> “Streamline, has revolutionised my business. We easily capture creative and
> account management time plus all our supplier and third party costs, which
> means we can invoice confident in the accuracy of our data. In the five
> years we’ve been using it we’ve improved agency efficiencies and
> profitability, kept our good staff for longer and built long term client
> relationships based on trust.” – Phillip Sunderland, Founder and Managing
> Director, Q Brand Agency
Seven years on from its beginning Q Brand Agency was experiencing strong growth and local success but Q Brand’s Founder and Managing Director, Phillip Sunderland, was facing several challenges in efficiency and operational management. There was excessive data handling from job creation to invoicing, no ‘real time’ reporting, it was extremely difficult to source quotes and there was a lack of effective production management all leading to a decrease in revenue and profit.
As well, Sunderland admitted that being a creative person himself and having employees who were predominantly creative was also a challenge. “We aren’t known for our attention to detail and willingness to record information accurately, and rightly so,” he explained.
Q Brand Agency is a hybrid agency that offers the complete package of branding, creative strategy, design, advertising, marketing, account management, media placements, software development, TV production and new media solutions. Q Brand was founded in 1994 and is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. The company employs 22 staff including art directors, copywriters, account directors, designers, post production, media specialists, IT specialists, business development and administration support.
By 2002 Q Brand was desperate for a solution to its challenges and, after examining multiple out-of-the-box products, discovered Streamline from Particle Systems. Streamline is a solution that allows creative agencies to quickly and easily track and manage design jobs, briefs, head hours, disbursements, invoicing, quoting and contact information – ensuring all time and materials are captured and on-charged to clients.
The introduction of Streamline has taken Q Brand from a slow, painful, manual system of entering and tracking jobs, time and billings to a fully automated digital workflow system. Some of the most important benefits include:
* Information that was being handled up to five times is now dealt with once only.
* Job details are now entered into the central system as they come into the studio so no relevant information is lost
* Time and materials are tracked in real time not on an ad-hoc basis
* The average job can go from being briefed to invoiced in a matter of hours instead of weeks
* Fast turnaround and high volume reporting is no longer a problem
* Invoiced jobs are automatically exported from Streamline into the MYOB accounting package so there’s no double handling and invoices are customised.
Q Brand have been using Streamline for five years now, and it has enabled them to:
* Capture 75 percent more creative time than previously equating to an annual revenue increase of approximately 40 percent
* Capture 300 percent more account management time, which means it is able to bill accurately, again equating to approximately $450,000 in additional revenue
* Improve agency profitability by 100 percent
* Increase productivity by 100 percent
* Reduce time spent by account managers, designers and agency management on administration by 400 percent
* Capture all supplier costs and disbursements and is able to on-charge these in an accurate and timely manner
Sunderland said, “Streamline has revolutionised my business. With its introduction I got my sanity back and more time to work on what I enjoy – being creative! We now easily capture creative and account management time plus all our supplier and third party costs, which means we can invoice confident in the accuracy of our data. In the five years we’ve been using it we’ve improved agency efficiencies by 100 percent and subsequently profitability by 100 percent. As well we’ve kept our good staff longer and built long term client relationships based on trust. ”
Daryl Peterson, Production Manager at Q Brand commented, “From the production perspective, the time savings have allowed our people to focus on the areas of the business they value. Our staff come to work to be creative and enjoy most the development of campaigns that are memorable and distinctive in the marketplace – they don’t want to focus on accounts and backend detail. Streamline allows them to do what they enjoy without hassle.”