The cost of not implementing agency management software
By Jodie Byass
Still playing with outdated tools?
Have you ever wondered about the impact of using old tools instead of project management software for advertising agencies to manage your creative projects? The simple answer is this: it?s costing your business money. And probably more than you think.
So let?s take a closer look at what?s happening at an operational level and how an efficient tool can really change things up.1. Spreadsheets ain?t what they used to be
Spreadsheets are still used to plan and track creative projects. And while we can all sing the praises of this once prized tool, in an era of juggling a crazy amount of projects spreadsheets simply can?t keep up. They?re also known to have a lot of sneaky errors.
Agency management software, on the other hand, provides more visibility and a real-time advantage. A central dashboard allows you to view a current progress list of projects and approvals and, as tasks are completed, the dashboard updates automatically. Reporting tools also enable you to generate a WIP in just seconds instead of having to run around and get an update from your team to create one.
2. The long and winding road of email approvals
Email is a handy communication tool but it?s not a collaboration tool. Therefore, keeping track of changes and approvals can be an unforgiving task. Take this scenario: your email pings constantly with changes from a range of stakeholders but you?re struggling to keep up with who is saying what, and then a disagreement ensues between two stakeholders. The conversation suddenly drops off because you?re no longer being cc?d on comm?s. The process has derailed and now you have to go chasing the final outcome.
An agency management tool has a robust feedback system which allows all stakeholders to provide feedback which is visible to everyone. If any conflict arises, reviewers can communicate directly with each other within the system which you can view but not action. Once all of the changes are finalised, you can batch them up and send them at the same time to the creative team. No more having to drip feed changes which lead to multiple artwork versions!
Recommended reading: Why are ancient practices still in place?
3. Poor resource management makes for unhappy clients
Do you know what your resources are working on at any time of the day or week? Can you quickly assign or reassign urgent tasks in a matter of seconds? The beauty of a project management tool with an inbuilt resource management feature is that it offers more transparency over your resources, which enables you to effectively allocate tasks across all projects while highlighting any inconsistencies immediately. No more double-booking resources and/or under-resourcing projects which can potentially lead to delays and then unhappy clients. With a visible workload meter, everyone knows what resources are available currently and for future projects.
4. Courting chaos with no central framework to manage projects
Brief are submitted without the essential information you need to kick off a project. Resources are already booked leaving you short for your latest campaign. It?s difficult to track campaigns once they?ve started because you have no way to review their progress. Approvals are left hanging because no one has followed them up. Sound familiar?
Could things be better? Absolutely. An organised framework that offers briefing templates, resource management, a project overview, the ability to set reminders, reporting tools (and more) will make you an efficiency expert in no time at all.
5. Repetitive admin is the dinosaur in the room
Without the most advanced tools in the marketplace, you?re continually chasing briefs that are incomplete; manually labouring over spreadsheets to plan projects and resources; deciphering reams of email trails every day; and providing WIPs on request that take hours away from more important tasks.
An agency management system helps to eliminate repetitive admin by providing templates and tools that cut down on duplications and enable you to have greater control over your projects and approvals.
6. Creative assets go MIA in the absence of digital asset management (DAM)
Someone has requested an asset from a campaign you did six months ago. You have an idea about where it?s located but it still takes you twenty minutes to actually find it on the server. But when you find it, you?re not quite sure it?s the right version.
You?ll never lose sight of your assets with project management software that has an integrated DAM feature . Final versions, along with production files are automatically saved to a digital library and it only takes seconds to locate a file with an intuitive search feature.
Recommended reading: 5 fatal mistakes people make when selecting project management software
7. Exhausted teams and high staff turnover can be a symptom of outdated tools
If resources are continually miscalculated, project briefs are messy, too much time is spent tracking rather than building projects, artwork versions are out of control, then your creative team could become overwhelmed. Your agency is built on inspiration so your creative team needs the space to let great ideas come to fruition. If they don?t have that, they could get restless, or worse burn out, and the financial ramifications in the long run could be dire for you.
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