How could a service actually deliver high-quality, highly-customized podcast episodes, with personalized client engagements—and still scale it to producing 20 or more episodes per week?
You’d need highly effective workflows and plenty of repeatable processes, with clear visibility at all times.
That’s exactly what Harry Morton and his team at Lower Street have done. They’re a full-service podcast production agency based in the United Kingdom. Taking a narrative-led approach, Lower Street focuses on producing NPR-style podcast episodes for their clients—which range from startups to enterprise-style businesses.
In the following study, we’ll take a look at how Lower Street’s founder Harry Morton has adopted ProcessKit into his business to streamline production cycles, save time, and prepare for new growth.
“ProcessKit gives me the ability to know that things are taken care of. I can look away and they won’t break down,” says Morton.
To manage Lower Street’s day-to-day flow of communicating with clients and producing and editing new episodes, Morton needed a tool that would help him organize multiple moving parts, such as podcast episodes in various stages of production for different clients.
A secondary, but no less pressing, challenge was to expedite and streamline the complex process of client onboarding. Ultimately, cleaner, faster launches are more likely to lead to profitable retainment packages, as well as a higher degree of customer success and satisfaction.
But Morton was having trouble finding a tool that would systemize this process while still allowing for the personalized engagement required in onboarding.
So, he tried Trello – a standard project management tool that stores and organizes information about various projects.
Trello worked to some degree for Lower Street, helping them to share “To Do” items and project cards for various clients. But it required too much manual labor to really be effective.
Balls got dropped – and time was wasted.
“You’ve got to go in and manually input dates, and double-check to make sure work is getting done,” says Morton. “What’s the implication of that? Lots of time spent, and balls dropped. And when balls are dropped, you don’t really have the insight to figure out why.”
Another serious problem with Trello was that it didn’t provide a predictable system for helping Lower Street’s team to effectively meet deadlines.
“In my business, we live and die by deadlines. And Trello has too many gaps in it to help us stick to deadlines well,” says Morton. “When clients are paying us to roll out a podcast episode at 8 AM on Tuesday, for example, we need to deliver on that, with no exceptions.”
Ultimately, Morton found that Trello required too much micromanagement to achieve true success – which for him, meant a system that would operate self-autonomously while streamlining processes and ensuring efficiency.
“I didn’t feel comfortable leaving Trello on its own,” says Morton. “To make sure it worked, I had to continue to check in with the team regularly.”
The ideal system? A tool that, in theory, could be left alone for an entire week and still provide security and predictability.
When Morton first took a look at ProcessKit, what struck him most was the fact that it appeared to be the “opposite” of Trello.
In other words, it splits out each task as its own track—leaving little room for error, and enough room for customization.
“ProcessKit is super granular. If we need to, we can ad hoc tasks into the process for specific projects,” explains Morton.
That being said, ProcessKit still very much works on its own, eliminating the need for micromanagement and manual input in most cases.
“ProcessKit gives me the ability to know that things are taken care of. I can kind of look away and they won’t break down,” says Morton.
In other words, ProcessKit does what Morton calls the “heavy lifting” for production processes by automating repeatable tasks – including adjusting dates dynamically and assigning tasks to the correct person.
On a daily basis, ProcessKit gives Morton a quick, helpful bird’s eye view of where various projects stand.
“I can look at my kanban view in ProcessKit, and see how many episodes are being produced currently, which ones need feedback from the client, which ones have been sent to the client for sign-off, and which ones are going out the door,” explains Morton.
But most of the time, Morton doesn’t even find it necessary to look at ProcessKit. With the assurance and security of knowing that everything is running smoothly, he simply checks in with his content manager.
“More and more, I’m finding I’m looking at ProcessKit much less and just having conversations with my content manager, because I know that he’s on top of it.”
The bottom line? ProcessKit provides the capabilities and functionality that Morton needed to offload his attention from managing the mundane details – and onto more important things.
By using ProcessKit, Lower Street founder Harry Morton has met his original goal: Creating a system that brings order and predictability to his highly customized, client-facing service.
But ProcessKit’s abilities to automate repeatable processes and streamline workflows have delivered a range of additional benefits to Lower Street—including saving time, reducing mistakes, and preparing the business for new growth.
Saving time on management & speeding up production.
Since Morton no longer has to manage minutiae on day-to-day workflows, he’s freed up plenty of time to focus on other, more valuable projects—like improving his business or taking on new clients.
A second time-oriented benefit of ProcessKit has been the ability to speed up the production cycle.
“With ProcessKit, everyone knows exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it,” explains Morton. “That means we can spin up a new episode within a matter of minutes.”
Mitigating mistakes & freeing up energy for more creative, productive work.
ProcessKit has removed much of the “overload” and burden of worrying about managing details and deadlines associated with podcast episodes.
“Personally, I’ve gained a new peace of mind,” says Morton. “I can go to bed at night and not be stressed about what’s happening tomorrow.”
According to Morton, removing this burden has not only reduced stress and mitigated errors; it’s freed up Lower Street’s team to focus on more creative, productive work.
“With ProcessKit, we’ve removed the burden of team members having to remember small details or confusing workflows, when really they should be spending that energy on creativity and doing really great work,” says Morton.
Providing insight on a granular level.
One “surprise” benefit of ProcessKit has been new insight gained from their granular-level management and organization.
“ProcessKit has made us think pretty carefully about the way that we’re doing things in the business,” says Morton. “It’s been a healthy way for us to rethink things, especially on the granular level.”
Creating room for new clients & new growth.
Finally, ProcessKit has helped Lower Street create a business that’s slated for new growth.
Benefiting from a new level of predictability and reliability in day-to-day workflows and processes, Morton feels ready to take on new clients with confidence.
“Before using ProcessKit, we could probably get 10 more clients and we might manage, but we also might screw something up,” says Morton. “Whereas now I would feel confident taking on 10 more clients. We’d probably have to hire new team members, but we could handle it!”
Create Order & Predictability (& Profits)
If you’re interested in seeing how ProcessKit might create order, reliability, and predictability in your business—creating room for growth—you can learn more about our free 14-day trial here.