Effectively running an agency requires many moving parts working together toward two common goals – keeping clients satisfied and protecting the company's bottom line. This means keeping a watchful eye and constantly seeking to improve areas of inefficiency where money is being lost. While each of these inefficiencies may only account for small losses, over time, the costs can add up to substantial amounts of lost revenue.
Some of these problem areas are easy to recognize. Oftentimes, you are already aware of the issue but unsure of the solution. Some problems are more subtle. Even if you haven’t recognized potential problem areas yet, they could still be draining money out of the budget. Five common areas where money is lost through inefficiency are:
Finding solutions for these problems is not always easy and may require outside help — like Accelo’s client work management platform specifically designed for agencies to improve both productivity and profitability. You may be surprised to learn just how much of a difference clearing up these issues can make to your bottom line.
Lost productivity is one of the easier inefficiencies to notice, but it is not always easy to fix. Having inefficient processes or a lack of communication between team members can easily lead to unnecessary idle time during a project. Additionally, the minutes and hours spent trying to rectify any mistakes caused by these inefficiencies only further cut down on productivity.
A solution to eliminate both of these potential productivity losses would be to get a good client work management system in place. Accelo's client work management platform helps to reduce workflow bottlenecks and communication breakdowns by having every aspect of a project be monitored and addressed in a single location. Each team member’s progress and input is tracked, along with a record of the methods and techniques they are using to accomplish their tasks. Contributors can even extend beyond your internal team to include contractors and freelancers. With this insight, any developing problems can be identified and solved before one individual’s error affects the whole team.
Accelo also makes it easy for team members and management to communicate with each other through the platform, allowing all communications to be tracked, even across email with Outlook and Gmail sync integrations. With hours saved through streamlined communication, employees can focus their reclaimed time toward more productive work, like getting ahead on daily tasks and communicating with clients.
Untracked or unbillable time refers to the time your agency staff spends doing activities that are less commonly thought of as billable, such as reading emails or attending meetings. These tasks may seem small or insignificant compared to larger deliverables, but not tracking this time can result in the loss of substantial amounts of revenue for your business.
The biggest issue is that even when encouraged to do so, many employees do not accurately account for the amount of time spent doing these activities. As many as 40% of employees surveyed responded that they never report the time they spend reading and responding to client emails and 25% of businesses do not track time spent in meetings.
To rectify this situation, Accelo offers smart automation time tracking software which automatically captures an employee’s email correspondence, calendar appointments and tasks to instantly populate their weekly timesheet. Tracking these activities automatically saves your employees time and provides a more accurate count of your agency’s billable hours.
Even the best technology will not help your agency if you are not using it properly and tapping into all of its functionality. Chances are good that you are paying for features that you don’t even use, whether you know how to make them work for you or not. Not only could these untapped features benefit your bottom line if used correctly, but paying for services you do not use is a needless drain on your budget.
Make sure to check what support, training and technical assistance are available from your technology or software provider. At Accelo, clients have access to training and customer support to help ensure proper use of the platform and to promote greater client satisfaction.
Misplaced efforts are one cause of inefficiency that may be a bit more difficult to recognize and quantify. Misplaced efforts happen when multiple people are working on the same task when one would suffice or when tasks are assigned to team members who are under or overqualified. These situations reduce your agency's efficiency and result in wasted time that can negatively impact your bottom line.
Luckily there are ways to avoid these misplaced efforts, like implementing a client work management system where all assignments and employees can be tracked simultaneously. With one look, you can see which team members have been assigned which tasks, and how they are progressing. Using a platform like Accelo can provide these solutions so that your agency can recognize misplaced time quickly and take steps to rectify the situation before any money is lost.
Chasing down information is as frustrating as it is inefficient. In a digital world, we expect to find information with the click of a button, but when systems are not in place, the search becomes cumbersome and inevitably wastes time. In an agency setting, examples of this issue may include: searching for contact information for a client trying to track down the status of a project - especially when an employee leaves; work being repeated because of a lack of communication or lost files; and time spent sending emails to unresponsive or inactive clients or leads.
To solve this problem, an agency’s first priority should be finding a system that stores all their information in one centralized place. Using a cloud-based storage system provides your employees with one secure, centralized place to navigate your agency’s information.
In addition to storing information, a platform like Accelo also allows you to sort clients, leads, and potential leads into rankings based on the frequency of contact and/or the number of projects completed so you can easily tell whether it's worth reaching out to a certain lead or past client. Sign up for a free trial and discover more ways to reduce inefficiencies in your agency to increase your profitability.