HubSpotHow TIME works smarter, not harder

Time | Airtable
  • 1923


  • New York City


  • 5,000+

    Company size

A team of 15 producers, editors, and shooters are responsible for creating all of TIME’s video assets—from one-minute news clips to feature-length documentaries.

Maximizing efficiency

Jonathan Woods, an Executive Producer at TIME, is at the frontlines of the company’s video operations, spanning breaking news, culture, politics, sports, entertainment, and beyond. Planning and executing their content calendar means more than sourcing and assigning creative ideas: it also means budgeting, invoicing, handling production logistics, inventory tracking, managing freelancers, and organizing film festival an d award submissions–resulting in complex production systems. Much of Woods’ time is spent increasing transparency and efficiency between his teams.

Erica Solano works closely with Woods. Her purview as production coordinator involves overseeing budgeting, tracking invoices, and ensuring timely payments to vendors–whether they’re DPs, transcription services, or hair and makeup artists.

“There was a lot of data entry. Because I'm the collection coordinator for TIME, Money, Fortune, and Coinage, I'd have to type in information here and go to another spreadsheet and type in the same information there—it was a time suck,” Solano said. The invoice submission-to-payment cycle could take up to three months. All the while, vendors wouldn’t know the status of their invoice or when they would receive a payment. With a high volume of invoices from freelancers and vendors at various stages of the cycle, Solano needed a tool that could not only track every step, but also trigger alerts, elucidate how they were pacing against budgets, and offer transparency to stakeholders (such as Woods).

It’s actually strengthening our coverage.

Jonathan Woods

Executive Producer

Workflow highlights

  • With rich field types and email integration, each freelancer gets an automatic email blast when the status of their invoice changes. These emails include payment dates and copies of the invoices, reducing the volume of questions in Solano’s inbox.
  • Instead of having to manually update the budget and send reports around, information is automatically synced through linked records. Now, Woods can check a view at any time to see how projects are pacing on budget.
  • Airtable’s flexible framework allowed the team to gain a bird’s-eye view of the invoicing process and adopt views that analyzed the budget through various dimensions: the project, vendor, or timeframe.
  • In using Airtable for editorial planning, teams at TIME are also discovering the overlap in their respective work, leading to more interdepartmental collaboration. The video team is, after all, just one of many editorial engines—they now have greater insight into the stories being covered across the company.

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