Fifth Ring is an 80-strong fully integrated marketing agency with offices in the UK, USA and the Middle East. They specialise in global energy, property, education, financial and leisure sectors.
Andy Wainwright is Fifth Ring’s Operations Manager. “We like to keep tabs on what’s happening at every stage of a job. Our first agency management software was based on a proprietary database product that had been modified over some years,” Andy revealed. “18 months ago this was proving to be both time consuming and cumbersome.”
“I was tasked with finding an off-the-shelf agency management system. I found that many systems on the market lacked some very critical elements.”
“Our criteria for a system were very strict. We needed to maintain databases of clients, prospects and suppliers. We required a package that could offer detailed management reports at the touch of a button and also allow staff to enter time and expenses against jobs wherever they were working. It had to be user friendly and flexible with regards to user permissions. It could not cost the earth and it needed to be available to install immediately and be up and running quickly. And on top of all that it had to be simple to learn and have a good support desk.”
Andy continued, “I reviewed dozens of systems – many with ‘FREE’ short-term downloads, but I only discovered our ultimate choice when I spoke to the FD at one of our sister agencies from within The Business Branding Network, who recommended Synergist from The Agency Works (previously Express Systems).
“This proved to be a genuine revelation. Following an equally stringent overview, we discovered that Synergist ticked more boxes in our wish list than any other Agency Management Software on the market.
“The overall install was fault free and the switch was made overnight from the old system to Synergist in both the UK and Dubai. The subsequent install in Houston, Texas, was equally straightforward.”
Andy Wainwright was effusive about the ongoing effects of installing Synergist. “It’s a vast improvement on our previous software. We have full control of a highly structured job system and can extract detailed reports at every level.
“Monthly agency financial reports are now a dream to produce, taking minutes rather than hours to deliver. Time sheets are accessible from wherever you happen to be, making the task more practical and less onerous for the creatives and the account management team.
“The biggest impact has been the huge reduction in tiresome and repetitive administration tasks, which has resulted in a considerable time and cost saving for the agency.
“Invoicing has become much slicker and being able to properly manage purchase invoices against purchase orders for the first time completes the financial picture. Full compatibility with our Sage Accounts software rounds off the seamless integration.
“From an agency management viewpoint,” said Andy, “Synergist is an amazing tool and we are absolutely delighted with the results. Given the time saved on administrative tasks alone, I would not be surprised if the investment has paid for itself already, and we have yet to use all its capability.
“From a personal point of view we have enjoyed an excellent service from the start from my initial discussions with Steve Vincent, right through to the current day where the helpdesk team is available whenever we need them. I certainly have no hesitation in recommending Synergist to other agencies”.
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