Cut the number of project meetings in half, accelerating new product development
Streamline project proofing processes, from ideation and creation to final approval
Automate and integrate new product development tasks across brands and teams
Gain insight into project timelines for advance planning and resource management
Reduced number of required project meetings by up to 50%
Boosted productivity by up to 30% for technical specialists
Made workload reports that took up to 3 hours ready at the click of a button
While Australians embraced a ‘go out at home’ lifestyle during the pandemic, Pinnacle Drinks embraced growth. A key subsidiary and supplier of exclusive wine, beer, and spirit products into the Endeavour Group’s retail network – including BWS, Dan Murphy’s, and The AHL Pub Group— Pinnacle saw unprecedented demand for products during multiple nation-wide lockdowns and restrictions.
Getting products from ideation to the store shelf is a complex process at the best of times, involving thousands of workflows that must take place in a specific order. Pinnacle typically has upwards of 450 new products in development spanning a portfolio of more than 100 wine, beer, and spirit brands. To keep pace with this level of innovation against the backdrop of supply chain issues and a team adjusting to remote work, Pinnacle needed to refresh its approach to project management.
Up until then, a myriad of cross-functional teams relied on spreadsheets and basic forms to plan and assign brand and marketing tasks. Team members working on multiple projects across several categories had to track and manage their tasks manually in different locations – a colossal effort since each project comes with an average of 60 individual tasks over a six-to-eight-month period. This process alone introduced errors and inconsistencies in reporting. As a result, management lacked a single, accurate view of workloads, making it difficult to proactively plan and mobilise resources for the next wave of projects.
“Adobe Workfront takes the guesswork out of project management.”
Head of Commercialisation and Quality, Pinnacle Drinks
“Our teams were operating in firefighting mode all the time, and the onset of the pandemic only increased stress levels,” says Michael Callaway, head of commercialisation and quality for Pinnacle Drinks. “We needed a centralised work management platform to help us connect, collaborate, and manage many workflows from anywhere.”
Getting new products into consumers’ glasses, faster
Long-time Pinnacle partner Work Management Australia recommended Workfront based on their understanding of Pinnacle’s challenges – and more specifically, to help streamline Pinnacle’s new product development workflow.
“The highly skilled team at Work Management Australia was instrumental in setting us up for success,” says Callaway. “They were extremely knowledgeable throughout the implementation, and fully present afterwards to guide us through each workflow, making fixes along the way and instilling confidence in all of us.”
Work Management Australia set up the various workflows in Workfront, including workflows to automate request queues. Previously, requests from the different drink brands would come in via email or other channels. They often contained incorrect information or spelling errors, and importing data was time-consuming.
Based on feedback from various stakeholder groups at Pinnacle – ranging from reviewers and team leaders to product managers and executives – Work Management Australia created a standard set of templates that could be used for new product development across drink categories and brands.
The enhanced processes eliminate duplicative work and give users the autonomy to add or remove activities not relevant to their projects. At the same time, Pinnacle can ensure that critical steps, including those required for legal compliance, are followed. Project teams no longer have to wonder which process to follow—they can simply select a drink category, setting off a workflow.
“Adobe Workfront takes the guesswork out of project management,” he says. “It empowers our team members to manage and prioritise tasks more efficiently. And with better insight into workloads and resources, our leaders can plan more effectively.”
Savoring the simplicity of task management
Pinnacle eased its way into Workfront with a soft launch for its spirits category of brands. With input from teams across all departments, the system went live in October 2020 with more than 100 project structures and associated workflows. Since then, all six of Pinnacle’s brand categories have been added to Workfront, which was customised to provide easy access and visibility into work in progress and selected task reports.
“Workfront makes it simpler to do complex work,” says Paul Hazelhurst, technology delivery office manager (PMO) for Pinnacle Drinks. “We can manage a high volume of projects with more flexibility and transparency across teams and set clearer priorities that improve our product completion rates.”
As a subsidiary of one of Australia’s largest publicly traded entities, having an audit trail is also a benefit for Pinnacle. The company now has a record of every decision it makes as it moves new products through a system of checks and balances. This provides an added level of transparency and accountability to consumers and shareholders alike.
A creative brew that yields valuable results
The adoption of Workfront was particularly impactful for the creative team, which carries one of the heaviest workloads at Pinnacle. The team takes advantage of the Workfront plug-in for Adobe Creative Cloud to stay in the creative flow and upload content to Workfront projects and tasks without leaving their Creative Cloud apps.
Instead of managing and maintaining a constant influx of work in various point solutions, all their tasks map directly into the Workfront project structures. A list of deliverables simply appears on their dashboard, organised by due date, as well as real-time updates on project tasks in progress that the whole team can access. Once a task is completed, it will auto-generate and assign the next task to the next person in the process using out-of-the-box request routing.
In-house designers can now create and circulate new concepts and artwork they create in Creative Cloud – from bottle caps to labels – through automated workflows using the Workfront online proofing capabilities. Stakeholders across the business including legal, quality assurance, and brand, can review and sign off on proofs through a single system, from any device.
By significantly streamlining the review and approval process, Pinnacle team members spend 50% less time in meetings. As a result, they report a 20% increase in personal productivity – and up to 30% for technical specialists. In some cases, they can even take on additional tasks to help finalise other time-sensitive projects.
“Order and innovation are not mutually exclusive. Workfront has shown us that we can have both, effectively growing our business and achieving great results.”
Head of Commercialisation and Quality, Pinnacle Drinks
Cheers to doing the right work, at the right time
Pinnacle leaders also benefit from a single view, gaining insight into work in progress and incoming demand so they can make the best use of resources. In the face of unpredictable supply chains or shifting timelines, Pinnacle has the agility to course correct – or change course altogether.
Detailed, accurate reporting that used to take up to three hours is now available in just two clicks. Pinnacle even has real-time visibility into areas such as inventory management and delivery tracking, so that teams can make room for new deliveries.
“Gone are the days of searching through spreadsheets and systems for information that may or may not be correct,” says Hazelhurst. “With accurate facts and figures at our fingertips, we can make the case for more resources when we need them.”
This level of insight means employees carry more balanced workloads, boosting their overall job satisfaction. And Pinnacle can reach talent regardless of their location – anyone, from anywhere, can simply log in, view their tasks, and get to work.
To date, there are 70 employees using Workfront daily. That number is expected to grow as Pinnacle adds external partners and suppliers, including those overseas, to the system.
“Order and innovation are not mutually exclusive,” says Callaway. “Workfront has shown us that we can have both, effectively growing our business and achieving great results.”