The turn of the 21st-century has completely rocked the way we do business. Just a short twenty years ago, email and inter-office instant messaging were the new, high-tech tools used by forward-thinking business owners to facilitate and encourage collaboration among employees. Today, agencies getting it right are using workflow automation software, like monday.com, to efficiently keep projects on track.
The workflow process may be one of the oldest components of running a business. If you think about what an office environment was like 100 years ago, the basic functions haven’t changed. Customers would place orders that would set off a chain reaction of events specifically designed to fulfill that order in the most efficient way possible. Sure, these workflow processes involved handwriting and face-to-face communication in a presumably all-male office, but you get the idea.
Workflow is still alive and well in 2020, it just looks a lot different. And it should.
The world is hungry for content. In fact, 70 percent of agencies reported generating more assets in 2017 than they did in 2016. The more content needed, the busier creative agencies are. The busier they are, the more they need a solid workflow process to get everything done.
In the last 20 years, technology has transformed nearly every facet of business and the workflow process has not been immune to the disruption. Fortunately, the result has been some excellent products that have been truly game-changing for those agencies using them.
Pulling the trigger on workflow software can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for a smaller agency with limited resources. But if you don’t adapt and improve your processes, your competition will, and the results won’t be in your favor.
Here are four reasons agencies should streamline their workflow.
Yes, you read that correctly, save money. And yes, engaging workflow software to streamline your processes does require an investment. But the cost-savings you realize through increased efficiencies just might make up for the up-front cost.
When using workflow software, you can easily track individual projects, their initial quotes, billable hours, payments and more. It’s easy to see what jobs were underquoted, over-billed and under budget. This makes it easy to determine which projects and clients are the most (and least) profitable.
If an unprofitable relationship is discovered, team members can use the workflow software to collaborate and creatively identify potential additional revenue streams for the project or client. What’s more, workflow software enables agencies to examine billable hours and see how employees are using their time. In doing so, you can easily maximize employee output and minimize wasted time.
Accounting is another area benefitting from workflow software. Before automation, you may have had a stack of unpaid or late accounts receivable getting lost in the shuffle. After workflow automation, your invoice process is faster, you can more readily follow up on delinquent accounts and charge late fees when needed.
Predictable chain of command
Have you ever had a project that went through a very specific workflow and approval process, only to have your very next project take a completely different path? When the chain of command varies from project to project, team members become confused and frustrated while the work itself languishes in a needlessly lengthy, complicated process. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Using workflow software streamlines the chain of command so no matter where to project is in the process, the entire team can view the status, see where it’s been and know where it’s headed next. There are no questions about “who saw what” or “what changes should be made” because the workflow software clearly shows who’s seen the project, who’s approved it, and who’s recommended changes.
The time savings in this regard alone are significant, but the decrease in team member confusion and subsequent increase in morale and job satisfaction are important benefits, as well.
Duplication is one of the biggest wastes of money. Let’s say you have two copywriters who are accidentally assigned to write the same article. They each take two hours writing the article, effectively wasting two hours of work time on duplication.
Another example may be a campaign completed for a client several years ago. The client wants to do a new campaign and wishes to include some elements of their previous campaign in the new. But without a solid workflow in place, no one can locate the work already done and the team is forced to needlessly reinvent the wheel.
Scenarios like there are all too common but are easily avoided when using workflow software. When everyone knows what everyone else is doing when they’re doing it and how they’re doing it, duplication isn’t just eliminated, it’s impossible.
Every agency has a few rock stars. You know, those team members who can do anything, in any amount of time and produce a stellar result regardless of the circumstances?
Your rock stars are what keep your agency running, or so you think. So what happens when they inevitably take a position elsewhere? If you haven’t engaged workflow software to streamline your processes, you could find yourself in a chasm of chaos.
The chaos left behind by the departure of a key team member is easily avoided with workflow software. Everyone knows where the project is in the process, it’s easy to see what has and hasn’t been done, and the team can readily pick up the pieces and carry on as if the rock star had never been there, at all.
Imagining your agency without your rock star is hard, but think of just how difficult running your agency would be without workflow software.
Maybe that’s where you find yourself today, operating on outdated tools, barely holding projects, let alone your team, together and finding it difficult to make payroll every month. You don’t have to do business like this.
The advantages are clear, the time is now. Upgrade your office with a streamlined workflow software suite to propel your business into a new decade of innovation.