99c chooses Deltek WorkBook to digitise manual and disparate systems, and create a single agency workflow to enhance visibility into workload, capacity and overall business operations.

The firm has partnered closely with Silversoft to implement Deltek WorkBook’s best-of-suite agency platform to transform the way in which the agency manages resources, in an optimal manner to drive client success.

“I’m incredibly proud to call 99c a client. After 5 years of close partnership in working through their key requirements, Hylton and the team have chosen Silversoft and Deltek WorkBook to reimagine the workflow of the firm and implement innovative technology to streamline their processes” Says Dan Marcus, Director: Agency Solutions at Silversoft.

“99c has over 400 staff with many moving parts and processes. Having a single agency solution suite in place has been a game changer for our firm and the team at Silversoft were instrumental in partnering with our firm to transform the way in which we work and optimize our workflow. Says Janci Prinsloo, Business Process Manager at 99c.

Hylton Heather, Director of Production at 99c adds “Having live actionable analytics at our fingertips has allowed the firm to focus on the key metrics that turn the needle, which is a massive driving factor in improving the agencies margin. Our firm is consistently investing in improving efficiency and having a platform in place like WorkBook is core to our long-term success.”

About 99c

99c is an independent, full-service, integrated advertising and communications agency, providing creative solutions for a wide variety of clients across many fields and industries.

Taking the time to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients and fully engage in their businesses has stood us in good stead, often leading to our own organic growth, starting with one brand and gaining others from within a client’s group portfolio. So too have the lessons we’ve learned, the systems we’ve implemented, the structures we’ve developed and the culture we’ve created; all of which allow us to provide creative solutions for a wide variety of clients across many fields. The proof? Today, we’re almost 300-staff strong and still growing.

About Silversoft

For 15 years, Silversoft has been delivering enterprise solutions to people and project-centric firms, supporting over 50,000 users across South Africa and beyond. Silversoft has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the local Platinum Partner for Deltek – the leading international provider of software to the Professional Services industry.

With WorkBook by Deltek, Silversoft delivers beautiful Agency Management technology that will help your firm win the best accounts, deliver the greatest projects, delight your clients and be more profitable. Workbook looks good. Lifts heavy.

Find out how Deltek WorkBook can transform the way your agency performs here.

 

How to motivate your team to produce good work, even during a global pandemic

We all know what it’s like to dig deep on a Monday morning, trying to find the smallest bit of motivation to get out of bed and dress for work. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it sort of threw the world into a permanent “Monday morning” situation. Along with the increased levels of stress and anxiety it brought to agencies and businesses all over the globe, came an adjustment to remote working and a struggle amongst employees to find motivation to be innovative and creative. 

Research conducted in partnership with Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group, involving 9,000 managers and employees from firms across 15 European countries, revealed that, “It’s a challenge to feel connected, confident and communicate effectively with the team, and we know from a lot of research that creativity and innovation largely happen through collaboration.” A healthy team culture is achieved when employees feel motivated to be creative and productive. 

But, how do you implement this type of work environment when employees are unable to get together in the office for a good, old-fashioned creative brainstorming session?

Fortunately there are a number of effective strategies you can implement within your teams now to ensure you can harness that collaborative mentality, and motivate your team to produce creative work, at a distance. 

Ensure an effective briefing process

According to Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency, providing a clear creative brief, a day or two before an online brainstorming sessions, is key because it “allows people to digest the information, do research, and come armed with questions along with any potential thought starters that can start the brainstorm out with a burst of energy.”

Download a helpful Creative Brief Checklist

Use virtual whiteboards for collaboration

Traditional brainstorming whiteboards are found to actually limit creativity because often one individual is responsible for recording all thoughts, whereas virtual whiteboards allow everyone to contribute, show and record their ideas. Visual collaboration in a virtual space also means you can loop in other team members who may work in different country offices. You could even use this process to encourage healthy competition, circling the “winning ideas” on the virtual whiteboard and challenging your team to suggest better ideas.

Here are a few virtual whiteboards we recommend checking out: 

Source: https://www.innovationtraining.org/what-is-mural-and-how-to-use-mural-for-design-thinking/

Encourage individual work 

Grace Judson, a leadership consultant, advises that you provide your team with limited solo brainstorming time, using a ripple effect: The first team member starts and is given 5 minutes to write out their ideas. Once they are done, the second team member goes, either coming up with new ideas, or using the ideas of the previous team member as inspiration, still on the 5-minute clock. This continues until all team members have contributed and then the results are up for discussion. 

Equip your team with a helpful brainstorming activity sheet

For many, the best way to tackle those Monday morning blues is to grab hold of a big cup of coffee. And for us, giving our team tools to help get their creative juices flowing while working from home, is the equivalent to a shot of espresso. 

Which is why we’ve developed a free, downloadable, Idea Generation Workbook that you can share with your team today – either for them to complete alone or for you to work through it with them. 

This sheet offers a few out-of-the-box ideas for brainstorming effectively, as well as formal processes they can follow to keep them focused and motivated. Before long, your team will be producing such good work, and solving every problem thrown at them, you will have forgotten remote working was ever a struggle in the first place. 

Ready to see your team’s innovative thinking thrive? Get your free Idea Generation Workbook by completing the below form.

 

What does the future hold for creative agencies worldwide?

Campaign and Deltek surveyed agency professionals across EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific regions about everything from profitability and processes to what’s really giving them sleepless nights. In total, 670 agency professionals, from more than 30 countries participated, and the results are a global snapshot of the trends that are shaping the industry.

The key trends worldwide:

    • Many agencies have grown and diversified, but this is not necessarily translating to greater profit margins
    • Over-servicing and scope creep is the number one concern worldwide
    • Nearly half of all agencies want to improve their processes for finding & retaining the right talent
    • Opportunities to improve project management and client handling processes are being missed

Increase your agency’s profit margins with accurate scoping, resourcing and job delivery.

Over-servicing or “scope creep” is a real issue faced by many agencies, but how can it be avoided in this fast-paced industry to ensure that businesses are billing clients accurately?

Download this whitepaper for some practical tips on how to:

  • Track your agency’s KPIs accurately
  • Create clear SLAs and SOWs
  • Re-evaluate your business model

Silversoft is pleased to announce that Elevator, a brand experience agency in South Africa has chosen Deltek WorkBook to streamline their financial reporting processes and improve their decision-making capabilities.

Along with a growing team came the need for a more robust reporting tool across their business. Needing to move quickly as a business, and not be tied down by laborious processes driven by multiple systems to manage the agency, Elevator implemented Deltek WorkBook as a Best-of-Suite solution. Elevator is now able to have greater overall visibility of their business with WorkBook’s all-encompassing project management, time tracking and finance features.

About Elevator
Elevator, in partnership with Smollan, combine hard hitting creative with the country’s largest executional footprint. From idea to execution, Elevator solves business problems and delivers results. Current clients include Astron, Purity, Lipton Iced Tea, Skyy Vodka & Metropolitan.

About Silversoft
For 15 years, Silversoft has been delivering enterprise solutions to people and project-centric firms, supporting over 50,000 users across South Africa and beyond. Silversoft has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the local Platinum Partner for Deltek – the leading international provider of software to the Professional Services industry.
With WorkBook by Deltek, Silversoft delivers beautiful Agency Management technology that will help your firm win the best accounts, deliver the greatest projects, delight your clients and be more profitable. Workbook looks good. Lifts heavy.

Find out how Deltek WorkBook can transform the way your agency performs here.

Silversoft is excited to add yet another fantastic customer to the family; NP Digital – a search and digital content marketing agency based in Johannesburg. NP Digital had outgrown their internal agency system and were looking for an integrated platform to drive advanced project management and scheduling.

Deltek WorkBook suited NP Digital’s requirements perfectly. Through scheduling complex tasks with the task dependency and capacity viewing features, NP Digital was able to streamline their process, and become more efficient.

About NP Digital
NP Digital (formerly National Positions SA) is a Google Premier Partner and leading digital agency that specialises in delivering a qualified digital audience through mastering the art and science of search, performance and data.

About Silversoft
For 15 years, Silversoft has been delivering enterprise solutions to people and project centric firms, supporting over 50,000 users across South Africa and beyond. Silversoft has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the local Platinum Partner for Deltek – the leading international provider of software to the Professional Services industry. With WorkBook by Deltek, Silversoft delivers beautiful Agency Management technology that will help your firm win the best accounts, deliver the greatest projects, delight your clients and be more profitable. WorkBook looks good. Lifts heavy.

Find out how Deltek WorkBook can transform the way your agency performs here.

Get Ready for Vantagepoint, the Breakthrough Project-focused software solution.

Built specifically for professional services firms to improve productivity, boost collaboration and increase profitability.

People and projects are the heart and soul of your business. That’s why Deltek created Vantagepoint, a powerful, intuitive solution that helps your people manage your projects from start to finish. Deltek Vantagepoint’s 360-degree view of your projects puts client, project and financial details in a single location. That all adds up to making well-informed tactical and strategic business decisions and a more efficient, productive and profitable company.

Deltek Vantagepoint is the newly branded, freshly reimagined next version of Deltek Vision built specifically for professional services organizations. Think of Vantagepoint as Vision taken to a whole new level – a streamlined browser-based interface, reengineered workflows and expanded functionality. With Vantagepoint, current Vision customers will get everything you’ve always loved about Vision and much, much more all in a slick new interface that will be accessible to anyone, anytime from anywhere.

Download the Product Guide to find out the new features and powerful enhancements based on years of feedback from our customers.

 

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We consider it our ongoing mission to truly understand our clients’ challenges and proactively identify what help they need to solve these challenges. To this end, we recently worked with Campaign UK to survey 100 agencies. The focus of the research was agency efficiency and productivity – in essence, do agencies have the right processes and systems in place to maximise their creativity? The results show that while this is a clear priority for agencies, most are not satisfied that the tools they are using are the right ones. I’ve selected some of what I found to be the most interesting data points to share with you.

See the full survey results

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

Key Challenges:

Let’s start with the problems those surveyed want to solve:

  1. Managing ever-increasing client expectations for cheaper, better and faster work
  2. Finding and retaining qualified staff
  3. Charging clients correctly (in terms of accurate budgeting, timekeeping and managing scope creep)
  4. Forecasting and planning in an always-changing environment
  5. Resource management aligned with capacity

These issues aren’t new and there aren’t any that can’t be solved by implementing effective processes to measure productivity and efficiency. So, what’s holding agencies back?

Efficiency: Every Agency’s Holy Grail?

advertising agency software

While the vast majority (85%) of survey respondents said that their agencies were measuring operational efficiency in some way, the methods used varied. 42% reported using a mixture of automated and manual systems to keep track of operational efficiency, while 28% said they still tracked efficiency mainly through manual methods, such as spreadsheets. The problem with this tracking approach was summarised by one respondent, the strategy director at an agency; “I have to look at one spreadsheet for our budget, one for time spent, another for costs – and while we use software for pipeline management, those systems aren’t joined up.”

Getting Estimates Right: What’s Going Wrong?

‘69% of agencies report too many guesstimates in their estimates’

However, 29% said they did not have that clear insight and 21% were only “somewhat” convinced by their estimates. More worryingly, one in 10 of those surveyed either did not know if their estimates were correct or were not confident in their accuracy.

So, what is undermining confidence in business estimates? The answer seems to lie in the fact that agencies’ estimates are too often underpinned by a certain amount of guesswork. 69% of those surveyed felt they had some of the information they needed to produce accurate business estimates, but that too many guesstimates were involved in the process.

One strategy director was candid about how easy it is to fall into over-reliance on guesstimates: “What we think we know about our business is massively open to personal bias – too often, we base our thinking on ‘I reckon…’ rather than hard data. We often think we know who our best clients are, but do the numbers bear that out?’’ he asked.

Where Technology Meets Creativity

project management for creative agencies

“Moving to a single system has allowed the team to increase the speed with which they can access data – it allows them to spend more time on creating the work and less on the tracking of it.”
– Mark Jones, We Are Social

The results showed that most agencies felt that better technology would help build a clearer picture of their business, and free up staff to concentrate on creativity. 66% thought that agency management software could help with easier project scheduling and time tracking and a similar number believed it could reduce excessive admin time and unbillable costs. 52% thought software systems could help align resourcing and staffing pipelines, while nearly as many (47%) believed they could increase the accuracy of estimates and invoices.

So, what’s the real problem? It seems that agencies are not actually taking advantage of these technology benefits.

Most agencies (66%) were using multiple systems to manage and monitor their activity and were only “somewhat” happy with the result. Meanwhile, a significant minority (16%) were successfully using one integrated software system across the whole agency. A unified system appears to be the key to success. Mark Jones of We Are Social is convinced of the benefits of a cohesive approach: “Moving to a single system has allowed the team to increase the speed with which they can access data – it allows them to spend more time on creating the work and less on the tracking of it.”

I’ve only been able to touch on a couple of points from what was a truly enlightening research piece in this blog. Please do download the full report here for a more detailed view of the insights and trends we uncovered.

Increase Creative Team Efficiency Using Online Proofing
Deliver Finished Conte‍‍‍nt 10x Faster

Inefficient review and approval of content can eat up 60% of a project’s time. Deltek has added ConceptShare, one of the leading online proofing and review tools, to its portfolio of agency management solutions to help agencies and in-house teams deliver content faster, with higher quality, and at a lower cost.

Learn how switching to online proofing and approval can help your teams:

  • Streamline your creative production supply chain
  • Deliver more content, faster at less cost
  • Securely share work with clients and external reviewers
  • Automatically generate audit trails of all rev‍‍‍iews‍‍‍
  • Reduce approval times by 80%

Register to Webinar below

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It’s a strange time to be entering adland; with the industry constantly transforming and restructuring to meet consumer demands. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure an agency’s success in this period of change and instability. Or, so it seems anyway.

The Drum has teamed up with Deltek, to host a webinar that discusses what a successful agency looks like today, citing purpose, creativity and profitability as some of the key drivers behind adding value to a business.

While brilliant campaigns and creative ideas are an effective currency, they can’t be activated in isolation. Establishing the above key factors with brilliant creativity will elevate an agency further and help to make them stand out from the crowd.

Speakers on the webinar include representatives from creative consultancy firm Radley Yeldar, who will share their company’s journey of harnessing technology to drive innovation. Other conversation points will centre on the importance of cultivating a balance between creativity and transparency to ensure results can be met and understood meaningfully.

The session will take place on November 21st at 11am GMT (13th Hrs South Africa), register your interest here to avoid disappointment.

Register below

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