Creative agencies are forward-thinking, technologically savvy businesses. So why do so many of them still fall back on tracking data via spreadsheets?
There’s a better way to improve your agency’s productivity and ditch time-wasting data entry with spreadsheets. We can rebuild these processes. We have the technology. Keep reading for 5 tech trends that are helping to reshape agency productivity by ditching spreadsheets.
1. Use Agency-Specific Tools
While traditional project management software can certainly do the trick, software specifically tailored to creative agencies will prove a far more robust tool for your needs. Integrated agency software looks at all sides of a creative agency to meet their complex needs.
Features like built-in Gantt charts give project managers the ability to oversee all agency work without needing to rely on messy spreadsheets. Need to work collaboratively? Download them as PDF’s or create shareable links to plan side by side with your creatives or clients.
2. Work in the Cloud
Cloud-based software is cost effective, flexible, easy to set up, and completely secure, making them ideal for agency life. As we move to more mobile working environments—think employees who sometimes work from home, freelancers on their own devices and agency leads who are always on the go—cloud-based software is a must.
Even if you’re still devoted to spreadsheets for certain tasks, you’ll improve productivity and collaboration by moving to the cloud-based Google Spreadsheets or Office 365, where team members can work live within documents and easily share files.
3. Integrate your Tools
Many agency-focused software programs allow for integration with other software to further improve speed, reduce data-entry and improve your data analytics. Integration not only saves time, it reduces the possibility of human error.
One of the biggest project management mistakes agencies make is not having one central information hub. Function Point integrates with inbound marketing software like Hubspot and accounting software like QuickBooks to avoid transferring spreadsheet data back and forth between programs. QuickBooks can also integrate with expense tracking tools like Expensify, making billing disbursements easier. Once you’ve integrated your software programs, you’ll be able to make smarter, data-driven project management decisions.
4. Go Mobile
Have you ever tried viewing a spreadsheet on a mobile device? Here’s a tip: don’t. Spreadsheet layouts are notoriously difficult to view on smaller screen, never mind trying to update them. With many software programs now offering mobile apps, it’s time to help your team work smarter.
Most creatives will still prefer a desktop or laptop environment, but the ability to check in on your projects while grabbing a coffee or while commuting to your next meeting makes working remotely a breeze. Function Point’s new mobile app makes it easier than ever to check in on your projects on the go.
5. Stay Future-Focused
The best part about agency software? It’s always improving.
Smart apps that use artificial intelligence are on the horizon, and here at Function Point (call us geeks), we can’t wait! If you’ve ever had a Google algorithm guess your search location based on past information or chatted with Slack’s Slackbot, you’ve used smart apps. Today, agency software is improving to help make agency project projections easier.
Forgo the Excel document and let technology help you improve your budgeting, scope planning, and project management. Cloud technology, integrations and smart apps keep your data and analytics will be updated in real-time, unlike ye olden spreadsheets.
Natasha Carter is a Communications Manager at Function Point with a background in market research and strategic communications. She enjoys building high-value experiences for customers along their path to purchase.