Are you having a difficult time keeping up with the day-to-day activities and client communication? Haven’t quite found a process that really brings everything together and lets you organize your clients, work, and business in general? Today we’re going to jump in to workflow and communication both internally and with our clients. Whether you’re just trying to understand how we function or trying to fix your own processes I hope you find this little blog useful.
Bunn Brands has continued to grow since its creation and with growth comes problems that must be resolved. One of the first problems we had noticed was communication with clients and keeping track of the daily “to-do” list of priorities was becoming convoluted. Each client would have their preferred way of speaking with us (Email, Text, Phone, etc…). This meant that each clients work/requests/communications would be in different places. It got confusing pretty quick.
We would simply need to remember what each client preferred and where all of their information was kept. This sort of organization was chaotic and lead to errors, confusion, and miscommunication both internally and with the client. As a company we needed to address these issues and form a solution for everything. After searching for about a month and testing out various platforms we landed on one in particular that seemed to give us everything we needed.
We tried quite a few personal and business related workflow platforms in our search that aren’t listed here, but we wanted to talk about a couple we did like. Omnifocus is a particular favorite of mine, but it is only available for Mac devices and not everyone we have works with Apple. This sort of platform solved our needs when it came to individual workflow, but not team workflow and client communications. I would highly recommend the tool for individuals using mostly Mac devices just looking to get more done during the day. Omnifocus follows the path of “Getting Things Done”, which is a book by David Allen.
Another recommendation I wanted to throw out there is Trello, which happens to have landed as our number 2 choice of platforms. The cost of Trello is super low from a free option to a monthly fee of about $20.83 for the Enterprise version. The cost here is one of the biggest benefits that Trello holds over our final choice, but they also base this pricing on a per user basis. It does seem to have a lot of the same functionalities as our choice, but the big deciding factor was flexibility and User Interface, which we felt was better elsewhere.
Our final choice ended up being monday.com (formerly DaPulse). The platform allows for multiple users to be added across the whole system, but also for guests to be added to specific projects (or boards as they call them). This means that we are able to organize both internally among ourselves and externally with clients. The Monday platform also has an app for both Android and iOS that is quite intuitive and easy to use. All in all the platform solved our issues 100%, but let’s break down exactly how.
The Monday Solution
Essentially the main reason we chose monday.com is that is allows us to organize our work visually in a way that is both easy to use and to understand. It also allows us to share that organized visual workflow with our clients. The user interface and the ability to work internally and with our clients were the two main reasons we chose to use Monday. Everything seems to be customizable to a high degree, but the simplicity remains (especially for guests/clients).
As a company user you are able to create boards and add people to these boards. A board is generally the topic at hand. What we do is create a folder named Clients and then create a board for each Client in that folder. Inside the board you are able to make Groups. We tend to divide these groups into Design/Updates, Functionality, & Marketing. These three groups then hold “tasks” under them (i.e. for Design/Updates we have a task made for each page name). These tasks can be edited in various ways to show specific information, designate the status of the task, perform time tracking, and more. Clicking on the task opens a conversation for that task allowing files, checklists, and communication to be added to it.
After adding tasks and editing an entire board how we see fit we are able to then share that board internally adding other members of the team to it or invite guests. Guests are not able to create new boards, but they can communicate on the tasks and change the status of those tasks. Essentially we can allow our clients to see the workflow, add files, make requests, update information, and more as everything is being done. This enables a great Agile workflow to exist between all of our processes and our clients. As we continue to improve our processes we will also continue to improve our methods on monday.com.
Where to find a simple solution to resolving our communication and workflow issues was our main concern. Together we worked with a few different programs (more than were mentioned here), but came to the conclusion that monday.com would be the best for our purposes. The intuitive and simple nature of the tool allow almost any client to pick it up with ease and the customization allowed within is phenomenal. Not only do we work with our clients and internally using monday.com, but we also manage our own daily activities using the tool with “Private Boards” we don’t share with anyone else.
There are many solutions to workflow out there today and new ones popping up all the time. We, for one, are happy with our choice and hope that you might find use in the tool as well. Coming up with this solution has helped us bridge the gap between ourselves and our clients. Now we work actively together toward the same goal of bettering the clients digital marketing experience. Updates are far more readily available and communication is at an all time high. Tell us about the tools you use in the comments below!