designs for Hobby Lobby products, packaging and branding. She also leads strategic design teams concepting and producing customer inspiration across project sheets, video tutorials and inspirational photos for the web.