As your full-service agency grows, it’s common to realize that you’re also fast outpacing your system’s ability to support your business.
Maybe you’re unable to consistently track time and deadlines. Perhaps reporting is pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list because pulling information from different systems is so time-consuming and complex. Have you noticed the number of internal meetings going up because getting everyone together seems to be the only way to stay up to date?
Rest assured, you’re not alone. Many full-service agencies grapple with multiple systems, people and tools to get a clear grip on their business. Most also struggle to link information between disconnected systems.
Centralized agency management software can help by introducing structure, efficiency, process consistency and reporting ease to agency life. Here are seven powerful benefits an all-in-one agency management software solution can deliver a full-service agency.
1. Time tracking
Agencies use time either to earn revenue or incur cost, and managing the gap between the two is the only way to optimize profitability. When exploring agency management software, look for a solution that integrates timesheets with rate cards, standardized job types and staff and other costs. Make sure time updates are reflected across the entire system in real time to deliver a true, accurate on-demand view of cost, time and margin. The best agency management software packages feature built-in time tracking options with easy, quick visualizations to show how time is used against specific tasks, projects or people.
2. Project management
As your agency grows, there is more of everything to manage. More clients bring more milestones, deadlines and stakeholders along with more delivery resources, budgets and tasks. To keep pace, you need outstanding project management. If your full-service agency is struggling to keep all the plates spinning smoothly and your clients and staff happy, consider agency management software with integrated project management features. Leading agency management software packages incorporate holistic, shared access to the insights and project management tools you need to land every deadline on time and on budget. Look for a solution that offers centralized access to project updates, Gantt charts, briefs, deadlines, dependencies, resources, costs and anything else you need to ace project management.
3. Utilization planning
Agency growth means hiring more people. As the team expands, you’ll need real-time visibility into where each person is spending their time, how long tasks take and how much each job type costs. Under-utilization means you’ll have teams costing you money without earning revenue to cover those costs. Over-utilization means teams may be working overtime or need contractors to manage overflow, which also costs money. Balancing utilization is tough without agency management software. The right agency management software solution delivers integrated, easy-to-use modelling tools to help you get utilization just right across all your teams, clients and full-service agency functions.
4. Financial management
Good financial management means being able to easily see, plan, organize, direct and control all finance-related activities across a full-service agency. Since just about every area of an agency earns revenue or incurs cost, the ability to quickly and accurately capture those transactions is essential for profitability. The most successful full-service agencies have mainstream financial management systems integrated to their agency management software. This delivers a host of benefits including at-a-glance, real-time insight to profitability of projects, campaigns, clients and the overall business. Invoicing, either on a time-and-materials or fixed-fee basis, becomes a task performed in seconds without a single instance of double-entry. No expense will be overlooked, no matter how small. You also have the comfort of knowing your combined solution meets accounting standards.
5. Efficiency and productivity
Every full-service agency has a bunch of processes for getting things done. As the agency grows and adds new technology and people, those processes evolve or become outdated. Teams might cut corners, forget how to follow processes or skip redundant processes altogether. Before you know it, productivity drains away while everyone goes about getting to the needed outcomes in their own way. Agency management software boosts efficiency and improves the productivity of full-service agencies by introducing consistent and repeatable processes to streamline how work moves through your team. Agency management software also introduces workflows; a string of processes connected together to achieve a larger goal, which help amplify efficiency and productivity. Once your team follows these processes and workflows, there will be significant time freed up to service more business.
Nowhere does the adage ‘time is money’ hold more truth than for a full-service agency. Time is the most valuable resource an agency manages every day. When time is drained by multiple internal meetings to get a team working well together, you need agency management software. Cloud-based agency management software centralizes information for secure, real-time collaboration with easy access anytime, anywhere and on any device. Transparent workflows efficiently move tasks between owners, while shared job dashboards give teams visibility into project status. Cloud technology facilitates fast collaboration, easy scalability and the power to collate information from multiple sources to drive better decision making.
7. Reporting and insights
Full-service agencies are always under pressure to do more with less. One of the fastest ways to achieve that is by investing in agency management software featuring built-in business intelligence (BI) tools. BI tools make sure the right reporting, analytics and insights are available to the right people, when they need it and in a meaningful format. The result: a seamless ability to improve the speed and quality of decision making and a quick method to identify areas of opportunity for growth, efficiency gains, job health and overall profitability. Increasingly, the ability to make real-time, data-driven decisions is one of the differentiators between good and great agencies.
Experience the benefits of agency management software
Function Point’s all-in-one agency management software is a cloud-based solution that integrates all the capabilities necessary to improve business performance and profitability across a full-service agency. Suitable for agencies of all sizes, our solution features project management, resource management, customer relationship management, financial management and business intelligence capabilities. Experience the benefits of Function Point agency management software by requesting a demo.