University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne introduced UPTO (University Publishing Templates Online) a tool created with CHILI Publisher to enable individual marketing areas to manage and focus the collateral being produced within their areas whilst ensuring effective brand guideline compliance.

When the University of Melbourne first approached Workflowz there were two key challenges to be addressed, the first was brand compliance the second cost containment.


The University has over 8,000 staff and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain consistency in brand representation over such a large complex organisation. With such a prestigious brand it was particularly important to ensure not just consistency, but a high level of sophistication and professionalism in the collateral output for marketing. Most of the users had no previous experience with best practice marketing and have no budget for professional design services, so administrative staff were simply producing a lot of low quality communications on their desktops because there was no other alternative.

CHILI publisher allowed them to maintain quality and consistency in brand representation, while at the same time empowering its users to produce quality work without the need for outsourcing or intervention by central marketing.

The second issue was cost containment. Australian universities rely heavily on the federal government for the majority of their funding and as with all sectors funding is constantly under pressure. Reducing the University’s dependence on external design services was one way we could assist departments to manage their budgets. Professional designers are still used for design and concept development in many areas, but here the hidden costs are often in the many rounds of alterations that projects go through as a result of the many stakeholders that need to be engaged.

Placing the templates online allows the alterations and changes to be managed in house, significantly reducing the cost of production and ensuring projects can be delivered on budget. It also reduces the need to purchase specialist design software and provide training.


Workflowz utilised it’s experience with the education sector and variable data to help the University’s central marketing department introduce a tool to enable individual marketing areas to manage and focus the collateral being produced within their areas whist ensuring effective brand guideline compliance.

“The education sector is a leader in proactive engagement and provides an exciting opportunity for CHILI Publisher to offer clear efficiencies both in time and resources. The size and complex nature of the University provided a perfect setting to utilise the economies of scale that the software enables.”  Alan Dixon, CEO, Workflowz Ltd “The University of Melbourne ran a clear and well managed project supported by an excellent communication and change management process, this has allowed CHILI Publisher to be adopted by users. They have been a pleasure to work with and I am excited to see how they have embraced the technology and where they will take it.”   

The University introduced an alternative system about 4 years ago but this did not provide users with the capacity to review their work and edits in real time. Text was input into a table and users had to exit this and produce a PDF in order to see the results. This was a source of major frustration for users and meant that the uptake was low. In the end the uptake was so low that it was costing central marketing about $240 for every PDF that was produced; this was not sustainable so they decided to look at alternatives. The University was confident CHILI Publisher would address this problem, it was also sophisticated enough to meet all their needs and simple enough so that anyone could use it.

To ensure maximum take up by the end user the University decided on a strategy that would provide them direct access to a stripped down version of the back office, rather than using a portal to select individual templates. This is a particularly important feature for the University as it has a number of brands and sub-brands in its portfolio. Those managing sub-brands needed the capacity to create, manage and share their own documents and folders within their own user environment.

In such a large organisation it is necessary to manage the roll out in stages.  They began with basic presentations to the faculty marketers knowing that these people are likely to be called upon for design assistance and could help us to identify those areas and staff that would benefit the most. Customised training sessions where developed to meet the varying needs of individual departments and areas and this process is still underway.

The University are presently working on the second phase of the roll out which will create a portal where staff across the University can prepare personalised standard stationery items such as business cards and letterhead. This portal will be much more restricted, with the templates being called up through an API and from here they can submit finished art direct to print.

John Bedovian, Publishing Services Production Coordinator, explains the approach behind the roll out “Presentations were made to selected staff and marketing executive across the university and when the system was ready to launch, emails were sent to marketing, communication, events and other staff that had already expressed interest in the system, inviting them to view the introductory video online and apply for access”.


The University saw a number of clear benefits from the introduction of the system:

  • greater ability to effect brand guideline compliance
  • a reduction in the need to engage professional design services for more common publishing requirements
  • a dramatic reduction in the amount of time it takes to prepare artwork items such as flyers, posters and event support collateral such as place cards, name tags, etc.
  • potential savings in software and font licensing across the organisation
  • a reduction in the number of incorrectly branded collateral in the market place.

One of the first clients the University’s central marketing team approached was the Faculty of Arts, which has a large number of centres that heavily engage with both the University community and beyond through a very busy public lecture series.

Each of these lectures is supported with an invitational flyer (which doubles as a poster) and often there would be two to three of these being produced per week. Due to the volume of work coming through (and the highly organised nature of the way the content was prepared) the Publishing Services team had come to a fixed pricing arrangement of $75 per flyer (which was about half of the normal charge).

They set up the Faculty of Arts, Nina Hofmann with access to the system and a customised template to suit their requirements. With minimum of training, Nina was able to absolutely run with the system. She produced over 20 flyers and with the reduced pricing has saved over $1,500 from the Faculty’s budget.

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