Running a profitable advertising agency relies on a number of critical factors: great leadership, results-driven marketing, a strong client base and talent who deliver on brilliant ideas. The way you manage creative projects and resources is often overlooked in the bigger picture. Still, they remain vital to your bottom line.
“Optimizing the utilization rate (the percentage of time spent on billable work) of your employees, essentially creating more productive and efficient team members, will have a major impact on your profits -- especially if you do mostly project-based work.” Hubspot
Let’s take a look at project management and resource management to understand how important they are to running a proficient and, therefore, profitable ad agency.
What is project management?
Project management is the process by which projects are planned and tracked in order to achieve an optimum outcome. In other words, messaging is on point, projects are on deadline and within budget, and campaigns are delivering ROI for your agency or business. Creative teams typically use project management tools to streamline the process and bolster productivity. These tools may include email approvals, online calendars for scheduling and spreadsheets to plan and allocate tasks. Unfortunately, these tools are known to have their limitations as they’re not integrated and do not provide full visibility over projects at hand. This is one of the reason agency project management software has gained popularity in recent years.
What is agency project management software?
Advertising agencies wanting more control over their projects are implementing agency project management software, though in some cases this is a mandate of working with certain clients. The software provides a central dashboard which displays a live schedule of all projects on the go, which means clients can also log in to get a real time status report. It also enables production managers to allocate tasks quickly and easily with template documents as well as keep track of how work is progressing. All files are saved online in one hub so you don’t have to waste time searching for artwork or approvals. The solution also creates an automatic audit trail of work, which helps to keep marketing compliance in check.
RECOMMENDED READING: Not having a project management software is costing your ad agency money
What is resource management?
Unlike project management, which is like the brains of the operation, resource management is all about fuel efficiency. It’s the process by which resources are allocated work based on skillset and current demands. At the end of the day, the objective is to decrease non-billable hours while producing high quality work that meets deadline and budget constraints. When resourcing is ad hoc or lacks the right tools to manage the process, the reality can be far from ideal. Think: over-burdened creative teams and too much money being spent on freelancers to finish work on time. Enter agency resource management software.
What is resource management software?
Ad agencies often implement resource management software when they realise their current processes are failing and costing money. This kind of software provides a live resource planner that enables production managers to have more visibility over planning and scheduling resources. Staff can also view their workload to better plan for the week ahead as well as accurately log their time with online timesheets. The beauty of this tool is that you can use your resources to their full capacity as you can see exactly what time they have available. Additionally, once a resource has reached capacity, a full capacity mode displays. A simple re-assign tool means that you won’t be trawling through spreadsheets to find the right replacement. The job will be done in just seconds.
Two processes, one agency software solution
Today, there are many solutions available in the marketplace to manage your projects and resources. Unfortunately, with over 5,000 digital tools to choose from, there’s a tendency to for buyers to implement standalone solutions that manage just one process. If you want to change up your project and resource management for greater efficiency, it makes sense to seek out one tool that can manage both processes. Not only is it cheaper, but you won’t have to waste time swapping tools – all aspects of your projects are will now be housed under the same roof.
Here are more reasons to implement one tool that enables you to streamline your creative projects and boost your profitability:
- Project overview and tracking
- Live project and resource planners
- Document templates
- Approval workflow
- Task assignment and reassignment tools
- Online timesheets
- Online proofing tools
- Online collaboration
- File sharing
- Automatic audit trail of work
- Reporting tools
- Automated reminders
- Forecasting and budgeting tools
- Digital asset management and ad storage
- More time to be creative
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