In 2014 – less than one year into a newly-won assignment – an agency was incurring unacceptably high losses on a major client. Due to the large size of the client this had a knock-on effect on the financial health of the entire agency. And clients were also not completely satisfied with the output.
What was done
Deep dive into job dockets going back to the beginning of the newly won assignment – what was the nature of the work?
Timesheet analysis to discover what agency people were actually spending their time on
Interviews with 9 client staff (all business units)
Agency operational audit – 30 staff interviews
Agency talent audit – 44 staff interviews
The agency was built upside-down; 80% of staff had strategic and higher-end creative skillsets while 80% of the work was day-to-day retail in nature
In fairness, the agency had staffed to a strategically-focused scope provided by the client
But reality did not match vision—there were too many juniors on the business
All work was streamed in the same way
Rebalanced the team with more emphasis on the day to day delivery skillsets the business actually required (NB without a reduction in headcount.)
Implemented proper work-streaming; fast turnaround work could now be handled in a streamlined way by a team with the right skills
Agency went from double-digit losses to double-digit profit
Agency avoided a potential pitch, which was possible after the first service period as outlined in the contract