Keeping pace with the market

Earl and Thompson is a fully integrated creative design and marketing agency based in Gloucestershire and employing a team of eleven specialists with exceptional marketing, creative and project management backgrounds. Individual specialisms cover a multitude of sectors, including Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering, Communications and Technology, HR and Recruitment and Professional Services. Much of the agency’s workload is linked to branding and brand development, particularly in the B2B sector, where this has become a key business trend.

Business Marketing has changed

Michelle Earl is a Director of the company, which has been in business for over 30 years, “Business Marketing has changed significantly over the last 10 years and many companies now rely solely on external agencies to be a close extension of their own marketing departments and become very active strategic business partners.”

Systems need to keep pace with market developments

Michelle revealed, “An agency with such a wide portfolio of activity needs to have appropriate management and administrative systems in place to keep track of everything that happens. In 2010 we realised that our systems were not keeping pace with the huge changes in the market. Our existing agency management system was both inflexible and fragmented, and we were spending considerable management time on simple admin tasks like invoicing; Management reports were very difficult to create and keeping tabs on individual job expenditure near to impossible.”

List of needs

“Finding the right system was critical to our future”, said Michelle, “We had a long shopping list of ‘must haves’ and we went to market to find what was available. Usefully, there were quite a number of comments on Linked-In about agency management software, and we were able to glean a lot of practical information about the systems in everyday use at other agencies. We built a short list of four and invited those companies to give demonstrations with particular emphasis on our criteria list. Some fell at the first hurdle but one in particular was able to meet and exceed our needs. This was Synergist from Express Systems.”

Simplicity and capability

“In practice Synergist has become the management tool we always needed and dreamed about.”

Michelle Earl Director
Earl and Thompson

Michelle went on to say, “What impressed us most was the simplicity and sheer capability of Synergist. Many of the tasks which had taken weeks in the previous system could be reduced to hours, and the integration of every aspect of agency management into one package would certainly improve productivity and profitability.” Michelle added, “We chose to install Synergist at the start of our new financial year. The process was amazingly slick and smooth and we were up and running in a very short time with no glitches or errors marring the set up. We trained up two ‘super-users’ to be our internal help desk, but we always had access to the Synergist Helpdesk if needed.”

Management tool of choice

Michelle summarised, “In practice Synergist has become the management tool we always needed and dreamed about. It has handed back responsibility to those people who do the work and empowered each individual to maintain full control over their own accounts. Synergist has provided levels of accuracy and functionality that could not have been envisaged at the outset.”

A significant difference

Michelle explained, “An example of the significant difference made by Synergist is in client invoicing. Previously we would have spent the equivalent of 10 working days just creating the individual client invoices.

Today the same job can be completed by one person in less than a day. The system allows us to see exactly where we are with every job in terms of profitability and progress, and enables all associated costs, purchase orders and time to be fully analysed and allocated. We installed Synergist on the 1st July last year and I can confidently say that the system has already paid for itself in just 10-months.

The ideal solution

Michelle concluded, “Finding an off the shelf agency management solution that fulfilled all our requirements was little short of amazing. I know that we still have more to learn and that Synergist will continue to surprise us with its capabilities. I would certainly recommend the system to any full service marketing agency as the ideal management software.”

Further information

For further information on how Synergist can make an impact on your business please contact us .

Visit Earl & Thompson at www.earl-thompson.co.uk