How Custom Box Agency scaled their design approval process to 50+ designs a week

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About Custom Box Agency

Custom Box Agency is a US-based experience design agency that help clients bring customer experience to the next level through custom boxes.



Explore Filestage for design


  • Scaling the design approval process
  • Centralizing design files, versions, and approval decisions
  • Transparent approval process

Favorite features

  • Dashboard overview for smooth client feedback management
  • Approval requests to improve client accountability
  • Compare versions to verify feedback has been met
Explore Filestage for design

In today’s digital landscape, not many companies focus their entire business on providing beautifully designed physical physical resources to complement the virtual experience. And while many moved towards creating solely digital learning and experiences, others are finding creative ways to extend their customer lifetime value by offering real-life experiences. 

One great example are Customer and Employee Experience boxes and packaging offered by Custom Box Agency. Custom Box Agency is a customer experience design company that focuses on showing their clients how to take customer experience to the next level by blending the digital and physical worlds together with custom boxes.

And like most other companies specialized in design, Custom Box Agency, prioritizes transparent and clear review processes to speed up the box production and avoid additional printing costs.

To get a closer look at how this growing customer experience design agency managed to scale their packaging design process with Filestage we talked to the company’s CEO, Mark Stern. 

Stern gave us all the details about the challenges the company used to face and how they tackled them. Plus how is their team preparing to move away from “word-of-mouth” business model to a scalable packaging design agency with the capacity to attract a global audience. 

Design heavy business calls for a specialized approval tool

As a company that specializes in creating customized boxes with unique pieces inside it, each of their projects consists of dozens of design assets. And everyone taking part in the projects used to get lost in long communication chains. 

Stern says, “Each of our projects consists of 30 to 50 design assets. You can only imagine how it is to send this many design pieces over email or Slack.”

“Communication tools like Gmail or Slack are just not built for more complex approval processes. Communication threads soon got messy, the chain of messages got broken with separate messages, and we knew we had to find a better solution to scale our design and production process.” 

Confusing communication used to overwhelm the clients

On top of losing valuable time trying to decipher what piece got approved and what still needs to be reviewed, the team at Custom Box Agency soon realized that their clients were getting overwhelmed with the process. 

“If you look at the process from client perspective it’s easy to conclude that they will be overwhelmed if they need to manually keep checking what they already approved and what to still look into, without a good overview of all assets,” says Stern. 

“We soon realized that we had to minimize client work in the approval process and create a workflow that will allow us to handle multiple clients at once.”

Centralized review and approval software as the optimal solution

After looking into several software options available in the market, Stern says they were blown away by Filestage’s intuitive interface and user-friendly features. This helped the team to reduce stress and focus on what’s most important – delivering design assets and getting clear feedback from clients. 

Mark Stern
Filestage was such a game changer to us. It became our centralized platform for clients to go in and review and approve everything we upload. The whole process is streamlined and we have a tracked record that shows our clients when they review the comments and the date that they approved it.”

Mark Stern, CEO at Custom Box Agency

Transparency reduced the number of errors and improved accountability

Another thing that the team from Custom Box Agency used to deal with were regular changes of hearts from clients. As Stern says, the clients used to come back to some assets for additional feedback even after they were sent to print. 

Filestage allowed them to create a transparent approval process with approval buttons and make sure that once the file gets a green light from the client it’s officially ready for print. 

Stern says, “Clients used to change their minds and add more comments to designs that were already sent to print. It’s nice that we now have the ability to say once you push the approve button we consider the file ready to go to production.”

Not only did this reduce errors and costs of production by always knowing that they’re sending the right files to the print, but it simplified the overall process as well. 

“Once each design is ready for review we share links with our clients and they get 24 hours to enter the platform and leave their feedback. This way we don’t have to wait for our next meeting to discuss assets, but can collect approvals within a day,” says Stern.

“And the interface is so simple that all our clients have to do is slide the approval button to give us a clear sign they like the design.”

You can see an example of how teams review designs in Filestage below.

User-friendly versioning functionality improve the quality of the review process

Making sure that clients notice all the smallest details you change between several versions of design isn’t always the easiest task. And to avoid having to go through all the details of your client meeting, it’s good to have a visual overview of all changes. 

Stern says, “I like the side by side Comparison feature because it allows our team to say here’s what we had before and here’s how the new version evolved based on feedback. Sometimes when you just provide a new document clients aren’t able to see the difference. But  having such a seamless way to compare file versions is really powerful.”

The stage is set

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