Since its inception in 1999, Shutterfly has grown into the photography products industry leader, with their cloud service storing around 15 billion photos for customization and inclusion in items such as gifts, books, and cards. However, an aging, disparate workflow engine with scaling issues was making it difficult to onboard new products with the velocity necessary to keep pace with digital trends and customer expectations.

To address these challenges, CapTech brought in a large team of management, user experience, and development consultants to provide a single, consistent system that would enable Shutterfly to streamline and increase production efficiency, reduce training times and lost time dealing with inconsistencies, support ever-evolving product lines, and improve the work experience for both seasonal and full-time employees.

Discovery Deep Dive

As a strategic partner in helping the client through process improvement, we needed to understand the current state, so we focused on technology and design to ensure we had a full picture before creating a modernization plan. Discovery included multiple facility walkthroughs with Shutterfly leadership to view the overall flow and specific functions on the three hundred thousand square foot production floor of the Fort Mill, SC facility.

Usability testing, along with stakeholder and SME interviews, uncovered opportunities for improved efficiency in day-to-day workflow management, optimization of staffing practices, as well as better onboarding for employees. Stakeholders also wanted to move closer to a scaled Agile environment with the future ability to implement across other groups for synchronization of delivery cycles and increased visibility into cross platform dependencies.

Envisioning the New Production Platform

The CapTech team supported the vision of a cloud-based platform with configuration to onboard new products without code changes. This improved the ability to reduce waste and costs by supporting new technology in production.

Efficiency would be supported by a design collaboration with development to create a library of standardized and reusable components and a single source to reference and copy code directly for consistency and speed of delivery.​ This provided the flexibility to add new products to the system in hours rather than months.

From Anticipation to Training

Shutterfly also tasked CapTech’s OCM and CX teams with designing a creative, motivational strategy to announce the new production platform and help train its employees, while generating excitement and anticipation.

The team created a training plan and visual guides accessed through a Sharepoint portal built by CapTech. An internal email series, designed and installed production floor banners and floor decals, and a branded “hype video” generated excitement about the new, unified system.

What Success Looks Like

As we near the end of our engagement, the CapTech team has now delivered a flexible framework configurable for current and future product lines.​ The interface is easy to use with embedded training to facilitate faster ramp up of employees and improve cross-training opportunities.

The unified platform is WCAG/ADA Accessible to the level of conformance needed for employees to work efficiently. Standardized and reusable assets improve design development efficiency via a design system with reusable components and easy to follow design standards.

CapTech was able to not only deliver a cross-product platform, but to coach Shutterfly developers and leaders on a better scaled Agile approach through standard KPIs and increased predictability from Scrum teams. This has led to a longer lasting impact than simply handing off design and development alone. As opposed to the previous platform, which required step-by-step training, the new platform, as characterized by Shutterfly leadership, “is as easy to learn as an online banking app.”

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Nicole Kalencki

Nicole Kalencki

Managing Director

As a proven leader driving complex initiatives from concept through implementation for large scale projects, Nicole brings a savvy business acumen to every engagement, delivering quality products with measurable results.

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Bree Basham

Bree Basham

Managing Director

Bree leads our Customer Experience practice, creating digital strategies and solutions using modern technologies to deliver meaningful and measurable experiences for our customers.

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