When searching for a workflow management system, be it web-based or hosted, two objectives should be considered — It should accommodate and foster growth within your agency, and make information available, in real-time, to everyone on your team.

The checklist below outlines features I believe make it possible to obtain these objectives. I’ve also included important items related to overall program cost. I encourage you to refer to this list when reviewing each system. You may even want to add your own, agency-specific requirements to the list.

It’s important to know, before even picking up the phone to make an initial inquiry, what you’re objectives are for a new workflow management system . Otherwise, you may find yourself captivated by the pretty charts and smooth-talking sales associate, only to later find there’s no way to pull a report for something as simple as hours by client!

 TYPE    
  Web-based, Cloud-hosted  
  Cross-platform, cross-browser  
  Responsive design  
  Available customer, technical support  
  Available upgrades, modifications  
 TIME & EXPENSE TRACKING    
  Time by Client, Job, Work Code, Employee, Date  
  Overdue Time Sheet “lockout” feature  
  Expense reports by Employee, Client, Job, Agency  
  Markup rates by Client, Purchase Order (P.O.)  
  Job costs in hours, fixed, both  
  Real-time Budget vs. actual details  
  Customized print, production estimating  
 JOB MANAGEMENT    
                 Single point of access for all job-related items  
                 Active, archived Client, Job folders  
                 Workback Schedule Templates  
                 Task time, priority levels  
                 Employee Tasks in Calendar format  
                 Individual Client, Job Calendars  
                 Working Tasks by Client, Date, Type, Keyword  
                 Assigned Task List by Employee, Date  
                 Completed Tasks by Client, Employee, Date  
                 Customized Document Templates  
                 Default, Client-specific Notifications  
                 Outside e-mail Message forwarding  
 ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT    
       Easily track Client activity  
       Billing rates, Markup by Client  
       Detailed Client profiles (Spec Sheets)  
       Client Contact Reports (Creative Brief)  
       External Feedback routed, filed automatically  
       Monitor Budgets, billing by Client, Job, Date  
       Client Address Book  
 FINANCIAL   MANAGEMENT    
   Detailed reports by Client, Job, Type, Date  
   Work In Progress reporting  
   P.O. viewing, management  
   Insertion Order viewing, management  
   Time by Client, Job, Work Code, Employee, Date  
   Markup rates by Client, P.O.  
   Default, Vendor-specific tax rates  
   Budget monitoring by Client, Job Type, Date  
   Gross Income reporting  
 ASSET MANAGEMENT    
   Individual Client, Job Folders  
   Active, archived Client, Job folders  
   Attachments, Documents Folders by job  
   Client, Vendor access to posted materials  
   Creative file storage allotment  
   No file type limitations (.jpg, .xls, .pdf, et. al)  
   Client, Vendor Feedback capability  
   Feedback Notification by Client, Employee  
 PERMISSIONS & SECURITY    
   User-specific Permissions, Notifications  
   Customizable user dashboard  
   Secure User Names, Passwords  
   Guaranteed 99% up time  
   Perform nightly backups  

 

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