How to use video to do things better!

Video as a medium which has become increasingly popular in retail, especially in ecommerce; retailers reaching out to their customers trying to entertain, inform and increasing engagement.

YouTube is a huge social platform, crammed with dancing bears and epic fails entertaining the globe in its lunchtime, and video is voyeurism in its purist form. But by taking that same principle in watching someone else, why not use video to watch yourself?

To improving the way we do things, “to measure is to know” and video is a priceless tool in improving any manual tasks/process by highlighting inefficiencies in recorded motion, and thanks to social channels like YouTube it’s something we are all adequately equipped to notice.

As an example of how this can work, we recently audited a retailer’s in-house “end to end” process of photography and video production, and part of which was management of product samples into their production facility. Whilst it’s the less sexy end of the creative process, it’s the most pivotal part of the process establishing any smooth running of content production downstream.

Whilst videoing the sample management team carrying out their respective roles. It quickly became clear that there were a number opportunities to make recommendations in the process and eliminate waste. All our initial thoughts, were reinforced by the usual rolling of eyes and the “yeah I know its crazy isn’t it?” and “we’ve been told to do it this way” comments from the sample management team.

Audit summary:
Product range data not stored in sample management software.
Manually searching for product identifiers, if suppliers hadn’t labelled products using SKU’s.
Worker walked over 50 meters to collect printed barcode labels from printer.
Double handling of products to apply barcode labelling.
Insufficient labelling process from the suppliers to inform goods ln of new sample arriving.
Goods In located over a hundred meters from sample management office resulting in poor up to date communication.

When the audit and evidence gathering was completed, we presented the footage to the leadership team. It was met with the inevitable giggles of seeing “Dave” on the big screen. But soon met with silence, and head I hands as it soon dawned on them there was significant waste of manpower in this relatively small part of the process.

Recommendations were made and implemented, and by returning to the original footage was vital we had this insight to compare tangible key result indicators.

Shooting Dave in “goods in”, saved our client just under £9,500 per annum, per operator.
This saving wasn’t just financial saving with full time salaries. But with further saving with freelance back filling roles and equally important it freed up the teams time to work on other areas of the sample department.

However I’m not convinced sample management videos of “Dave”, will be as popular as dancing bears on YouTube.

Areas to focus on:
Layout of working environment
Manual activity
Distance travelled during task
Duplication of tasks
Recording of time to carry out separate tasks
Ambient noise and lighting
Traffic through work space

We’ve worked with many of the UK’s leading retailers, brands, manufactures and creative agencies; and we’d love to help you too. Simply drop us a line at or tweet us on @Vedo_Tim and we’ll be in touch.

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