Dinosaur is a progressive, award-winning integrated communications agency in Manchester.
They have grown from a small creative hotshop to their current 25-strong status over the past 15 years, with clients such as The Co-operative, Adidas, Wagamama, Bayer and Hobbycraft.
We met up with agency chief Mark Beaumont, Executive Creative Director & Founder of Dinosaur, to find out how he uses Synergist. Along the way he told us about a decision he faced some two years ago...
It’s clear that Mark Beaumont and Dinosaur are on a mission. Dinosaur had already proven their creative skills, developed a strong team, built up an excellent client list and even had a great location. But a couple of years ago one question remained...
What direction should they now steer the agency in?
It was partly a question of scale, and partly one of what type of agency to become. Big questions, which led to a major turning point for them.
Says Mark: “There comes a time in every agency’s life when you stand back and have to decide where you want to take it.
“Do you want to just carry on being a neat SME, trying to navigate the ups and downs? Or do you want more than that from it?
“We decided to get serious. Preparing the agency for growth, getting the basics right, making sure you’ve got the right people with the bigger picture mindset, having them run proper little cost centres and so on...
“And getting a serious system to drive through the efficiencies, give you what you need and be able to grow with you.
“These were long-term decisions. Getting Synergist was a key part of it, and I’m glad we did it.”
“We used to have another system, but we outgrew it.
"It was fine when we were a small creative hotshop with 10 people, and when we got it we were simply happy to get out of paper.
“But now we’ve grown up to be an integrated communications agency and the old system simply didn’t give us what we need. We couldn’t even get proper Work in Progress information out of it. And the service was poor and very take-it-or-leave-it.
“So we switched to Synergist. A good move.”
“We’re sorted now and for the future, and I can see that I could run a 200-person agency with Synergist. That’s very reassuring.”
“Knowing you have a system that can handle it all and pull it all together and grow with you is a good feeling. Getting Synergist was a smart move. I will retire with Synergist!”
Mark has grown Dinosaur into a thriving integrated communications agency, and their successful 15 year journey, strong creative portfolio and impressive client list prove their ability to prosper.
When it comes to using Synergist day to day, he doesn’t happen to be much of a button-pusher himself, however. But he knows what he gets from the system and what it delivers them.
To find out more, we asked him how he steers the agency and interacts with the Synergist system.
“I may not be typical”, Mark says, “but this approach has worked really well for me...”
During sunny times you tend to run things with a lighter touch.
"As long as I keep on top of Work in Progress and Forecasting – two essentials even in good times – I feel I can run it with only a sideways glance at the other key reports because I can see from those two essentials that the team are on top of them all and it’s humming along.
"But the moment it turns stormy, just watch me switch. I’m closely tracking every single one of those reports. You have to, because in stormy times you need to make informed decisions fast.
"There are just five reports that are considered essential in running an agency.
In good times: Mark's 4 tips
And in tough times, he says:
"Do a hands-on analysis of all five essential reports every week. You can see pretty much everything from those.
"You can steer an agency with little or no personal button-pressing even in tough times, but you do need:
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