Is it Time to Review Your Workflows and Processes?
Let’s think about your agency’s processes and workflows. Simply put, the way your team works and the steps they take to accomplish their goals.
Do you know where your processes and workflows have gaps or bottlenecks?
Your teams may be compensating for weak points in your processes with manual entry or extra steps. This slows the process and exposes you to costly human error. It makes good business sense to save as much time as possible, because inefficiencies bog down your team and cost money by wasting valuable hours.
That’s why it’s wise to periodically examine your workflows and processes. This will help you think about how to maximize your agency’s efficiency.
This is accomplished by automating processes, which saves valuable hours by streamlining your workflows and eliminating manual data entry between steps or from one platform to another.
Automating processes also drastically reduces the risk of human error that costs agencies thousands, or even millions. And that’s not only embarrassing, but it can cost you clients.
Streamline your Media Workflow with Automation
Let’s take a look at media processes.
As your media team moves through their workflow, they may run into weak points that slow the process.
Does your team manually create orders from plans done in spreadsheet software? This can result in errors due to typos, or missed completely. By the time errors are discovered, it can be too late to recover.
The solution is automating media order creation in media planning and buying software. With just a few clicks, orders can be created and sent to vendors right from approved media plans. Imagine how much time that would save! And eliminating manual creation of orders reduces the risk of human error.
Another weak spot in many media workflows is billing. Manual entry into a separate billing system puts your agency at risk for incorrect or missed billing.
With media planning and buying software integrated with accounting, billing records are automatically generated when orders are created. Billing staff can generate invoices and send them to clients with just a few clicks.
When vendor invoices arrive, data entry and reconciliation are points where inefficiencies are typically found. Manually entering media invoices one by one, line by line takes an enormous amount of time. Since most media vendors can deliver electronic invoices, your staff can save hours by importing them.
Have you reviewed your media workflow lately? Automation can save you time and money.
The Secret to an Efficient Project Management Workflow
The cause of most Project Management workflow issues is communication.
Typically, agencies have various creative teams who specialize in specific disciplines. They’ll have print, website, digital ad designers, just to name a few examples.
Each team has their own process, and different project management tools that fit their workflow. Some use project schedules while others prefer Kanban boards.
But individuals often work with multiple teams, such as a copywriter that works with print as well as digital. This means they receive assignments from different systems. Because they need to log into and learn two, three or more systems, they waste valuable time switching between platforms. This bogs down the entire project management workflow.
And it’s next to impossible for managers to know if they’re over-utilized because their assignments spread over multiple systems.
A sophisticated project management platform features schedules and boards that fit multiple team scenarios. There are even tools for teams that need “on the fly” assignments.
The best part? No matter what tools your teams use, employees get their assignments on a single workspace. No multiple logins. And more time for productive work.
And managers can see assignments for every team member, with color coded indicators that flag over-utilized employees, making resource management a breeze.
Fill the Gaps in your Agency Processes with Integration
You’ll see huge improvements when you tie your Media and Project Management workflows together with an integrated accounting platform. The most immediate result of integration is Billing because it reduces the risk of missed or incorrect client invoicing.
But that’s only part of the story.
If you implement a real accounting platform, not just bookkeeping, it automatically provides documentation to back up what you bill clients. In the event of a client audit, our accounting platform can help justify every dollar billed – without the headache of searching through records.
Which brings us to reporting, which can be a slow process when data is scattered in separate platforms. Progress comes to a standstill if a report is needed and there’s no access to financial, media or production data.
With an accounting platform, you should be able to quickly generate primary financial reports such as income statements, client profitability and WIP Reports. When accounting, media and project management data are in one platform, it’s seamless to generate reports that include financial data.
The Advantage agency management system is an all-in-one solution purpose-built for agencies and creative teams of all sizes.
We’ve been exclusively focused on helping our clients maximize productivity, efficiency and profitability for over 40 years, with almost a thousand agencies counting on us to help run their business every day.
Our clients have access to a team of US-based agency veterans supporting them every step of the way. Every user has unlimited access to our live customer support line from 8am-7:30pm Eastern every business day.
Find out how Advantage can help you by contacting us for a complimentary demo or discussion about your unique needs.