Christina Griggs is the CFO for Inflow a growing inbound marketing agency based out of Denver, Colorado. Her team is focused on growing client’s brands across a range of industries through paid, digital, and organic search strategies. The 20 person team is like many professional service firms: they’re constantly balancing a combination of retainer and project work.
Christina explains, “like many other agencies, we have two different categories of billable work. On the one hand, we have retainer—or what we label subscription work—in which clients pay a fixed monthly fee over the course of a contract that is tied to a predetermined number of hours. We also perform project work which has a set number of hours, typically crosses several months and is tied to a specific end date. From an operational perspective, efficiently managing resources across these two models can be quite complicated.”
To meet this challenge, the Inflow Management Team developed a sophisticated Excel spreadsheet (affectionately dubbed “The Delorean” after the eponymous time-traveling car in the movie ‘Back to the Future’ because it helps tell them where they’re going) to better forecast future resource availability and track billable targets for individual employees. But as anyone who has worked with spreadsheets knows all too well, getting the right data into the spreadsheet is half the battle.