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And so this is Christmas… what have we done?

With the silly season upon us, and the calendar year fast approaching an end, it’s time to reflect not just on the quality of creative output achieved in 2017, but also to take stock on how profitably those big ideas were delivered. Too often design efficiency is accurately measured and analysed for the client to the consumer and very rarely internally from an agency perspective.

Over-service has become an all too familiar term across the design sector, where more work rarely coincides with an increase in revenue. In a service based industry it’s easy to go over and above on those key strategic accounts that drive revenue and worry about the wash up later… why not make a New Year’s resolution to take back control of your real-time outputs to negate these issues?

The ability to identify which accounts the metaphorical kitchen sink is being thrown at in real time and acting on it quickly, should be a vision for every agency in 2018. On the other end of the spectrum those accounts that need a little TLC should also be flagged before it’s too late. 

Knowledge to help you run your business efficiently requires real time information on how each job is tracking against the client estimate, real time information about resource requirements and whether jobs can be juggled to avoid additional freelance costs, real time retainer utilisation data, clear information on which jobs are in scope and which are not, real time information on which of your staff are performing and which are not, which accounts contribute and which don’t.

In our experience, agencies tend to see greater transparency of their business after big process reviews. These improvements, such as a systems upgrade, generally take time and effort to decide on but once implemented can save significant margin.

Leading agency, JKR Global’s account service staff used a myriad of complex Excel templates to prepare estimates before entering summarised data into their existing system, because it was easier. This led to a number of common problems:

  • Summarised estimates made it impossible to identify areas of overrun
  • No ability to provide detailed forecasts as data was not held centrally
  • All job cost reporting was performed outside of the system, due to lack of data in the system
  • Effort required to prepare accurate reports was significant and quickly out of date

Since the roll out of Pegasus at JKR Global, their FD Mike Khan has remarked at the range of agency process improvement the system has driven, leading to an increase in recoverability across many of the key metrics the DBA Annual Survey Report provides insight into, such as recovery rates of staff utilisation, rate card recovery and overhead management.

How many of the common problems detailed above do you encounter within your own business? If they seem all too familiar, then it’s time to take control. With another year over and a new one about to begin, be sure not to repeat the same mistakes of 2017 – instead empower your agency by gaining access to your data. With the right system in place let’s make the headache of using Excel and multiple other tools to prepare estimates, create revenue forecasts, allocate resources etc. a thing of the past. Once you’ve done this, your 2019 mantra will be ‘Profit is the power to do what you want’.

Partners for the DBA Annual Survey Report 2017

pegasus pegasus

At Pegasus making agencies more profitable is in our DNA. We have vast experience of running agencies and know how to implement a system to improve the visibility of all elements of your business. We start by conducting a process review and audit of your existing system and then demonstrate how we can configure Pegasus to meet your requirements and make you more efficient and profitable.


Pegasus provides a specialised marketing services software solution focused on exceeding our clients’ expectations, developing the system with our user base and building long term relationships through innovation and exceptional client support. Our clients include all major international groups, plus a growing number in the UK with notable agencies such as JKR and Droga5 amongst them. Supporting over 130 clients with 6,000+ staff globally in London, New York, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan. We are a private staff-owned company with over 30 years focused solely on the advertising and communications industry. All directors are previously agency FDs, all client service and product delivery staff have worked in agencies in senior financial roles. Our in-depth understanding of agencies’ processes is our strength!

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About: Daniel Hogan

Daniel is a CA qualified Consultant at Pegasus Systems UK with an extensive history in operational and financial management of Advertising, Design, Creative and Digital agencies. He specialises in agency platform transition management and is committed to growing the presence of Pegasus in the UK.

Image credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters | Unsplash

Image credit: Crew | Unsplash


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