Get to Know: Santosh Mane, Team Leader, Ad Services for Newspapers
Santosh Mane just celebrated his second anniversary at Affinity Express, and those two years have been anything but uneventful. He joined as a designer in Pune in June 2008, and was promoted to team leader in June 2009. He is one of the two team leaders for a 39-member team that works on ad production for a top ten U.S. daily newspaper.
This team works on approximately 800 ads per week, and Santosh supervises ad production, ensures quality, and coaches and guides his team towards continuous improvement.
He starts his day by looking at the job orders that have come in. These are categorized based on creativity and complexity, and handed out to team members based on their experience and skills.
Santosh’s team follows a rigorous process to ensure quality. For each order, instructions are documented as numbered checklists that the team can easily revisit as tasks are completed. Once ads are assigned, each designer consults the creative mentor team and builds the ad based on the instructions provided. Once the ad is created, it goes through one round of proofing (or two for certain kinds of ads, such as those that contain legal language). Then the team leader reviews the ad one last time before it is returned to the client.
Errors are rare, but if they occur, they get fed into the feedback loop and incorporated into initiatives for improvement. Each person on the team gets detailed input on his or her performance and the quality of work, and Santosh considers it an important part of his job to provide employees with the training and coaching they need to improve further.
Affinity Express uses AdWatch software to manage ad production. Client sales representatives upload inputs and instructions into the system, and the client contact directs them to the Affinity Express Pune or Manila teams as appropriate. The process workflow is managed through AdWatch, and clients download completed ads directly from the system. This makes the entire process much more efficient, and ensures easy sharing, transfer, and storage of information.