The Agency Works began implementing Synergist alongside Jacqui in November 2019. Jacqui says, “The Agency Works helped us set up Synergist in a way that works for us. One aspect that really stands out is our reporting – it has been transformed.
“I have to run 15 monthly reports and whereas previously I would be doing it manually, now they run automatically and they’re waiting in my inbox. Because data is pulled from a live system, the reports are up to date and accurate. Plus, being able to adapt, filter and manipulate data and pull it into different formats makes running reports quick, easy, and they’re more insightful. This level of reporting has changed the way we look at things.”
“Because of the information we can now access, we’re reviewing our aims and goals and they’re much more tangible and measurable than before,” says Jacqui.
Jacqui says, “We’re also working towards driving efficiencies by giving section leads visibility of the data we can now access, along with training to help them interpret and act on it. Essentially we’ll be using Synergist to drive a behaviour change around costing projects, running jobs efficiently and billing accuracy.”
The insight we’ve gained has been priceless while we’ve been navigating covid. And Jay’s guidance has been invaluable, especially as we needed to act fast.
Jacqui March, Finance Director, Scarlett Abbott
scarlettabbott also invested in consultancy support from The Agency Works team. Jacqui says, “Having input from Jay into our business planning has been invaluable – we’ve changed what we do and the way we do things. He questioned our processes and used his experience of working with hundreds of agencies and consultancies to make sure we were doing things the best way for what we wanted to achieve. His consulting style is very much around understanding where we want to get to and guiding us on how to get there.
“Jay takes a real interest in your business and he’s extremely experienced in terms of the financial management and strategy. He understands how to run agencies and consultancies efficiently and profitably,” says Jacqui. “It’s unusual to find that experience in one person and means I don’t need to go to two or three different people to get the expertise I need. The big benefit is that he’s seen most scenarios before, so his advice and guidance is based on first-hand experience,” says Jacqui.
“The process highlighted all the things we should be thinking about. Now we’re confident we’re doing all the right things and reviewing the right data to achieve our goals.”
“The next part of the process was going to be strategy-focused but four months into the implementation, COVID happened and suddenly we needed to totally to change how we looked at the business,” says Jacqui.
“Jay spent time with me to transform our forecasting, analysis and reporting in light of the situation. The insight we’ve gained has been priceless while we’ve been navigating COVID. And Jay’s guidance has been invaluable, especially as we needed to act fast. Without that support, it would have taken me weeks to work out which data I needed, pull it out and understand what it was telling me.”
Jacqui says, “I’ve been able to share business-critical information from forecasting to utilisation to billing with the senior directors quickly and easily. Before Synergist we were manually extracting data and then manipulating it which would have slowed down our response to the situation.”
“We’re working on the longer-term strategy shortly with support from The Agency Works,” says Jacqui. “We don’t know what’s going to happen next concerning COVID or its impact on the business, so Jay will be helping us review what we’re doing around delivery and finance; what needs to change and what we can do better to help us grow as a business. Using the data we can now pull out of Synergist we can understand more about our clients and the sectors we work with and so be more strategic when it comes to business development too.”
“Knowing there’s someone to speak to when I’ve got a question or need some advice is reassuring and working with Jay often feels like having a mentor. It’s given me more confidence in what I do and has changed how I look at things.”