A CurrentTrack® client that I work closely with recently merged with a smaller ad agency located out-of-state.
While the prospects of gaining new team members and growing each client base is quite exciting, the thought of increased “workflow” is still, I imagine, a bit daunting for the Traffic Managers involved.
The smaller agency consists of four employees, each wearing multiple hats — Marketing Coordinator/Bookkeeper, President/Account Executive, Director of Client Services, and Art Director. Historically, each individual has managed his/her own workload by opening Job Numbers, assigning Tasks, creating estimates, etc. Under the merged agency structure, dedicated Traffic Managers will now be responsible for performing many of those duties, requiring each person to relinquish at least some “control.” [Something I personally struggle with… and always will. Try to change my Workback Schedules. I dare you.]
So, the agencies have merged on paper. Now what?
Luckily, both agencies use CurrentTrack as their project management system, so the transition to the new “traffic process” has been a little easier. First, the remote employees were added to the Louisville-based system (with adjusted Permissions). Next, the agency’s client folders were re-created in the larger company’s site. Jobs that were near completion in the old site are being allowed to close out and are then going to be archived. New projects (e.g. from 9/1/12 onward), are being opened in the Louisville-based system.
The two Traffic Managers of the newly merged, 45+ employee company are dividing the smaller agency’s client list equally so one person isn’t overwhelmed with (40) new clients; (20) ea. is a bit more manageable.
Merging two agencies, and two workloads, doesn’t have to be complicated. Rather than taking the time to transfer every single job, task and document into a single system, allow projects to close out as usual in the “old” system. This may require your bookkeeper to have access to both systems for a month or so. Going forward, use the new system and assign a mental “cut-off date” for archiving the old information (i.e. “We merged in early September so the October job will be in the new system.”).
Most importantly of all… talk to your Traffic Manager(s). Prepare him/her for the changes ahead. Look at your existing traffic process — along with that of the merging agency — and lay out a clear-cut “workflow” plan that suits both teams. Share that plan with EVERY employee, both local and remote. You’re one team now and it’s more critical than ever that your workflow process operates as such.