We are lucky enough to work with many companies of all scales – agencies, ESNs, advertisers, firms, start-ups – and we have observed one constant: the majority of companies with less than 20 employees monitor their activity by invoicing. While almost no agency with more than 100 employees does this. They monitor their production by progress….
At Furious, we have decided to reveal you the management secret shared by the most structured companies…
Monitoring activity by invoicing
What does this mean? This means that all production monitoring is based on the number of invoices sent to customers per year. Turnover is usually defined at the end of the year. Jean-Mi the accountant quickly asking what’s going on with the last invoices sent out (you know, those last weeks of December when all the clients director are invoicing like crazy after the warning shot from BigBoss or DAFchéri) in order to make the link with the turnover.
December is then synonymous with lists of PCAs and FACEs to be filled in for the accounts department. For these agencies, it is also, curiously, their best month…
The advantage? This method of monitoring is simple and not complicated: all you have to do is add up the invoices sent and submit them to the accounting department.
The disadvantage? It’s an accounting perspective, very different from reality.
Example: imagine that you are late in invoicing some customers. You might think that the company is doing badly; and if you are ahead, you might be tempted to believe – erroneously – that you are good…
But the most serious thing is that you take the risk that there will be a gap of several weeks or even months between reality and what this monitoring method leads you to believe… #failed
Another non-negligible risk (and we know this has probably already happened to you… If not, how lucky!): you have made more progress on the project than the client has paid for… And the client is holding you hostage to get more time than he has bought.
In short, we usually move on to progress monitoring after a project disaster…
Here we no longer follow the level of invoicing on the clients, we follow the actual level of progress of the project.
So if we are at 50% of the project’s progress → we are halfway through the project.
Everything becomes clearer because the sum of the progress of the projects gives you the actual production level in real time. And therefore the real turnover of your company IN REAL TIME! No more tedious reviews of PCA and FAE…
And so in real time, you see everything: billing delays and advances, project risks, customer risks, under-staffing or over-staffing risks etc.
No more surprises: everything becomes simpler, clearer and the perspectives in time are obvious.
But how to do it? There is nothing magical or impossible here. Recognising the real-time progress of a project requires a robust methodology. This explains why this method is used in the great majority of cases in the most structured companies. And therefore of a certain scale.
How unfortunate, as a small agency working on progress would grow more serenely and therefore have a better chance of succeeding in its growth!
In fact, from experience, companies wait and realise the problem once they reach 30 to 50 employees. The stage where you no longer have everything under control, and therefore you no longer intuitively feel things correctly.
It’s far too late because at this stage it becomes difficult to change the habits of the whole agency!
So how to get there?
Furious helps hundreds of companies to easily and serenely deploy their production managementthrough visual and entertaining indicators.
It is never too late to choose the right processes (and tools!) that will help you structure your business. The recognition of your business in advance is one of those Must-Haves that every good CEO must implement.
Beyond an accurate and real-time overview of your projects – and your business – it will above all give you the serenity you need to grow furiously profitable!