11 Best Operations Management Software Solutions for Agencies

Lucija Bakić

December 1, 2023

A screenshot of an operations management software solution, depicting a resource plan with employee scheduling and tasks per project.

Investing in an operations management software solution is key to stay competitive in the professional services landscape.

However, choosing the right software for your agency’s needs can be challenging. According to a survey by G2, software buyers report that research is the most time-consuming part of the buying journey (36%), with evaluation coming in second (29%).

To simplify this process, we’ll provide a comprehensive list of the 11 best tools for supporting your agency operations, with key features, benefits, and downsides based on user reviews.

Our List of The Top Operations Management Software Systems

Operations management involves overseeing the processes, resources, and activities necessary for the efficient production of goods and services. Here are some of the best tools that support your operations strategy, reduce costs, and improve quality.

1. Productive – The Best All-in-one Operations Management Tool for Agencies

Productive is a comprehensive agency management tool that supports your day-to-day agency operations. It’s designed by industry veterans to optimize processes for agencies of all shapes and sizes, from managing prospects to invoicing and reporting.

One of the best features of Productive is that it offers an integrated platform, which can improve efficiency, data accuracy, and overall operational analysis. This is coupled with a user-friendly interface and responsive customer support to guide you through the implementation process.

The ability to provide feedback and actually get results in what you need is pretty amazing compared to pretty much any software I’ve ever used. You guys are more responsive than anyone, ever. And I’ve been doing this for 35 years!

Lore Hamilton,
Program Manager at Rietta

Now, let’s explore some of Productive’s key features in more detail.

Time Tracking

Productive provides simple time tracking for the management of billable hours. Your teams can track their tasks:

  • By starting the timer directly from their tasks
  • By retroactively inputting time worked
  • Through automatically generated entries from the resource plan
The interface of operations management software depicting time management with brief descriptions of tasks and an automated timer recording hours worked.


With time approvals, project managers can determine which hours are billable and non-billable and request changes or additional details for completed work. Productive also includes time off management — once the requested time is approved, it’ll be visible in your resource plan.

Project Management

Getting your projects into order is crucial to sustainable business operations. Productive enables this with its Project Management capabilities — get visibility into your project progress with various customizable views, including Gantt, Kanban-style, Calendar, List, and more.

The interface of operations management software, showing the progress status of tasks ('Not Started', 'Done'), alongside priority tags on each task card.


Larger agencies that work on multiple projects in a shorter span of time can benefit from project templates that provide easy initiation and task organization. Another great feature is Productive’s notifications, which can be customized for frequency, including by specific actions and features and across devices.

To keep your clients in the loop, you can invite them into your projects free of charge. They can create, view, and comment on tasks to speed up feedback. You can also give them access to their budgets with specific permissions rights to ensure full transparency.

Resource Planning

Create a responsive resource plan with Productive. Create bookings by inputting hours per day, allocating a percentage of the employee’s capacity, or according to total available hours. You can drag-and-drop your entries, bulk edit, or delete them to reallocate resources easily.

The interface of operations management software which depicts a utilization report, with percentages for billable / worked hours across different departments and employees.


Productive’s capacity planning capabilities include financial management and forecasting. With the Profitability view, you can check the impact that your resource allocation has on your project budget burn and profit margins. Making changes to your allocation immediately impacts your metrics, so you can plan out different scenarios and make informed decisions.

To learn more about the importance of this process, check out our guide to capacity management in operations management.


With Productive’s Budgeting feature, you can build budgets for different client engagements, including fixed price, hourly, hybrid, or retainer. Keep track of your spending and separate complex budgets into multiple phases for streamlined cash flow.

The interface of operations management software which depicts a project report, with bar charts for revenue and margins grouped across different companies.

GET real-time project budgeting data and make informed decisions

Productive’s project budgeting capabilities also support:

  • Billing: Create a brand-friendly invoice, build and attach your timesheets, and send them directly from the platform. Use automated notifications to remind your clients of pending payments — after the invoice is marked as completed, the notifications will be stopped.
  • Purchase Orders: Send purchase orders from Productive, check payments and delivery dates, and view how your external expenses impact your budgets.

To learn more, head over to our guide on project management budgeting methods and how to best apply them.


Productive’s Reporting feature offers over 50 agency-focused templates that give insights into key agency metrics, such as billable utilization, profit margins, revenue, expenses, and more.

Build reporting dashboards and share them with relevant team members. You can also schedule reports to be sent to external emails to always stay on top of your project performance.

I’m probably saving 2 hours each week pulling the same capacity report. It used to be that I had to manually pull numbers from our intranet, copying and pasting them into a spreadsheet, and then reformatting all of the numbers. Now I just go to reports and my numbers are waiting for me!

Amy Nichols,
Director of Operations AT Seven2

Additional features include: Sales, Docs, Automations.

Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, HubSpot, Breathe, Zapier, Slack, Jira, and more.


  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can see what it can do before committing to a paid plan.

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2. Asana – A Good Alternative for Team Collaboration

Asana is a project management software with features that enhance your team’s productivity and efficiency. Additionally, Asana’s collaboration feature allows for easier progress tracking and stakeholder communication.

Key features:

  • Work prioritization with task management
  • File sharing and real-time commenting
  • Automation features to streamline repetitive tasks
  • Integrations with other popular collaboration tools
The interface of operations management software, showing task cards organized by their completion status ('New Requests, 'In progress'). Each task card has a priority and progress tag.


Asana offers several benefits, including its user-friendly interface, customizable project workflows, and real-time collaboration features. This makes it suitable for teams with difficulties organizing their projects and ensuring everyone’s on top of tasks. As a downside, Asana lacks some essential financial and reporting features that would make it a truly robust business management software solution.

3. ClickUp – A Management Tool With Basic Resourcing Features

ClickUp is a project management software with resource allocation, data visualization, and reporting capabilities. With its strong collaboration tools and customizable interface, ClickUp helps agencies streamline operations and improve productivity.

Key features:

  • Customizable workflows for various business needs
  • Simplified task tracking and automation
  • Collaborative documentation and editing
  • Reporting dashboards with widgets
The interface of operations management software showing a list view of project tasks. Tasks are organized into ‘Issues Found’ and ‘In review’ categories, and each has an assignee, due date, stage, and priority associated with it.


With various project management features, including an agency time tracking software, task management, and workflow organization, ClickUp provides great project delivery support. While ClickUp has workload views for capacity visualization, agencies looking for more robust scheduling and forecasting might want to look for an alternative software solution.

See more: Best 11 ClickUp Alternatives: Exploring Top Competitors

4. Odoo – A Flexible Open-Source Platform

Odoo is an open-source software with a suite of business management applications for streamlining operational costs and automating manual processes. It’s a highly versatile solution with customizable modules.

Key features:

  • Applications range from CRM, sales, HR, and more
  • Modular approach supports complex workflows
  • Flexibility and scalability for agency growth
  • A free version that supports a single app
The interface of operations management software, showing an accounting dashboard with data and charts for 'Customer Invoices', 'Vendor Bills', 'Point of Sale', 'Expense', and more.


Odoo’s versatility is both its advantage and disadvantage. While the tool is highly flexible, reviewers frequently comment that it’s difficult to find reliable sources that help them implement the different modules. Additionally, certain users have noted that it’s resource-intensive and requires robust server support for optimal performance. Therefore, Odoo might be incompatible with smaller to mid-sized companies.

Odoo is also a popular alternative to Bitrix24, so you can head over to that article to see how these tools compare.

5. Salesforce Sales Cloud – A Good CRM Solution for Large Teams

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM for agencies that helps businesses meet customer expectations with sales performance management support.

Key features:

  • Activity and contact management
  • Workflow automation
  • Sales analytics and forecasting
  • Modules for revenue lifecycle management
A project budgeting report that shows revenue and margins with percentages across various companies and projects.


Users praise Sales Cloud for its automation and analytics capabilities — as a solution for client and prospect management, it can be a strong pick to streamline manual tasks. However, some downsides are associated with the tool, as users frequently comment that they feel it’s pricy compared to similar solutions and complex to learn. Additionally, some users reported performance issues.

6. Jira – A Robust Tool for Agile Software Teams

Jira is an operations management platform tailored to agile and software development teams. Thanks to a robust GitHub integration, this tool helps developers streamline daily operations and focus on their coding.

Key features:

  • Kanban and Scrum boards
  • Real-time reports and customizable dashboards
  • Development status overviews and DevOps visibility
  • Drag-and-drop automation
The interface of operations management software showing a list view of project tasks. Tasks are organized into ‘To Do’ and ‘In Progress’ categories, and each has an assignee and priority status.


While Jira is a powerful software solution for development projects, such as website project management, it might not be as suitable for agencies working in different niches. Additionally, software development teams that use different project management methodologies other than agile might also need to do more extensive customization to get the most out of the software. Therefore, agencies looking for a more flexible tool might want to consider alternative options.

7. Wrike – A Good Tool for Project & Resource Management

Wrike is a workflow management software with a range of features for effective operations management. It provides easy visualization of priorities, boosts collaboration, and supports project control.

Key features:

  • Time tracking with live timer and manual entry
  • Pre-built project templates
  • Workload charts and resource booking
  • Customizable personal work dashboard
The interface of operations managment software showing tasks organized into a Gantt chart, with different colored bars depicting the duration of each task.


A notable advantage of Wrike is that it offers integrated task and resource management. It can be a useful solution for agencies looking for essential resource planning features with project management capabilities. However, reviewers note that Wrike’s user interface can sometimes be confusing and that they could use more advanced tutorials for streamlined implementation.

Learn more about Wrike vs Asana vs other popular project management tools.

8. Netsuite – An ERP Solution for Various Industries

Netsuite is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning or ERP for service industry, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and more.

Key features:

  • Budgeting and forecasting capabilities
  • Invoicing and financial performance management
  • Real-time analytics and business intelligence
  • Customizable dashboards
The interface of operations management software showing the status of various key performance indicators (KPIs), including ‘Sales’, ‘Expenses’, ‘Total Bank Balance’ and ‘Payable’ with green and red lines depicting an overall rise or fall, and associated percentages.


Users frequently praise Netsuite for its robust management and advanced financial tracking capabilities. On the flip side, using Netsuite effectively can demand extensive technical knowledge and investment, making it less suitable for teams with tighter resources. Reviews also note that it’s pricy, so it might not be a good option for smaller teams. Additionally, Netsuite doesn’t offer a free trial, which can be inconvenient during the research phase. Luckily, there are many Netsuite alternatives out there, so we are confident you will find something that is a good fit.

You can also check out our in-depth comparison of Netsuite vs QuickBooks vs Productive to learn more.

9. Basecamp – A Streamlined Task Management Platform

Basecamp is an operations management software known for its simple and user-friendly interface. Reviewers on Capterra comment that Basecamp is “great for small projects” and “super easy for anyone to use”.

Key features:

  • Single dashboard for project progress
  • Task prioritization with milestones and to-dos
  • Automatic notifications for key updates
  • Document management and sharing
The interface of operations management software showing different project boards, each with specific teammates and associated descriptions. Users have the ability to create new projects or invite users.


Basecamp’s user-friendly interface and strong collaboration tools make it ideal for small agencies focused on project and task management. However, its limitations in versatility, robust resource management, and lack of time tracking and financial reporting tools make it less suitable for more comprehensive business process management.

10. Zendesk – An HR Tool for Improving Customer Experience

Zendesk is a human resources (HR) management solution that helps businesses connect with customers across multiple channels.

Key features:

  • Fully integrated ticketing system
  • Knowledge base for information sharing
  • Workforce management and scheduling
  • Customer insights and productivity reports
Interface of operations management software showing customer requests organized in tickets and sorted by channel, date, ticket form, and ID. Hovering on a ticket shows a pop-up window with the customer request and the most recent comment from a customer support agent.


Zendesk has a user-friendly interface with customization options that help agencies modify it to their needs. Additionally, this operations software provides valuable insights into customer support processes. As the main downside, users note that the tool starts at a relatively high price and might not be suitable for those looking for simpler customer support features.

11. Trello – A User-Friendly Choice for Inexperienced Teams

Trello is a project and task management solution known for its user-friendly interface and strong collaboration tools.

Key features:

  • Various project views, including timeline and board
  • Official and community-based templates
  • Project progress data and overviews
  • Various powerups and plugins with more robust tools
An abstract interface of operations management software depicting tasks organized through a calendar view.


One of the main advantages of Trello is its user-friendly interface, with Kanban-style boards and drag-and-drop functionality that makes it simple to organize and prioritize tasks. This can be useful for teams and project managers new to software solutions. However, Trello has limited reporting and analytics features and might not be suitable for businesses that want in-depth operational insights.

You can also check out our Trello vs Wrike comparison to learn more.

What Is Operations Management Software?

Operations management software solutions are tools designed to help businesses streamline, automate, and optimize their day-to-day operational processes. Depending on your industry, this can cover a variety of functionalities, such as production management, inventory management, and supply chain management. For professional services, operations software supports resource management, reporting, finances, and project execution, among other processes.

This is a person, this is how much that person makes, this is our overhead, this is how much we’re charging our client. The tool gives us full transparency, across the board. From our standpoint, Productive erases the seed of doubt.

Michelle Pittell,
Co-President at Brand Labs

What Are the Benefits of Using Operations Management Software?

Agency professionals believe that implementing project management and operations software has a positive impact on: projects being completed within the deadline (65%), work visibility (61%), team collaboration (58%), the quality of the deliverables (57%), client expectation management (54%), and more (Statista).

How do operations management software solutions achieve this?

  • Agencies can benefit from improved collaboration and document sharing by having a centralized project progress platform visible to all project stakeholders.
  • Additionally, this transparency helps keep clients up-to-date with the project, which supports easier conflict resolution and expectations management.
  • With the right operations management software, agencies can support their resource allocation and balance their team’s workloads. This ensures improved efficiency and overall project outcomes.
  • Finally, operations management software enables informed decision-making in the context of an individual project and broader operations strategies.

What To Look For in Operations Management Software?

A good operations management solution includes sales support, time tracking, task and project management, collaborative documentation, resource planning, budgeting and billing, project reporting, and forecasting.

However, while the exact capabilities you’re looking for might depend on your agency’s size, composition, and client projects, there are three main criteria that all potential tools should satisfy:

  • Comprehensiveness: Consider using a tool that integrates various functionalities into one platform, rather than implementing different specialized tools. This centralization simplifies processes, enhancing efficiency and consistency across operations.
  • User-friendliness: No matter how complex your solution might be, it should still strive to maintain an intuitive approach for quick adoption across teams. Certain solutions might take longer to grasp fully, but responsive customer support teams should facilitate this process.
  • Scalability: It’s essential that the software can adapt to your agency’s growing needs, accommodating new clients, larger teams, and more complex operational demands. Check how frequently the tool is updated with new features by tracking roadmaps and vendor social media.

Takeaway: How To Choose the Best Operations Management Software?

In today’s dynamic business environment, choosing the right operations management software is a key strategic decision for professional services agencies. This ensures optimal resource allocation, successful project delivery, and in-depth insights for current and future endeavors.

Your software pick should align with current operational requirements and offer scalability to accommodate future growth. Consider additional factors, such as how user-friendly the interface is and how comprehensive the tool is. These considerations are crucial to getting the most out of your software solution.

Looking for a tool that supports all of the above? Book a demo with Productive, the all-in-one tool for successful agency operations.


Which software is used in operations management?

Various types of software are used in operations management, including resource management software, project management tools, resource planning software, and enterprise resource management Software. These tools help in efficient human resource scheduling, financial management, and project planning.

What is the meaning of operations management software?

Operations management software refers to applications that help manage the day-to-day operations of a business. The software aids in resource availability and planning, managing timesheets, and ensuring projects are completed on time.

Is operations management the same as project management?

Operations management isn’t usually the same as project management. Operations management focuses on all activities that ensure that an agency is functioning, whereas project management is focused on specific client projects.

Is an operations manager the same as HR?

No, an operations manager is not the same as HR. The operations manager focuses on overall business operations, while HR specifically deals with human resources, managing employee relations, and workforce planning.

What are the 5 Ps of operations management?

The five Ps of operations management are:

  • People: The human resources involved in the operations.
  • Processes: The methods and procedures for producing goods and services.
  • Plants: The physical facilities.
  • Posessions: The materials and components used in production.
  • Planning: The strategies and actions used to achieve objectives.

What are the 4 Vs of operations management?

The 4 Vs of operations management are:

  • Volume: The quantity of goods or services produced.
  • Variety: The range of products or services offered.
  • Variability: The change in demand for products or services.
  • Visibility: How customers see and perceive the process.

What is the primary goal of operations management?

The main goal of operations management is to optimize efficiency in the production of goods and services while ensuring they effectively meet customer requirements.

What is the first step to good operations management?

The first step to good operations management is clearly defining objectives and understanding the available resources, including manpower, materials, and machinery (if applicable to your industry). This involves resource planning tools and skills management.

Who makes more money, a project manager or an operations manager?

The salary depends on the industry, experience, and region. Generally, both positions can be financially rewarding, with variations based on specific roles and responsibilities.

Who is above an operations manager?

The position above an operations manager typically is a senior executive like a Chief Operations Officer (COO) or a General Manager, depending on the company’s structure.

Who is higher, a manager or an operations manager?

An operations manager is usually a specific type of manager focusing on the operational aspects of a business. Their ranking depends on the specific organizational hierarchy.

What are the challenges in operations management?

Challenges in operations management include handling a diverse and remote workforce, managing the workload, ensuring resource availability for future projects, adapting to technological changes, and balancing the demands of larger teams and project schedules.

How does resource management software assist in operations management?

Resource management software assists in operations management by providing tools for resource scheduling, allocating time to projects, managing hourly rates, and offering custom fields for specific needs. It helps in effectively utilizing resources and maintaining resource schedules for current and future projects.

What is the importance of resource forecasting in operations management?

Resource forecasting is vital for predicting resource requirements for upcoming projects. It aids in planning the availability of resources and prevents over or under-utilization, ensuring that projects are adequately staffed and resources are optimally used.

How can operations management software help in managing larger teams?

For larger teams, operations management software offers features for team collaboration, personal dashboards, and task-level tracking. It helps organize workloads, maintain project schedules, and ensure effective communication among team members.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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