Award-Winning Ogilvy Enhances its Digital Delivery with Deltek

March 11, 2019

By Brian Riedlinger, Chief Delivery Officer for Hong Kong and Regional Vice President of Program Management for Ogilvy APAC

Digitally Transforming Timesheets

Ogilvy is one of the largest advertising agencies in the world—we are in 83 countries and have offices in almost every major city in the world. Although we do traditional advertising in print, TV and video, digital is increasingly becoming a much bigger part of our business. We’re very good at the creative aspect of the business and have world class, award-winning creative, but a big part of our next chapter strategy is to match that success in the growing digital delivery. So we’re investing a lot in the digital space—everything from websites to apps to digital experiences like virtual reality, augmented reality and facial recognition. A cornerstone of our strategy is to develop a worldwide delivery function that allows us to execute well in this space. Deltek is a significant part of that next chapter.

First, we’re moving to a companywide timesheet system. That’s a really important step for us for several reasons. In the past, when someone wanted to enter their time in our legacy system, they had to search for the correct job against which to bill their time. They wouldn’t always find it, which meant they would not always enter time to the right job. Sometimes errors were corrected, sometimes they were not. The bottom line was, we couldn't always trust our data.

More Time Now to Focus on Creativity and Serving Our Clients Better

Video Testimonial: Ogilvy

Since implementing Deltek, we are now able to trust our timesheet data. With Deltek timesheets and resources are all coordinated through one system, so it’s much easier for everyone to enter time. Now, all our staffers have to do is look at their weekly task list; they can see everything that is scheduled for them in a quick weekly snapshot. And most importantly, all they have to do is to click on a task and enter their time that way. No more searching for jobs, no more incorrect entries. It’s incredibly quick and easy.

The weekly task list ties into the employee timesheets, enabling much better resource planning and tracking. Deltek allows us to see who has too many assignments and who has extra capacity which makes it easier for us to allocate resources across jobs and even across entire departments. This helps us manage resources much more effectively. It also helps us determine when to bring in freelancers—or to confirm that we don’t need them—with a confidence that we did not have before.

Project Management Perfected

Deltek also provides project management capabilities in the system, and ties in time tracking by project. This gives us much better project visibility and streamlines our processes. We now have a central location where everyone involved in a project—from finance to project managers to creatives—can all access the information they need about that project—including client briefs, creative assignments, and more. It’s particularly helpful for creative teams on larger projects because access to this information gives them a broader understanding of the overall project goals.

Deltek also gives us visibility into the status of projects. In the past, it was difficult to track work-in-progress (WIP) on any one particular project because there was no centralized data store.  We were not able to gauge precisely the state of the project—how much work had been completed, how much was left, and how much time remained. It often required conversations with as many as 10 different people to get a complete picture. The Deltek solution gives us a centralized place to access accurate information to get a more comprehensive view of project status.

Lastly—and probably most important—we can now check job profitability. Before we implemented Deltek, we had no way of checking the financial status of each job until the job was nearly complete—or already completed and entered into the back-end finance system. Did we go over the hours estimated? Were we under? We had no visibility into that—which made it difficult to manage toward profitability. Now, because time entries are tied to projects—and correctly tied to the right projects—we have a more complete understanding of where we’re at with each project.  With this information we can now debrief after each project to see how well we adhered to the budget and where we might improve on future projects.

The Future is Here with Deltek

We’re in the process of rolling out our Deltek solution to 10 countries across APAC. Once that’s done we’ll consolidate all of those into a single instance, which will allow us to collaborate and share resources across offices. This will be a huge benefit for us in terms of improving resource management and project profitability. It will also give us more time to focus on creativity and serving our clients better.

This is only the beginning for Ogilvy and Deltek. Our next step will be to integrate this with our Deltek back-end finance system which will streamline our processes even further. That will be a complete game changer for us, and we’re looking forward to it.

About the Author

Brian Riedlinger is Chief Delivery Officer for Hong Kong and Regional Vice President of Program Management for Ogilvy APAC. He is responsible for executional excellence, risk management, project profitability, and proper staffing allocations to meet both the client’s business and the agency’s profitability goals. For more information on Ogilvy visit their website at