This is part 1 of our 3-part interview with CIOReview magazine as one of their 20 Most Promising Workflow Management Solution Providers. Function Point CEO, Chris Wilson, sits down with CIOReview to chat about how Function Point has achieved the level of success that is has, and why the only direction to go from here is up.
CIOReview: Function Point has the proven experience of assisting clients streamline their business. What do you think are the major challenges in the market today in terms of workflow management technology?
Chris Wilson (CW): People want to work smart, profitably, and make sure things don’t slip through the cracks. They’re trying to do that by utilizing a solution that brings together multiple functional aspects of an organization into one tool.
CIOReview: And how is Function Point addressing those challenges?
CW: Primarily, we’re trying to reduce hassle, increase profitability, and provide people with a tool to assist them in productivity around their organization. Rather than throwing more people on a problem, our goal is to provide agencies with the proper tools for them to increase productivity and get further ahead.
CIOReview: Function Point’s software combines project management, time tracking, CRM, financial, and business reporting tools in one convenient cloud-based system. Can you elaborate on how your software helps develop optimal methodology for your clients?
CW: Function Point is a sophisticated creative project management software. I almost think of it as an electronic filing cabinet — the digital administration for the organization. We’re also building API’s into our software, and creating connections with tools such as Zapier. Our objective is to have people logged in, using it to manage the day-to-day running of their firm. End to end.
Our Onboarding Consultants guide our clients through the process of building a workflow solution that aids collaborate with team members, real-time feedback to users, and reduces the day-to-day hassle of running a professional design firm. What we want our clients to have from our product is a repeatable playbook that is their workflow. And because it’s repeatable, it provides a process that reduces redundancy and then ultimately improves staff utilization.
CIOReview: Can you give us an inside view of what goes on in your innovation lab?
CW: We are constantly trying to innovate — and not just in terms of the technology. It’s something that’s foundational to everything we do, whether it’s in how we market the product, sell it, onboard our customers, or work with our current clients to make sure they’re getting the most out of FP We’re always looking for ways to improve what we’re doing and what we’re offering.
I can speak very openly to how our Technology team, headed by our VP of Product, has been interacting with clients and then bringing the feedback to our Design team. We take the feedback and directly use it to simplify the experience clients have with our creative project management software, while making sure we continue to provide a robust set of features and capabilities.
There is, of course, the typical SaaS scenarios of constantly releasing new features and upgrades to the product itself, but I think it goes beyond that. We really focus on ensuring the user experience is supported through the backend things that people often don’t think about. Things such as the server environment and the security, and scaling our systems in an automated fashion. These details are important for us to show that the experience for our clients is at the forefront of everything we do.
CIOReview: What are some of the investments Function Point has made for innovation?
CW: Our investment in people is something that keeps giving back to the firm, so we’re very interested in making sure we do that. I would back that up by saying that we take real steps to encourage everyone on the FP team to take the opportunity to further their professional education or work on other things that will help them in their career. Everyone here is budgeted significant dollars for education, and we try to make sure that people take advantage of that.
We’ve been very successful in building an internal structure of excellent communication between everyone. So, in a world where you’re trying to innovate, it comes from having clear communication right across the life cycle. From a prospect to a customer that has been with us for many years, we make sure that all the information in-between is shared and discussed. We’re in the business of helping creative firms manage the utilization of their team members and giving them excellent financial insight into the profitability of jobs, clients and individual staff. The best way I know how to achieve this is to ensure that, as a team, we’re invested throughout the whole process.
Function Point alleviates the chaotic nature of operating creative agencies, internal marketing teams and professional service firms. Used by over 9000 customers across the world, the all-in-one solution helps teams connect each stage of project management.
Brand & Product Coordinator
Marissa was raised on a steady diet of mountain and ocean activities. She's a product marketer by day, reader by night, and human being by day and night.