What’s a small marketing agency to do when one of their key writers, who specializes in a niche area that’s important to one of their top clients, gets relocated halfway around the world? Well if you’re Proof Digital, you keep on working with them, business as usual, thanks to the Redbooth platform.
“That’s the sort of situation that in times past would have meant losing her as an employee,” says Proof Digital Founder and President Stacie Porter Bilger, “but our use of Redbooth allowed us to keep her on the payroll.”
The firm’s use of Redbooth as their online collaboration and communication hub has enabled them to contract with a number of specialty writers, across the globe, to best meet their clients’ specific content needs.
“Our business model includes engaging with a diverse group of writers,” says Porter Bilger, “We have both in house and external people we use. We needed a centralized communication system to ensure we were moving projects forward as rapidly as possible. And like any small business we need to be as efficient as possible.”
And that’s where Redbooth came in. The firm had experimented with several other platforms, including Basecamp and the now shuttered Do.com. While other platforms had lacked the third party integrations she was looking for, or had searchability issues with content stored on the platform, Porter Bilger quickly became a fan of Redbooth’s usability – and support of the variety of file storage providers her clients used.
“I love that Redbooth has everything my team needs to move a project forward− all on one platform,” says Porter Bilger. “Having chat, file sharing and tasks all in one location so I don’t have to hunt for them is key to my productivity.” Porter Bilger also notes “I can’t stand email− I want to get out of it. If I can keep everything centralized to a task, like I am able to do with Redbooth, it makes me so much more productive.”
In addition to using the platform for day-to-day communications and client relationship management, Proof Digital also uses the platform to facilitate their employee onboarding process.
“All our training for new hires is done via a project called ‘How We Do It’,” says Porter Bilger. “Within that project, we have notes that outline our mission, vision, and values. We also have all our onboarding items in there as well, including videos and training links. The first project a new employee is assigned to is an onboarding task list (using task templates) to go through to complete their onboarding.”
“We’ve seen significant ROI from implementing Redbooth as our online collaboration platform,” says Porter Bilger. “We employee a number of stay-at-home parents who write on a range of niche topics, and we are able to have overseas employees, including a former US resident now living in Singapore; we would not be able to do that without Redbooth.”
Another bonus for the geographically dispersed virtual teams, is the firm’s use of Redbooth as a conduit for task management means meetings–when they have them– are focused on idea generation and collaborative creative work, not status updates. “Our meetings are quick and to the point,” says Porter Bilger. “We reserve meetings for creative or ideation topics; all other items are tasks or conversations on the platform.”
By continuing to expand their virtual employee base, Proof Digital has reduced overhead by allowing writers to work from their home instead of allocating office space, which has resulted in a 75% monthly savings on rent and facilities cost by having the bulk of workforce remote.
“Our customer service and quality control has been elevated by using Redbooth,” says Porter Bilger. “We can now track everything in one place, allowing us to be more consistent. This makes reporting much quicker−we can easily, in one place, see the status and progress on projects. This allows us to spend the bulk of employees time on client work, not on operational tasks.”
And those operational tasks also take less time thanks to having each client’s information centralized in their own Redbooth project. Porter Bilger estimates she now spends only 10-15% of her week on operational tasks that previously ate up as much as 40% of her time.
Using Redbooth has also had a direct impact on their bottom line. “We used to have client meetings and leave them, and get what we needed to do completed; but then the client wouldn’t get their items completed such as approvals, or sending content,” recalls Porter Bilger. “Approvals would hang out there. Months could go by sometimes with projects in limbo. Now that we have our clients using Redbooth with us, we’re getting responses very quickly. They can see at-a-glance if they’re missing their due dates, and can see how we are progressing. We’re getting a significantly increased volume of work done with clients as a result. And some of our clients have even started using Redbooth in their own organizations due to the productivity increase they’ve seen in working with us on the platform.”
“Redbooth has improved our business,” says Porter Bilger. “It would be too hard to ever leave−we’ve got everything we do on the platform. Our business couldn’t function without it.”
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