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User Story: Swear Words Use WorkflowMax To Improve Their Efficiency

User Stories is a regular column on the WorkflowMax blog where we talk to businesses who are using WorkflowMax to manage their projects and improve workflows. We get a company to walk us through their workflow process and explain how they use different features. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. We hope you’re inspired by what others do and gain a better understanding of how WorkflowMax could work for your own business!

This week, we’re talking to Scott Larritt of Swear Words, a Melbourne based creative agency specialising in design, web development and branding. We spoke to Scott about how they use WorkflowMax in their business.

Welcome Scott!

Tell us about your company. Who are you, and what do you do?

Scott: Swear Words create unique, confident and enduring brand identities. Our design solutions, and the strategies upon which they are built, promise to deliver a measurably positive effect on our clients' businesses. From humble beginnings in a small studio in St Kilda in 2003, we’ve grown to become one of Australia’s most sought after design, branding and web development agencies servicing the food, beverage, hospitality and lifestyle sectors. 

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At Swear Words we believe in having fun, working hard and engaging in open and honest conversation. We form lasting bonds with our clients and take great pride in the work we produce for them. 

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What kind of clients do you work with?

Scott: Our clients range from small scale artisan producers through to large corporate entities, however our output is always focussed on creating honest, effective and memorable pieces of communication.

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What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?

Scott: We had too many platforms to consider and we found ourselves doubling up on tasks. Our estimation/invoicing/project management software was inefficient as we couldn't clearly see where we were spending our time on each project. We needed a hassle-free, streamlined solution that would make it easy to have complete visibility over a project and its details!

What was the most important factor to you when choosing project management software?

Scott: For the managing director, the CRM aspect of the software was really important. On the project management side of things, we needed a software that had a seamless transition right through from estimate, approval and the start of project to invoicing. We wanted whatever solution we ended up with to provide us with a clear understanding of where our hours were spent, so that the quoting and invoicing would represent our work more accurately.

Apart from WorkflowMax, do you use any other software tools to manage your business?

Scott: We use Basecamp for to-dos, tasks and everyday communication and we also use Workstack a little as well.

Walk us through the life of a project at your company, from beginning to end. What are the steps in the process and how do you use WorkflowMax or other software at each step?

Scott: To start with, we meet a new prospect, and then add them as a lead on WorkflowMax. We also add any notes taken during our communication so that anyone else involved can obtain the full picture.

Following this we attach an estimate to the lead, using a template that we saved through WorkflowMax. We then modify the estimate according to the client's specifications and send it through. If necessary, we activate reminders that we’ve set up in WorkflowMax so that we don't forget to follow up with our prospect!

Once the estimate is approved, we can get the project started. We send a 50% commencement invoice to the client. As mentioned above, Basecamp is one of the tools we use in addition to WorkflowMax. We use it for to-dos, tasks and everyday communication as we find the interface easier to understand and use. Eventually we'd like to streamline everything and solely use WorkflowMax. 

Throughout the project, the account manager will look at the real hours spent on a job against the estimated hours. At the end of a project we'll invoice a 50% balance payment as well as any production or disbursement costs.

What kind of reports are you creating with WorkflowMax? 

Scott: We run a timesheets report to verify that the employees have allocated the correct amount of time for each project and for each day. We also run an “estimated hours vs. real hours” spent for each project to track time and flag if a project is going over hours.

What do you love most about WorkflowMax?

Scott: I love that it integrates seamlessly with Xero and that it's made account management so much easier and improved our efficiency! We can get more quotes out of the door quicker, and we can clearly determine where most of our efforts are going on a specific job, making quoting more accurate every time.

Thanks Scott for talking to us about how you use WorkflowMax!

If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop us an email – we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to mallika.goel@xero.com and we’ll be in touch!