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Since media company SANDOW started using Submittable in 2014, they’ve discovered a growing list of new and creative uses for their submission software.
Founded in 2003, SANDOW media company manages a diverse number of publications, brands, tools, and services, ranging from design and luxury magazines to a material sampling platform and an experimental beauty sampling program. After SANDOW adopted Submittable in 2014 to collect photos for one of its magazines, the team discovered with each passing year that its new submission management system could be utilized in a huge number of ways—and that its reporting features could help them boost all of their brands.
One of SANDOW’s magazines, New Beauty, often required before and after photos from cosmetic surgeons. But their process was slow extremely slow and involved sensitive medical information.
"We were going through a really antiquated process of requesting PDFs through email that would then be printed out, handwritten, and faxed back," says Keith Clements, Director of Creative Operations. "So, we were looking for a much more efficient, effective way to not only make the experience better for our clients, but also to create some efficiencies internally."
"It's confidential information. So, Submittable gives us confidence and our physicians confidence that their data is gathered into one secure location. We have the ability to gate who gets in and out of the tool and set permissions."
At first, we were literally just scratching the surface of Submittable’s use cases. We were sitting with our blinders on, and then we realized how tremendously helpful it could be.
Director of Creative Operations at SANDOW
When they realized how much Submittable helped one of their processes, SANDOW began using it in more ways, first at New Beauty, and then across many of their other brands, including Luxe Interiors + Design, Galerie Magazine, Material Bank, and the Luxe Red Awards.
"Once we found that partnership to be working, and got the software up and running, we recognized some additional benefits it could have in the editorial process," says Keith. "At first, we were literally just scratching the surface of Submittable’s use cases. We were sitting with our blinders on, and then we realized how tremendously helpful it could be."
Soon, Keith was training teams across SANDOW’s brands to use Submittable in different ways. Magazines used it to review editorial submissions and conduct polls, while online tools like Material Bank used it to organize and display material samples.
"The ways we use Submittable start from the very basic, simple acquisition of information, like questionnaires and polls, to requests for editorial content, all the way up to full-blown awards and competitions," Keith says.
SANDOW has found that Submittable doesn’t just make processes faster and more organized—it also easily collects data that can help their teams strategize and grow. With Labels and Reporting features, Keith and others can visually categorize, filter, and analyze large amounts of information easily.
"Submittable gives us the ability to be nimble and flexible, so we can approach things differently with each passing year based upon what we’ve learned," Keith says. "For the Luxe Red Awards, we can see spikes of submissions, and where they dropped. We can also see visually which categories did better than others, even which regions and areas did better. This lets us pivot and change and strategize next year’s approach."
While they strategized similarly before Submittable, it now takes considerably less time and effort.
"In the past this was all done manually, but now we alleviate a lot of the time that we spent making Excel tables in Google Sheet documents to get to exactly what we get in minutes with Dashboard Reports."
While the platform’s features help SANDOW organize, execute, and strategize, according to Keith, services that come with the software are one of the most important aspects of their relationship with Submittable.
"One of the biggest value adds for me is the experience that I get from the people at Submittable," he says. "Yes, we take a lot of advantage of the tool itself, but every single time I, or anyone else, has had questions, we always get a quick, logical solution to our problem."
"Submittable 100% percent saves us time," he continues. "Dollar for dollar, its value is not comparable to any other experience. I’m excited about how we are going to utilize it next."
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