“Without Accelo there’s no way we would’ve made it through this year, that’s a fact.”
IDS Agency, a Chile-based Growth Agency that specializes in Inbound Marketing, Inbound Sales, and Growth-Driven Design first encountered Service Operations Automation in September 2017.
Ranya Barakat, the IDS Co-Founder, embraced the new category of technology with both arms and hasn’t looked back. As a result, she has fundamentally changed the way she and her team run the business for the better.
Before harnessing the power of service automation, IDS was running on five different tools, including one for email, Basecamp for projects, Trello, HubSpot, and a third party time tracking tool. With so many separate systems, it was hard for Ranya to manage the business; data was incomplete and visibility was blocked. She was unable to answer questions like, 'are we over-delivering or under-delivering? Is the staff working at full capacity, and are funds being properly utilized?' She needed a system that could give her the right data to answer these questions with confidence...
Enter Service Operations Automation
As IDS began to scale, they started to feel the painful effects of growth. If they wanted to keep up with their rapid expansion, they had to get a clearer view of their operations; to recover important data that was buried in multiple tools.
Ranya found success with Accelo's Service Operations Automation (ServOps) technology and spearheaded a change in workflow. She was able to replace her disconnected tech-stack with one smart system to connect her team, clients, and data like never before. From retainers to tickets, to projects, the pieces came together in a way that supported the company’s growth and enabled them to scale with ease.
Simplifying Recurring Work
IDS only operates on retainers, so having a platform that supports this was a huge benefit to Ranya and her team. With built-in timers and retainer management, IDS now has an accurate gauge on how many hours are spent doing client work. "This has stopped us from over-delivering on projects where clients are given double of what they actually asked for - so we're no longer operating at a loss." Ranya added that her frustration with tracking time spent doing retainer work no longer exists, because it's all being handled by automation, seamlessly.
Improving Time Management
Prior to ServOps, Ranya and her team were wasting several hours structuring recurring work for ongoing clients. But now, they know ahead of time how many blogs, ebooks, and campaigns (for example) that need to be delivered to a client each month - because "Accelo automatically creates the tasks and assigns them to the team, which saves us a full day of work!" said Ranya.
“We started to realize that the clients who we thought would be the most time consuming or have the most activities are actually not as demanding as some of the other ones. This data has made us really aware of the operations of the agency,” she added, so that work can be prioritized and delivered on time.
Furthermore, Ranya is able to see the status of any particular conversation or issue associated to a retainer in her company's Activity Stream, in real-time; a feature that ensures no email or request ever goes unnoticed.
“I live on Accelo's Activity Stream,” said Ranya, who is obsessed with having a real-time feed of all client communication. Requests and emails from clients no longer fall through the cracks, and the increased visibility into projects and relationships is something she couldn't live without. She said: "prior to Accelo, we had absolutely no visibility into what we were delivering for clients and at what cost. Now, I see everything, including all emails, and can catch a problem before it actually happens."
"We also integrated Accelo with Slack - which is super helpful - so that I get automatically notified on what’s being done, what clients are requesting, and where my team is spending their time (or not spending it)," which saves Ranya from searching for those answers in multiple tools and tabs.
A More Efficient Future
While reducing busywork is a key performance indicator for Ranya, it is the time she expects to save with a more advanced Client Portal that her team is most excited about: "we're hoping to save 20-30% of our teams time because they won't need to move links, content, or questions from Accelo onto Trello, which they have to do now."
Despite implementing ServOps less than 10 months ago, IDS is already operating smoother, smarter and with far more success. So much so that the agencies new motto is: “if it’s not in Accelo it didn’t happen.”