Creative Agency Workflow Management Software = Operational Efficiency

Advertising agencies, creative studios and interactive development firms in ever increasing numbers are using workflow management software to assist in analysis of their operational efficiency. But that raises a question.

What are the key metrics, specific to your industry that you should be tracking?

Basically, how do you know what operational efficiency looks like?

Function Point is specifically a time sheet and project management tool designed for the creative industry.  That is, we are the best workflow management software available, and we pride ourselves on being focused on understanding the unique characteristics of a our target audience.

To that end, we have partnered with two leading organizations, Second Wind and The Association of Professional Design Firms (APDF).  Both groups provide training and are generally a vast resource of information.  Information on salaries, key financial metrics, and trends in the industry.

I want to highlight a specific project we support with the APDF.

On a yearly basis the APDF invites members to a private and confidential financial survey.  Participants can compare their performance against industry benchmarks.  They can also compare themselves to other similar sized firms.  Operating Profits, Chargeability, Net Effective Multiplier, along with Average Staff Size and Income and Labor Billings per Employee are just a few of the metrics investigated.

A few years ago, the Chair of APDF approached me about helping with the development and support.  She knew that we have a mission: To bring good business process to creative people, saving business stakeholders from the pain of financial failure.  It’s a little windy, but it hits a point.  Not to mention, my father lost a business and it certainly had an effect on our family.

But that is not my reason for this blog.  It is the up coming launch of the 2012 survey and it being available to function point’s client base that I want announce.

We are assisting with some small adjustments prior to the launch of this year’s survey and this got me going.  It reminded me of how important it is to stay on top of your numbers.  To stay engaged in looking at key indicators of your performance, weekly, monthly and yearly and to take advantage of opportunities to compare yourself to industry standards.  This is not about doing timesheets, it’s about design agency profitability, efficiency, and what has been happening across the entire creative agency process.

  • Do you know how the wages you pay compare to the industry?
  • Are you aware of your Staff Ratio of direct and indirect employees?
  • Have you been thinking about trends in billing, pricing and what industry averages are?

Join us this spring for the 11th Annual APDF Financial Performance Survey.  Function Point clients are granted access free of charge and I encourage your participation. Know your numbers in 2012 and … do more!

Chris Wilson
Founder, President and Chief Client Advocate
604.731.2522 x224

If you want to talk in confidence regarding the survey, I would welcome a discussion.  APDF and Second Wind both offer comprehensive financial surveys.  Participation in one of them is, in our opinion, a must.


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