Metrics provide critical insights that agencies use to track business performance. Without those insights, agencies are unlikely to see the combination of factors that lead to profitability, or those factors that impact business success.
Many agencies, particularly smaller firms experiencing rapid growth, skim their key metrics on an intermittent basis. They do enough to stay out of trouble but not always enough to strategically boost profitability and growth. Why? There is simply little time for anything else.
For any agency seeking to set up, refine or monitor metrics, agency management software can help. Cloud-based centralized agency management software gives agencies an all-in-one solution to measure the metrics that really matter, quickly and easily.
Using agency management software to measure business performance
Let’s reflect for a moment on the metrics that matter. While the core metric for every agency to measure is profitability, there are many contributors that influence profitability. How time is used, how staff are allocated, margin size, health of client retainers and expense management are just a few of the factors that influence profitability.
Agency management software gives agencies real time insights to these factors to help manage profitability and overall business performance. Four ways agency management software helps agencies to measure metrics that matter are:
1. Monitoring margin
We talk a lot about time management with our clients. That’s because time is one of the single most influential factors impacting an agency’s margins and profitability. At any point in time, an agency either spends time on activities that earn revenue or incur expense. The more time that can be saved on activities that incur expense, the greater the potential to improve margin. The greater the margin, the more scope for an agency to improve profitability.
Function Point’s agency management software lets agencies easily estimate their margins and continually compare those estimates with actuals in real time. Our solution incorporates world class time management and tracking capabilities that can be integrated with billing systems, client-by-client. This gives agency owners better visibility to their margins, as well as underlying information about where time is being spent in the business. With these insights agency owners have the power to make informed decisions based on accurate real time data about their business.
2. Utilization tracking
Utilization tracking provides an insight into how effectively each team member is working. In simple terms, utilization represents billable time. It is the difference between the amount of time an employee has available to work each day and the time they actually spend delivering client services.
Function Point agency management software takes the guesswork out of utilization planning and tracking. Our platform lets agencies quickly and comprehensively forecast and plan team productivity. Our Work Calendar features four simple steps to calculate, or edit, utilization rates for each employee in minutes. Our Resource Allocation view helps agencies identify over allocation in real time and easily re-allocate tasks to team members with spare capacity. Built-in options for time tracking means monitoring staff utilization has never been so fast or simple.
3. Expense management
Expense management is another essential metric for agencies to measure because of the likelihood of cost to erode profitability. Expense management has the potential to absorb a lot of agency time and, when not managed well, can lead to surprise costs. Growing agencies tend to manage expenses in spreadsheets. At month end, this often leads to double entry as the expenses are mapped into a financial management system, matched to a client and paid. This process is slow and plagued with errors from manual handling.
Function Point agency management software lets you say good-bye to spreadsheets. Our centralized cloud-based solution simplifies and streamlines expense management. We give agencies the real time ability to accurately track their bottom line, monitor estimates against actuals and make sure there are no unwanted surprises. Our world-class QuickBooks® integration provides a complete, straightforward accounting solution with fast, easy invoice preparation, expense management and payment tracking.
4. Reporting flexibility
Flexible reporting options built into agency management software are essential to delivering actionable insights to keep your agency profitable, whether you’re tracking margin, utilization or expenses. Out-of-the-box, Function Point agency management software delivers powerful business intelligence capabilities that gather data from multiple sources across an agency and present that information in intuitive, visual formats. Real time visualizations help stakeholders quickly absorb crucial information, monitor key performance indicators and make fast, informed decisions.
Our agency management software provides the option of 26 pre-built reports to help you quickly track key metrics. Our solution also enables easily customizable reporting so that agencies can measure metrics that are unique to their business. With Function Point’s agency management software, agencies can quickly and easily measure the metrics that matter most to them.
The next step in measuring metrics that matter
Without measuring metrics, agencies are behind the eight-ball in understanding the biggest influences impacting margin, utilization and expenses. The more an agency knows about its business through tracking the metrics that matter, the more opportunities arise for improving efficiencies and growing profitability. After all, if you can’t measure it, you probably can’t manage it either. Explore how Function Point’s all-in-one agency management software can help your business by requesting a free demo.
Scott M Graffius, project management expert, consultant and award-winning author on agile methodologies comments, “If you don’t collect any metrics, you’re flying blind. If you collect and focus on too many, they may be obstructing your field of view.”