One of the greatest challenges faced by creative agencies today is resource planning and management – particularly when it comes to staffing. Agencies are under pressure to be flexible yet freelancer support, the primary way agencies ensure agility, is becoming more expensive as daily rates soar. As a result, agencies that don’t have a strong grip on what personnel resources are needed, can get stuck paying exorbitant fees for freelancers on a day-to-day basis, or worse yet, risk disappointing clients and losing revenue due to an inability to adequately staff projects.
Agencies have spent a lot of time optimising non-staff operating costs and now the focus is on optimising direct staff recoverability. This was a key topic at a recent BIMA breakfast, hosted by Deltek, where a group of creative directors and operational heads discussed the freelancer market and how the traditional response of controlling headcount and costs was creating some serious challenges. There was table-wide agreement that freelancer costs had been soaring for some time and agencies need to re-evaluate how they are planning and staffing campaigns in order to optimise profit.
This discussion was also reinforced by findings from a recent ClickZ and Deltek report which stated that more often than not, freelancers are brought in as a first point of call, rather than based on an evaluation of existing agency resources. As a result, an agency may end up watching their profit walk out the door in a freelancers pocket because overuse has eaten into margins – particularly if it is unplanned.
It’s not all bad news though, those at the breakfast had some tricks up their sleeve to combat rising costs and make the most of freelancer resource. To read more about this please see the full blog at http://www.deltek.com/blog/home/deltek-professional-services/2015/11/the-results-are-in-agencies-face-resource-management-challenges