Transparency. Today’s consumers want it in product sourcing. They want to know where their food came from. To the point that they’re willing to pay more to know the provenance of the products they buy. By communicating transparency with consumers, retailers win.

Transparency has become a buzzword, but it can be more than that. Extending it beyond sourcing and into other processes allows teams to work as teams, regardless of where the team members live. Getting to that point is a process, and it starts with communication.

You would think in a time when we feel naked without our cell phones, and Wi-Fi is available with our lattes, that communication wouldn’t be an issue. And yet, it’s all too easy for projects to come to a screeching halt when an approver is out sick and nobody knows where the project stands. Or stops simply because you have vendors working in an opposite time zone from your creative team.

“When it comes to communication, it’s really about having one source of truth,” said Maria Dubuc, Managing Director of Marketing by Design. “Retailers need a tool that allows for everyone to see everything: data intake, status updates, timelines, artwork approvals, everything.”

Retailers tend to have complicated processes. Having someone come in from the outside with a different perspective can help simplify processes. With open communication and one source of truth, it changes the game. “People can be all over the world and everyone has access to what they need,” said Dubuc. “In the case of our clients, everyone agrees that all communication will run through the tool created by Workflow by Design. It allows people to collaborate across different time zones so people can work on projects around the clock. Everyone knows what’s going on because it’s all right there, openly communicated to everyone on the team.”

Setting up a clean, concise process that works using a centralized project management tool and creating an environment for partners to easily give and receive information, retailers are able to manage their projects, allowing their partners to focus on their specific tasks with little chasing, greatly reducing project management time. The transparency created through open communication holds people accountable, including vendors and suppliers. But more than that, it builds global teams, creating a world where time zones no longer matter, and your projects are always open for business.