16 January 2020   •   Alex Bondarenko   •   5 min read

Sreda Digital: The Case of Introducing Worksection in an Agency

Accounting is providing support to a customer in project implementation.
Purpose No.1 of accounting is to make the customer happy.

Accounting is to release the customer from 4 troubles:

  1. «There is no time to solve problems, it should have been done by the day before yesterday»;
  2. «I don’t know how you do what I need. So can you do it for us?»;
  3. «The deadline is upcoming. Are you meeting the deadline? The previous company’s equipment broke down at night before submitting the work»;
  4. 4. «How to make up a budget? The market prices vary. Is it cheap or expensive?»

When accounting is classically organized, such «effective» processes as sending invoices and reports hardly take 10%. The rest of the time is for the accounting manager just to talk to the customer — either sincerely or with tones raised, about the project or more than that... which is, characteristically, remunerated.

At the initial stages in many small agencies, company founders are in charge of accounting. This is one of the widespread barriers for growth.

What are the components of accounting costs?

Accounting costs = manager’s remuneration.


The manager’s time consumption may be measured in hours. In Sreda Digital, we started to count them as follows: one hour to prepare an invoice, one hour for reporting, and some ... hours for communication with the customer. Accounting turned out to take up to 50% of time allocated for a project. It meant that our customers spent money on endless talks with the manager rather than on website promotion.

Accounting includes making acquaintance with the customer, announcing special offers and new services, assistance in solving any issues within the project.

How to to help customers and managers spend less time on accounting?

We decided to automate the processes by means of a task management system. We selected the right one through trial and error. We found each of them unsuitable in different aspects: certain systems had no Gantt chart, some of them had everything but in a too complicated way, some systems had poor support.

We ended up launching Worksection where we subsequently accommodated the following:
  • tasks
  • project communications
  • customer communications.


Why accounting did not work out in Worksection?

Introducing a CRM system in an agency is half the battle. We still had to convince our customers
to switch from the «100500» cummunications channels to Worksection. We adduced the
following arguments:


  1. You will promptly communicate with your contractor — ask your questions and give feedback.
  2. You will get access to all data on the project — what has been done, what is underway, and what is only planned.
  3. You will quickly find important files — texts, tables, and schemes will be in the system.
It took us half a year to get our existing customers work through Worksection. We failed to do it perfectly at first.



The introduction resulted in the fact that projects were automated, but customers were still
dissatisfied. Why?


  1. Tasks were not assigned at once. The manager had a queue of activities. The path from signing a contract to task assignment took several days.
  2. We used to set extended tasks. Customers did not see any advancement in projects. It seemed that there was no progress and the employees were not working.
  3. We did not answer instantly. If a customer did not receive an answer in half an hour, he called the management immediately.

What was the way to solve the problems?

We started to assign tasks based on a template

We found it easier to take guidance in tasks. We divide general tasks into subtasks, and subtasks are split into checklists. Each task has responsible persons who may be replaced in different execution phases.

The customer views what tasks are being executed and by whom.


Fragment of procedure regulations from the «Context and Target» task

We relocated the team’s communication to Worksection

Point by point, we enter current issues, plans and results of «live» discussions in tasks.
The customer monitors the entire work progress.




As if the customer was in the office with us :)

We have appointed an employee to process any task changes

Worksection adapts itself to Telegram, thus notifications on new messages are received instantly. The responsible person (e.g. the PM’s assistant) handles changes as follows: marks respective employees and makes sure the project is being fulfilled.

As a result, the time to respond to a customer has been reduced to 15 minutes.

What has changed since the accounting automation problems got solved?


How it was: acccounting took up to 50% of project time
How it is: 5-10%




1:47 h instead of typical 20-22 h.


How it was: messengers + telephone + mail
How it is: Worksection
Given 5-10 communications channels (with the same customer!), PM switched from one task to another, repeated explainations, lost messages. Now projects are fully haldled in Worksection: nothing is lost, everything is clear and comprehensible.


How it was: endless calls to the TOPs
How it is: account communication via Worksection

Executives also spend time on dealing with customers, but the time consumed is less than if only the PM dealt with them.

Summary

  1. It is not enough to choose a CRM (Worksection in our case), moreover, it should be properly introduced. Like any tool, however.
  2. Accounting expenditure = manager’s remuneration.
  3. In digital projects, accounting automation reduces accounting expenditure.
  4. If accounting takes more than 10% of time spent on a project, you should improve the process efficiency.
  5. If a template simplifies and accelerates work, it is a good template.
  6. When the customer understands who performs certain tasks, he/she feels quiet. And it means tranquility of the executives.
  7. Appoint an employee to process task changes: reschedule timeframes, add checklists, answer the customer’s minor questions and create subtasks. The project manager’s assistant may become such person.
  8. Remember the rule: if a solution or idea is not recorded in the system, they do not exist.
  9. Accounding provides us with the main capability — to render customer service at a steadily high level, with predictable costs.

reply
Noori 31 August 2020
Thank you for such a good explanation. Interesting to read and very helpful. Thanks again!
Accounting firm in Dubai
reply
Noori 31 August 2020
Thank you for such a good explanation. Interesting to read and very helpful. Thanks again!
reply
lbtc 28 October 2020
I love what you guys are up too with the management. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.
reply
karan 2 November 2020
this blog is really informational, it has so many information that really helps in digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Company In India

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