Doré Designs, an esteemed ballroom fashion company, has been operating out of Cape Coral, Florida since the late 1970s. They have established themselves as an industry leader in the United States, specializing in custom-made gowns that are meticulously tailored to suit the individual measurements of each dancer. Their impeccable designs are not only worn by their clients across the globe but can also be found on the dance reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance.
Although Doré Designs is based out of Cape Coral, Florida, their sales representatives are scattered across various states, making collecting paperwork rather challenging. This meant that office personnel had to assemble a binder of all the necessary documents for each sales representative prior to an event and send it to them via FedEx. As the sales representatives traveled to ballroom showcases, they would have to carry their binders of paperwork with them to each location and then send the sales paperwork back to their office via FedEx. This process not only introduced multiple opportunities for documents to be damaged, forgotten, or lost, but it also resulted in an inefficient communication channel between the office and sales representatives in the field.
Lisa Dunn, Office Manager for Doré Designs emphasized the problems they faced in the office with their old paper-based method, “It would take a couple of days to actually get [to the office] after the paperwork was shipped.” Following weeks of events, sales representatives would accumulate a considerable amount of paperwork, leading to processing delays and significant administrative burdens. After recognizing there was a clear paperwork issue, Doré Designs selected GoFormz to jumpstart their digital transformation journey.
When Doré Designs shifted to digital data collection, it was during the peak of COVID-19. “We were trying to not close, so we never stopped during COVID-19, and there were some times when we were almost busier,” explained Dunn. “We also started doing measurements online during that time, so between that and GoFormz, we were able to go touchless at a point in time when people were trying to avoid even sharing a piece of paper.”
While making these changes to their pre-existing processes, clients noticed an impressive change to the Doré Designs operations. “Our customers were impressed by [GoFormz] because it looks very sleek and cool when our sales rep pulls out a tablet and does everything right then and there,” noted Dunn. “It definitely looks a lot more polished and modern to our customers. They’re buying a very specific high-end product, so they want that experience from start to finish.”
Meanwhile, the Doré Designs team had no problem adjusting to their newly digitized forms. “One wonderful thing about GoFormz is that our alteration sheet looks like it did before. So our seamstresses found it pretty seamless. It looks familiar even though it's done in such a different way,” explained Dunn. GoFormz is the only digital form solution provider that allows businesses to use their existing paper forms by uploading a JPG or PDF version into the platform and turning it into an exact, digital version. This functionality has proven to streamline user adoption and optimize existing processes with minimal change.
There are now various digital forms used within the Doré Designs operations, but the most noteworthy aspect of their new and improved process is the precision with which they handle incoming data and how efficiently it reaches their office personnel. “The forms are a lot easier for me to read now that everything is typed nicely instead of messy handwriting. Especially when they make a sale, it’s a very exciting time,” explained Dunn. “They are usually in a loud ballroom so we would get things hastily written down.”
One of Dore’s most commonly used forms is their alteration form, which details modifications needed for a particular dress. “I'm the one who receives all the digital files and then I do everything I need to do to make sure it gets matched up correctly with the dress so [the seamstress] can work on it,” explained Dunn. Effective communication is a crucial aspect of their business as their sales representatives and seamstresses do not directly coordinate with one another. Digital forms have greatly improved this aspect of their operations.
Through automated form transferring, sales representatives are able to instantly share completed forms with one another, further streamlining communication, collaboration, and everyday processes. “Sometimes there will be more than one sales rep at an event, so they will designate one of them to be in charge and everyone will do their paperwork on their own but at the end, they’ll all send it to that one person,” explained Dunn. “So there’s not a stack of paperwork that’s literally just being passed around with coffee stains on it. They’re able to just click a couple of buttons and put someone in charge of everything.” Leveraging this workflow, Dunn can log in to the GoFormz application each morning, download, and print each of the forms sent to her to prepare the necessary paperwork for the seamstresses to begin working on the appropriate dresses.
The many advantages of digitizing their existing paper forms were evident from the very start, beginning with the implementation of their new and improved process. “If I know a busy week is coming, I’m able to get a jumpstart by pulling paperwork as it happens. So even right now I have a stack of paperwork on my desk where the dresses have not even come back to the shop yet to be worked on, but I already have the paperwork lined up and waiting for them,” explained Dunn. Prior to GoFormz, they had to wait weeks at a time for paperwork to arrive, resulting in various delays in dress production and countless administrative burdens. “We’re talking an entire week difference! So it saves me a lot of headaches and I’m able to feel a lot more efficient and efficiency is everything.”
In addition, digitizing their documentation collection has also allowed their teams to work in remote locations, especially during unprecedented times. “We had a hurricane hit back in September and it was actually a direct hit on our county where our shop is located,” explained Dunn. “We had damage and had to relocate and there wasn’t really anywhere to relocate to.”
Already leveraging digital forms, Dore’s operations didn't need to slow down. “Our staff was split across 3-5 locations and we were working out of people’s garages. Since we had GoFormz we were still able to access the incoming work especially since the other half of our business never stopped. The dresses were still going from event to event,” explained Dunn. Despite being unable to operate in their usual office space, the presence of a digital tool allowed them to continue operating without any hindrance to their revenue stream and the production of high-quality products.