Saffron Got Clarity on All Aspects of Business

Saffron is a brand consultancy of 90 people with offices in London, Madrid, Vienna, Istanbul, and Mumbai. Founded in 2001, Saffron specializes in creating, growing, adapting and transforming brands that range from the arts and entertainment industry to banking, energy and telcos.

How did Productive become and stay Saffron’s agency management tool of choice? We visited their Madrid office and spoke with Luz Erhardt, Chief Client Officer, Andrew Harb, Program Director, and Matt Atchison, Creative Director to hear all about it.

What did Saffron use as an agency management tool before, and how did you choose Productive?

Andrew: We assessed a number of systems and we came down to probably three that were short-listed and we felt that Productive, as a product, as a system, and based on what it delivered–really helped deliver against what Saffron’s needs were. We felt as though Productive was the best fit, and that’s why we went with it.

Luz: Before we were using a mix of different tools, quite basic—a mix of Excel and other online tools, but not very cohesively. We’ve been working with Productive for a couple of years now.

Matt: I think before, we could get away with things that were a little bit ad hoc, and you could sort of move things around, make decisions on the fly… but as the team has grown, we’ve definitely needed some tool to manage that.

Achieve Your Agency’s True Potential

Switch from multiple tools and spreadsheets to one scalable agency management system.

Free 14-day trial. Cancel anytime.

We Help Your Agency Reach New Heights

Switch from multiple tools and spreadsheets to one scalable agency management system.

Can you tell us about your roles at Saffron and in the context of using Productive?

Luz: I look at client services at Saffron and I also help with reporting. I work very closely with Finance, so we look at things like team utilization, billability, how much time we spent on new business for example. We also look at job performance, how effectively we are managing our resources. We look at future utilization, it allows us to plan a little bit better. Questions like: how tight are we gonna be in the team, do we have capacity? Productive helps us forecast—not only the performance of our jobs today, but of jobs in the future. 

Andrew: I’m responsible for ensuring that the projects run to budget and time, working with the teams and essentially being the focal point on the projects, making sure that we deliver what the client’s brief is.

The main benefit we get from Productive is planning, clarity, everyone working towards one system. It facilitates reporting, hugely. It’s very easy to use. Also, I think one of the biggest things for me is the fact that it’s constantly improving.”

How long did it take to implement Productive at Saffron? How quickly did you see benefits, and which ones?

Andrew: The thing that was seen straight away was that project performance and scheduling data was available for us literally at the click of a finger. I would say that whenever you implement a particular product or a platform, it takes a couple of months. But I think once everyone was using it in the right way, it was super obvious that when we needed project data, we were able to access it instantly. 

The most important benefit from Productive, specifically for me, was the ability to be able to access my project performance and scheduling of the team in real-time. That, essentially, allows me and the team to be able to adjust the direction of the project, if need be, much sooner–rather than having to deal with it at a much later stage. 

Luz: The main benefit we get from Productive is planning, clarity, everyone working towards one system. There’s a sense of shared ownership also, so it’s not that it only falls on one person. People can take ownership of their jobs and plan the whole thing out, you can collaborate with team members, so there’s also visibility about things. It facilitates reporting, hugely. It’s very easy to use. Also, I think one of the biggest things for me is the fact that it’s constantly improving.

You’ve been using Productive for over three years now. What value did you get out of it after more time went by?

Luz: I think reporting has definitely improved, it’s quicker, it’s faster, it’s more accurate. Forecasting has improved, 100%, because we have more intel about the business. So, for example, in a type of job A, how successful have we been? How many people have we used on that kind of project? Then it helps us plan for a similar situation in the future.  

The big benefit we have is that everyone in the company knows what they’re on. Different people have different views, they have different access to different information, but everyone is aware of what they need to be aware of and hence, the planning, the work, the effectiveness is better.

“I felt really supported, I felt the platform itself is continuously evolving in a very positive way. It didn’t feel like just a plug and play and then, you know–we washed our hands of you.”

Can you tell us about your experience with our Support team?

Andrew: For me, what I was surprised with was the ease of use of the platform. What I was really surprised by was the fact that Productive continuously looked to improve the platform, to build out the platform, and they worked really closely with us. So, at the very outset of the project, we worked with the Productive team to set up what the needs of Saffron were. I felt really supported, I felt the platform itself is continuously evolving in a very positive way. It didn’t feel like just a plug and play and then, you know–we washed our hands of you. 

Luz: Customer support works really well. There’s a person on the other side who responds immediately and gets onto it.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Luz: Overall, I think Productive is really easy to use, it’s in constant improvement and I think it’s embraced easily by different team members… I would highly recommend it.

Matt: I think quite often, it’s easy to lose touch with the scope of a project and sort of see how long it’s going on and who you’re going to need along that journey. So it’s quite good being able to plan the long term, as well. 

Andrew: I definitely think it’s a very close relationship between Saffron and the Productive team. When we need something, they’re very much there for us.

Achieve Your Agency’s True Potential

Switch from multiple tools and spreadsheets to one scalable agency management system.

Free 14-day trial. Cancel anytime.

More stories