Choosing the right agency management system for your business can be a mine field. Recently, Helen Johnson, Managing Director of Tangram hosted a webinar on exactly this topic, sharing her years of expertise in this area. Here we break down some of the key take aways.
It is important for agencies to understand the sheer volume of products that are available to them. Then they can ensure that they match the right system to their business.
The Tangram process strives to immediately create a requirements matrix, which is then sent out to prospective vendors. From that, we create a shortlist, have tailored demonstrations, move on to more focused sessions before, finally selecting the best product.
In the first instance, we ask agencies to create a list of functional objectives. That is to say, what do you need the system to do. Scopes of work and timelines, manage resources and scheduling, forecast and recognize revenue? Also, will there be any secondary objectives such as handling retainers or collaborating with a third party.
Strategic objectives are more precise in their requirements. For example, matching revenue forecasting to actuals. This all needs to be considered. Finally, there are problem-solving objectives, these are usually tied to functional and strategic objectives. A good example is if the agency is billing weekend work at a different rate to weekday work. The agency management system required has to have the ability to automatically recognize and cost this.
Tangram prefers to prioritize and categorize the requirements while at the same time avoiding unnecessary complexity. We can then present the agency with an uncluttered view of what they require. By setting this out in black and white we can look at the requirements, see if they can be handled, make and observe comments, and prioritize. We also encourage the agency to give each requirement a priority score.
By casting a wide net, it enables us to create effective targeted shortlists. At this point, we normally look at just 2 or 3 system vendors and we will make an initial assessment based on the scoring system.
An Agency Management System Creates Management Changes
It is imperative to get the right people on board. You need people with vision, who are also pragmatic. You need to build a support network within the agency to make the system work. That people need to be motivated is a given. Once they see that the changes are going to bring real positives it becomes much easier.
The next step in our process is to get to know the system provider a little better and the platform a lot more. Also, they need to know the agency better. At this point, NDAs need to be in place. We will communicate more about the process to the vendors. We will share workflow and provide them with some examples of briefs.
While their initial score was based purely on a quantitive perspective, now we can go back and adjust it based on quality. Discussions with their team members will provide a real feel of how well matched the products are to the end-user.
Tailoring the Product to the Agency
At this point in the process, your elite team will have enough information to begin the process of selecting the right technology. The people will be prepared, the requirements communicated, and structures will be in place.
Once the product is selected, Tangram uses the proven method of software implementation to tailor the product to the agency. While all agencies appear to be similar, under the hood, they are unique in their personnel and processes. We work closely with each agency to tailor the product to their needs and processes. This method has proven repeatedly to be both productive, and successful creating a true partnership between the agency and the Tangram.
Watch the webinar in full
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As experts in agency management systems, advertising, digital and creative agency/consultancy operations, workflow, systems and finance processes, Tangram offers constructive assistance to all our partners. We are leaders in our field with a proven track record of working with high profile companies around the world.
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