How Productive Helped Mitchell & Stones Gain Data Accuracy

Mitchell & Stones is an award-winning, outsourced marketing department committed to helping businesses improve and boost engagement with their target audience.

We spoke with Chris Stones, Strategic and Operations Director at Mitchell & Stones, about how Productive helped them gain data accuracy.

How did you come across Productive?

Before Productive, things were horrible, I’ll tell you. We heavily relied on Asana, Google Sheets, and Clockify. Asana was a good task-tracking tool, but it really lacked data-capturing abilities, and we had to fill that gap with Google Sheets.

Over time, my role primarily became managing this system we had set up. It was pretty much a full-time job since it was the backbone of our organization, and it had to be right 100% of the time. We started looking for a new tool as we figured there must be an easier way to manage our data. We were looking at a few different tools, but they all required a lot of sculpting, and it would take quite a while for us to fully migrate our system. We also figured it would be a massive cost, and the software only did about 15% of what we needed it to do.

There was also the issue of hidden costs with some tools we were looking at. You think you’re getting it all for $5 per user, but then you realize time tracking would add another $5 per user, financial data would be another $10 on top of everything else, and so forth. During our search, we found Productive, which did everything we needed with no hidden costs. I liked how transparent you guys are with your pricing.

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Moving to Productive freed up about 40% of my time, and I was able to concentrate my efforts on other, more important areas of the business.

Chris stones,
Strategic and operations director at Mitchell & Stones

Which pain points did Productive solve for you?

The issue was that the tools we were using at the time weren’t communicating, so much of the work had to be done manually. Resource planning was done in Sheets, which needed to be updated manually almost every day. When it came to gathering financial utilization data, we took a lot of rough estimates from Asana and Google Sheets, which led to many inaccuracies and distrust of the data. If even one metric was off, it could throw off the entire calculation, essentially making the data completely useless. We really needed an all-in-one tool.

Moving to Productive freed up about 40% of my time, and I was able to concentrate my efforts on other, more important areas of the business. One of the biggest changes has been accuracy. It’s pretty rare to have accuracy in an agency setting since there are a lot of moving parts. I don’t have to rely on someone to input costs, it’s all done pretty much automatically.

I think that the combination of project management and the financial aspects make Productive shine above the rest of the platforms.

Chris Stones,
strategic and operations director at Mitchell & Stones

What’s your favorite feature in Productive?

I’d say it’s got to be the overhead calculator. I generated all the financial reports for our agency, and no other software out there was able to calculate the overheads and spread them across all our clients. That was so important for us because other tools would show it as profit, and we would have to manually spread them across our clients. If I wanted an accurate report on overhead spread across clients, I would’ve spent hours working on it, but with Productive, we can generate that report automatically.

The ability to produce dashboards for both the team and management is really amazing. We can bring up management dashboards in just a few clicks and check our business performance for the month, without management having to pour hours of work into those reports.

I think the combination of project management and financial aspects makes Productive shine above the rest of the platforms.

How would you feel if you didn’t have Productive?

I think moving to another software would be a step backward for us. We’ve got everything centralized in one place now, and I don’t think we need any other software to run the business.

Before Productive, I felt like my role was updating spreadsheets. With Productive, I’m able to focus more on actually analyzing the data than just putting numbers into spreadsheets.

When it comes to agencies, there are little to no constants in the work we do. Each client is different, and they have different needs. This is why data tracking is extremely important for us. If you’re working things out on the fly, you’re bound to make a mistake at some point—and it might lead you down the wrong path. Productive allows us to have as much accuracy as possible, which is a make-or-break for a lot of agencies.

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