Desk Dwellers & Road Warriors

Yin_and_Yang.svg.pngEvery agency has them  - the yin and the yang - the people who are always in the office and the ones who are always on the road.The ones that are always available and the ones that are never available. The ones whose stories start with "I was over by the conference room yesterday..." and the ones that start with "So, there was this huge guy in the seat next to me...". 


Hunters and Gatherers, Pioneers and Settlers, whatever you call them, they've been a foundational part of successful enterprises since dirt dried and every agency needs both to be successful. Without the Desk Dwellers, you might sign a lot of clients, but you wouldn't keep them long because it's hard to generate quality deliverables from the back of an airplane or between the hours of 1AM and 5AM in a hotel room.  Without the Road Warriors, the agency would die because most clients don't work within walking distance of their agency, and they want face-to-face attention on a regular basis, regardless of how inconvenient it may be. 


12.jpgThe challenge for every agency is to create an environment where both can be successful; which is no easy task because each has very different needs. Before the pandemic, some agencies require employees to "clock in" by 8:30 AM every day or risk financial penalty on their paycheck (true story). With work from home being far more common than ever, the standard of "clocking in" has shifted and become generally more flexible. That doesn't mean that some of your employees don't need even more flexibility in the way they operate. 


Agencies have to think about the different use cases for both types of jobs; particularly when it comes to IT systems. Desk Dwellers need speed, integration and customization features whereas Road Warriors need mobile solutions that can work offline and are as automated as possible.  These don't have to be at odds with each other, but it can be difficult to find solutions that provide for both users at the same level of excellence.


13.jpgIntegrated solutions (aka software that either provides or pulls together capabilities like Accounting, Project Management, Media, Digital Asset Management, etc.) can be hard to find. There are a plethora of Best in Class singular solutions (software that focuses on just Project Management or Invoicing or Expenses, etc.), but few that attempt to provide true operational infrastructure solutions. Those that do, can become overly complex and very difficult to use in a mobile environment (perfect for the Desk Dweller and disastrous for the Road Warrior).


"Advantage was built to integrate all of the agency roles into a single, centralized system with robust modules, powerful features and extensive reporting," states Ellen Coulter, President of Advantage Software which offers enterprise-level Agency Management software that integrates Project Management, CRM, Media, Accounting and Creative into one comprehensive ERP system specifically designed for advertising agencies. "Agency life is crazy enough without having to deal with systems that don't talk to each other and don't address the needs of the different roles within the agency."


Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 5.30.01 PM.pngMobile-first design is critical for Road Warriors to be able to use any system while on the go. Thankfully, Advantage designed their mobile experience with that in mind. A single access portal gives users entry into all parts of the system and navigation is customized for mobile usage, leveraging drag-and-drop tiles and large, easy-to-read menus. 


DashboardDrag.jpgDesk Dwellers will appreciate the customizable dashboards that consolidate data pulled from different systems into colorful, drag-and-drop interfaces. Is AI far behind? "Probably not," says Coulter. "Anything that can help our customers be more effective and efficient at their jobs is on the table."


Sounds like there's plenty more to come from Advantage...


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