Grain Creative is an award-winning branding and design agency based in London, with a portfolio that includes large and medium-sized organizations in the fashion, luxury, and education industries.
Before Grain was working with innovative, global companies, they managed projects with basic email and spreadsheets. But as Grain’s business grew from local clients to global brands, their small agency methods didn’t serve the needs of these bigger, more complex projects.
In an effort to earn repeat business, Grain had to transform their internal workflow to handle the growing demands of their clientele. This meant implementing a system for more streamlined and efficient collaboration. The quality of an agency’s output largely depends on the internal structure for collaboration and organization. Grain chose Redbooth to support their clients and grow their business.
Before starting with Redbooth, Grain had struggled to use a large, detailed Excel file to manage their many complex client projects.
“It was a massive, colorful spreadsheet,” Madelyn recalls. “It had our clients listed all down the left-hand side. We’d color code all the little tasks.”
While the system might have worked for one person managing a small number of personal projects, as Grain grew, they also outgrew their colorful spreadsheet.
“It was quite easy to forget to do something. If we didn’t check the spreadsheet it would just slip to the past,” she says. And on top of that, access to the spreadsheet was limited: remote employees didn’t all have access to the sheet, as it was limited to the two co-directors and a project manager.
This also meant that when they were out of the office or in a meeting, “nobody would have any idea what to do. We just didn’t have a system in place,” Madelyn says.
As the sheet became increasingly overloaded, Madelyn and her team found themselves depending increasingly on email, which brought other challenges as well. It became clear that Grain’s talented team needed transparency, visibility, and a system they could rely on.
The team selected Redbooth and decided to implement it across the entire organization, including those on-site in London and off-site in other cities and countries.
In implementing Redbooth, Grain found a solution that fit best for them by designating a unique workspace for each client.
In each workspace, they have a dedicated task list for each specific project. When they’ve refined a process, they turn it into a reusable task list template, which means they don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time.Grain has found a productive rhythm in using Redbooth's project templates. Click To Tweet
These predictable, organized lists allow the team at Grain to know exactly what will be required in each instance, reducing the time needed to plan or guess.
To manage internal administrative processes, they added themselves as one of their “clients” as well. With a central workspace that includes dedicated sections for their own marketing and advertising as well, they have built a Redbooth workflow that provides exponential value to their clients as well as their agency.
With these changes to their infrastructure, the results have been significant.
RESULTS + Return on Investment
The most substantial change internally? Greater efficiency.
“We’re more efficient now, helping us to offer our clients a better service,” Madelyn says. “It’s easier to see everything in Redbooth and we’ve made everyone more responsible for their own tasks. If we ask a designer to do something then they have to put it into Redbooth. Everything is in there, so we always deliver what the client has asked for.”
The impact of that efficiency has been very positive for the team as well. “Quality of work has been impacted because things don’t fall through the cracks anymore,” Madelyn reported.
Communication has also improved, both within the team and with clients. Thus making for more pleased clients.
“We’re spending a lot less time explaining to people within the team how to do things,” Madelyn says. “We’re communicating better with our clients so they know what to expect. We can focus on our work more, so it’s better for our bottom line.”
Grain’s clients are also able to access Redbooth, allowing them to see the task list at a glance and when each is completed, giving them peace of mind that all deadlines are going to be met.
“As an agency we’ve got many more repeat clients now, so they’re obviously a lot happier,” Madelyn says. “We went from a third repeat business to over 80% repeat business.”
What’s next for Grain? With internal processes running smoothly and a wealth of creativity and talent, the possibilities are limitless.