When Jen Farrell joined Muhlenhaupt + Company in 2018 as the agency’s Project and Agency Operations Manager, one of her first initiatives was to implement Accelo company-wide. Muhlenhaupt, a digital creative agency located in Pennsylvania, focuses on creating revenue growth for their clients. This includes services such as inbound lead generation, website and e-commerce optimization, marketing automation, and more. Muhlenhaupt + Company work with their clients from ideation to implementation. They currently serve around 20 clients in a variety of B2B and B2C industries including e-commerce, consumer goods, and SaaS.
In her role, Jen is responsible for agency operations while developing and executing on internal project management strategies. In previous roles, Jen has often been left to work with antiquated project management systems which made her job much more difficult. Muhlenhaupt + Company specifically used a mixture of tools including Trello, Google Sheets, and Google Docs for certain aspects of the business. Additionally, they would sometimes use a client’s preferred project management system for a certain period of time.
“Everything was all over the place,” Jen mentioned. “It was a lot to keep track of on a daily basis.” It wasn’t long before the team grew weary of working with multiple platforms. There were a lot of different platforms to monitor, and as a thriving agency, Muhlenhaupt + Company was seeing an increase in client workload. Eventually, an employee was tasked with finding a platform that would help with scaling in the next few years.
“We are an agency with a growth mindset,” Jen said. “We didn’t want to just adopt a system that we were going to abandon in two or three years when we’re a much larger organization.”
While the focus on client service prevented the team from doing this research for themselves, the team was tasked with researching project management platforms for a client. That’s how they first found Accelo. As they took a deep dive into the platform, they found it was exactly what they were looking for.
“Accelo, as a tool, is light years ahead of what other companies are doing,” Jen said. “There are a ton of agencies who are still using Excel to do status sheets and project planning to make sure they’re on time. What sets us apart is that we have a technology that assists us with that, so we have more time to dedicate to the client."
Jen was particularly impressed with the user-friendliness of Accelo and the amount of accessibility that comes with it. “There is so much information at your fingertips,” Jen said. “Every day I do the same thing. I get to work, I log onto Accelo, and I read through the Stream to see what transpired last night while no one was really monitoring email. I go through and see what the team has worked on. So it really makes my job so much easier without having to search in ten different places to find all that information.
Since implementing Accelo, the company has seen a 30% increase in efficiency. At the time, there was a reduction in team size, but that didn’t stop them from thriving. In fact, the agency was able to complete the same amount of work—and bring in the same amount of revenue—with fewer full-time employees.
There are many ways Accelo helps their business run. Jen specifically uses it for resource planning in her day-to-day. She can access her team’s schedule and see who has the bandwidth to take on additional projects. She can foresee staffing issues and prevent employee burnout by hiring additional help.
Another huge benefit has been the amount of time saved by building templates for projects and tasks for retainers. There’s no longer a need to manually assign work at the beginning of a retainer period which could take up to a month for Muhlenhaupt + Company. Jen then gets her time back to get ahead on client work.
“Now, Accelo serves as our single source of truth for all project planning, tracking, retainer management, billing record, time tracking, and client contacts,” Jen said. “And more importantly, it ties everything we do back to dollars, which has ultimately made us more profitable since we weren't doing that before.”