Article

Jodie Byass
Jodie Byass 13 April 2016
Categories Advertising, Technology

Headaches in Managing Ad Agency Resources

One common frustration experienced by ad agencies is the difficulty of managing resources effectively. And, unfortunately, when resource management goes awry both workflows and budgets ultimately suffer. So what are the top 3 headaches experienced when managing ad agency resources? 

One common frustration experienced by ad agencies is the difficulty of managing resources effectively. And, unfortunately, when resource management goes awry both workflows and budgets ultimately suffer. So what are the top 3 headaches experienced when managing ad agency resources? 

1. Ad agency departments operating in silos

When I think of “silo” the prominent word that comes to mind is solitary. Not that being solitary is a bad thing – in the right scenario. But in business there’s no getting past the fact that it’s a collaborative effort.

There’s a number of departments that exist within ad agencies that are depended upon to get the job done efficiently. All too often the creative, production and account management teams are operating in silos, which doesn’t equate to visibility or a cross-sectional overview of all the work being done.

Generally each department is utilising a different tool to manage its current workloads and resources. For example, the creative team might be using a white board to chart progress, while the studio department is using spreadsheets and manual brief/job bags. Quite simply, it’s not possible for the heads of each department to have visibility across other departments and the work they’re doing if everyone is working in silos. Headache number one.

2. An absence of project management tools in ad agencies

Believe it not, many ad agencies are still working without project or resource management solutions. Unless management possesses the ability to read minds, in the absence of this essential tool its impossible to glean a real time overview of the resources that have been and are currently being utilised, and where there is resource capacity compared to none. Déjà vu and the ad agency is experiencing the same type of headache as previous: a lack of visibility of the work in progress across the agency, as well as new projects in the pipeline.

If departments are oblivious to work or deadlines until the project hits their desks, this will unequivocally lead to resources working overtime, which is a regular occurrence across this industry. Furthermore, account management is the critical link between the client and the agency, and one of its key roles is to keep the client happy. If account managers can’t access an overview via a project management tool, often this means they are blindly saying YES to client requests, without having a clear view of the volume of work in progress and the capacity of resources. More work may equal not enough resources.

3. Budget blowouts in ad agencies

And this is where the migraine sets in. Unfortunately, budget blowouts occur all too readily across the industry. When the point has been reached where departmental resources don’t have the capacity to meet deadlines, an agency will usually bring in freelancers to complete the work in a timely manner. This, however, comes at a cost – a cost that the client will not be willing to cover because it wasn’t scoped in the agreed work.

Overall, this reduces the profits of the ad agency, which is not a positive outcome for the business at the end of the day. No more headaches The good news is you can avoid these types of headaches when managing your ad agency resources. Stay tuned for our next update outlining a simple and effective solution to ease the pain and streamline your resource management.

No More Headaches......

The good news is you can avoid these types of headaches when managing resources. Stay tuned for our next update outlining a simple and effective solution to ease the pain and streamline your resource management.

Meanwhile we'd like to suggest some further reading on management tools: Why traditional project management tools do not meet creative agencies' needs.

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