Managing an agency across multiple offices can be a challenge, but doing so while suddenly transitioning to a fully remote workforce can be exponentially more difficult. For digital marketing agency Connecting Plots, the transition was made with no disruption, and contrary to what you would expect, they were actually able to streamline operations because everyone was working from home.
Connecting Plots shares the three keys to optimizing agency operations and managing a remote workforce:
1. Get Up and Running Quickly
At the end of 2019, the renewal date for their current project management subscription was looming, but because their team needed to be as agile as possible, they needed an agency management system they could implement fast.
WorkBook’s best-practice configuration and role-based workspaces made it easier for Connecting Plots to get up and running quickly. With virtual implementation, online training and continuous support from Deltek’s Global Consultants, Connecting Plots was able to go live with WorkBook weeks ahead of schedule. "It was quite easy," according to GM & Financial Controller, Sophia Kang. "The documentation explained the system and was easy to understand. And the [Sales and Services] team was so great - answering all our questions and showing us the solution by screen-share. It was all very effective."
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2. Communicate and Collaborate from Anywhere
When they transitioned to a fully remote team, it was important that Connecting Plots be able to communicate and collaborate effectively from anywhere, so that there was no disruption to the creative process. Because they use Deltek WorkBook, its cloud-based accessibility was crucial to a smooth transition and allowed employees to access the system and accomplish daily tasks from anywhere, just as if they were still in the office. And WorkBook’s built-in collaboration features gave them a better way to communicate as a distributed team. WorkBook conversations allowed them to centralize communication and share files within jobs and tasks, which minimized communication chaos and reduced the amount of miscommunication and feedback that used to get lost in other chat tools they used while in-office.
“We have more than 25 people in different places working on the same project. Now everybody shares the same information through one tool.”
Sophia Kang, GM & Financial Controller at Connecting Plots
3. Manage People, Projects and Cash Flow Across Offices
Connecting Plots utilizes a lean, scalable team across two offices. But as they began to grow rapidly, landing exciting projects from clients like Coca-Cola, Nescafe, Tourism Australia and more, they needed a better way to leverage people’s time across both companies. Not only were they spending an excessive amount of time entering data to plan resources and build schedules, they had no visibility into future capacity or how it impacted project costs and agency revenue.
By using WorkBook, they were able to integrate the resourcing and project management activities of both companies into the same system, allowing them to optimize utilization across the team. And with easy-to-use scheduling features, they were able to improve budgeting accuracy by mapping out months-long campaign schedules, allocating resources for the duration, and then turning that into a precise project budget, that also gave them advance visibility into resourcing gaps and a forecast of freelance needs.
In addition, intuitive project accounting features like purchase orders, billing schedules and automated approval workflows, WorkBook helped them streamline the billing process to maintain cash flow, while giving them visibility into forecasted revenue. And because WorkBook integrates task management and time entry, they were able to maximize user adoption of timesheets to provide more accurate project costs.
With the ongoing support of the Deltek Team and WorkBook’s best practice guidance, Connecting Plots continues to streamline more processes to optimize their agency, regardless of where they work.
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About Connecting Plots
Connecting Plots is a planning led creative communications agency in Sydney that delivers value by leveraging a lean, scalable team of specialized strategists, creatives and producers who take an unconventional approach to creative communications. As a one-stop-shop, their clients benefit from a wide scope of services including advertising, brand strategy, graphic design, media planning and production across two companies, including their production studio Infinity Squared. They have developed and executed fresh and innovative campaigns for an impressive roster of both local and global clients including the Sydney Opera House, Macquarie Bank, Asics and Weight Watchers.
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