How Red Antler centralized all their company spend
Red Antler is the leading brand company for startups and new ventures, often building brands that transform categories and adds value to people's lives. Their Creative Production team, led by Christina Cooksey, uses Ramp cards to accelerate the production of multiple video and photoshoots every month.
Every dollar spent on set needs to be tracked and accounted for, so it can be billed back to the client or deducted from their budget. But with a small, busy team spread across multiple projects with incredibly tight timelines, the added work of tracking, reporting, and submitting expenses drains focus away from the work to be done.
Because we have a small team, having producers spend laborious time and energy on expenses is an awful way to slow down productivity.
"My team specifically develops and produces the content — be it photography, video, advertising, experiences — for the brands Red Antler works with," said Christina Cooksey, head of Creative Production.
Working with a wide range of budgets, her team’s three producers do all the purchasing related to production costs, from renting video gear and on-set equipment to travel and craft services. These purchases can happen at any moment within a project’s lifecycle.
Outdated expense management cost the team valuable time.
For producers who are multitasking, expense management can feel like another job altogether.
Before Ramp, the entire team had to track expenses manually. They spent hours reconciling spreadsheets every month, verifying hundreds of transactions line by line against a hard-to-read card statement, often weeks after a shoot was finished.
"Given our volume of purchases, expense management was an incredibly cumbersome process," Cooksey said. "Because client work and timelines dominate, expenses were often put off."
The source of Red Antler’s frustration was an outdated, yet industry-standard corporate card culture. Across industries, companies and their teams have had to distort their workflows to accommodate the limitations of their financial stack. In the worst cases, this can lead to unauthorized expenses flying under the radar, or honest employees losing hundreds of dollars because of a lost receipt or forgotten charge.
Red Antler needed a way for producers to spend on production essentials, while allowing their finance team to see, manage, and reconcile that spending. They found what they were looking for — more control and visibility — in Ramp.
Decentralized spending and centralized control.
Migrating expenses to Ramp was a quick, hassle-free experience for Red Antler employees at every level. Thanks to the platform’s intuitive interface and the personal attention of a dedicated account manager, onboarding was a breeze.
With Ramp, the people who are expected to be spending have access to their own corporate card that I can control in real time.
From day one, Red Antler was able to give producers the power to request the right card limits to cover their daily expenses and get the job done.
Reviewing and approving those requests now takes no time at all. The Ramp dashboard puts real-time visibility, context, and clarity in the palm of Cooksey’s hand. She can see all of her team’s spend across categories, departments, and people. Simply put, expense management is no longer an end-of-the-month nightmare.
"Expenses are completed the day of purchase, often within minutes. All we have to do is text the receipt and a message with charge details," Cooksey said. "It’s easy, so we never wait, but if for any reason there is a delay, we get helpful reminder notifications from Ramp."
With Ramp handling everything, down to reminding users to take a second to text a photo of a receipt, Cooksey and her team have eliminated an outdated process and reclaimed hours they once spent tracking and submitting expenses for reimbursement.
"No more stacks of receipts sitting on my desk staring me in the face or finance charges ticking up personal cards," Cooksey said.
It is a point of stress and a mental burden lifted off.
With Ramp on their side, the Red Antler Creative Production team is free to focus on doing what they love — facilitating great storytelling and delivering on their mission to create the world’s most iconic brands.