There is a ground swell movement within creative advertising looking to kill off time as a means of determining client fees – and there are many valid arguments and reasons in favour of this. Of course, for many notable agencies, timesheets were never in.
The buzzword is deliverables - however evaluating client requirements in the requisite detail, including the type, number and complexity of deliverables within scopes of work takes some effort, and in a time-based remuneration world, a complete rethink and overhaul of pricing strategy will be needed.
There are some fast-track ways to helping this process.
Michael Farmer, author and respected strategy consultant to the global advertising sector, has researched the concept for many years and has evolved the ScopeMetrics® Unit (SMU) , a proprietary measurement index for determining fees, staffing and productivity levels for any given set of client deliverables.
It’s easy to take advantage of Michael’s research and adopt ScopeMetrics®, and we’ve been delighted to have worked with Michael on systemising his offering.
Yet, whether this particular measure is for you or not, how will you manage the deliverables within your current systems? Does your ERP have the bandwidth to differentiate complexity within the same job type, or string together the multiple jobs that it may take to make up the one deliverable, that are outside set project or campaign groupings?
At Agency DNA, we’ve been implementing and supporting agency solutions, and promoting innovation for over eight years, and have solved the dilemma.
Our BizView powered planning and reporting platform is already making light work of our agency clients’ reporting and forecasting processes.
Connecting to underlying ERP’s and other systems, we’re joining up data, eliminating masses of spreadsheets, and reducing manual data entry points to a handful of key Excel-like templates. Data integrity and “one source of the truth” confidence is firmly entrenched.
With an accompanying SQL database, we’re also holding historic data, pulled from defunct and switched-off systems, to tabulated data, such as the ScopeMetrics® database, allowing it to be easily combined and used in conjunction with live data from new or on-going ERP’s.
Scope of work detail can be compiled directly in the application through simple-to-use grid forms, or uploaded from dare I say, Excel templates we can provide. Alternatively, we can connect your ERP and pull in the relevant data, seamlessly and very fast.
Once in the application, it’s a simple process of mapping the data within what is an Excel-like environment, and in the many cases where the ERP data is deficient, supplementing this with relevant additional analysis.
The outcome is an instant calculation, including sets of deliverables extending to many thousands of rows, and presented in a neat summarised format. The reports can be filtered, by team, client down to deliverable, even shared online with clients – with access controls in place of course.
With the industry focus on finding and developing a new model for client engagement, our application allows you to test the hypothesis of deliverable-based remuneration, see from the perspective of what output your agency (or particular team) can be expected to deliver, the level of resource that should be applied to any or all accounts, and what commensurate fees you should enjoy.
We’ll happily demonstrate this for you.
 ERP, Enterprise Resource Management system, see http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/ERP.html
 BizView Systems AS.
 We’ve connected Maconomy, WorkBook and SAGE. Connections to MS Nav, AX and Xero also exist.
 SQL, structured query language, a globally standard language and database for programming and managing data.