Improving efficiencies and managing cash flow

Blue Chip logo

With 100 awards to their credit, Blue Chip deliver promotional, retail and digital marketing to brands such as Kellogg’s, O2, Nando’s, 3M and McCain.

We met up with Lorraine Lee, their Financial Controller, who talked to us about how they tackled their agency's efficiencies and now manage their cash flow.

“We found it was quite a logical system – it was easier to understand than some of the other systems we looked at whilst still offering detailed analysis in the areas we required.”

Client work by Blue Chip for Rexel

The Challenge

Blue Chip Marketing originally used an administrative system that incorporated both manual processes and spreadsheets. However, over the past 10 years, the company quadrupled in size and as it grew, so did the amount of paperwork.

Every year a huge number of handwritten job bags were generated. Adding up the figures on these proved time-consuming and had the potential for errors. Cash flow prediction wasn’t easy either because real figures were only available from job bags at the point of closure. Separate spreadsheets were created to capture “live” figures.

Recognising the need for a more efficient, computer-based system, Blue Chip Marketing reviewed the marketplace, looking at a number of marketing-based options – including Synergist from The Agency Works. Financial Controller, Lorraine Lee, found that Synergist had immediate appeal.

Client work by Blue Chip for O2

The implementation

“We found it was quite a logical system – it was easier to understand than some of the other systems we looked at whilst still offering detailed analysis in the areas we required.”

They were impressed with The Agency Works too. “Steve knew the system inside out and could answer all the questions we asked. He was very user-friendly, not over-promising but always realistic about what the system was able to deliver.”

The Agency Works took care of the installation of Synergist and the training, and Blue Chip Marketing found both to be of a high standard.

Trainer Louise impressed Lorraine Lee by getting a very quick grasp of what they wanted out of the systems and tweaking it to suit their needs.

“We had the same person every time. I liked that continuity,” said Lorraine, who has also found the Synergist helpline to be very useful.

Client work by Blue Chip for Spar

The result

Synergist now plays an important role in the company’s administrative systems. “In terms of job bag administration, the efficiency has improved a lot,” said Lorraine.

Purchase order raising is a very good feature of Synergist – and invoice production – I love that too,” she said. “Sometimes invoice numbers were duplicated on the manual system, whereas with Synergist, you can’t do that, so that’s cut out a whole area of worry.”

With Synergist, Blue Chip Marketing can get a snapshot of open jobs anytime. It’s also helped with looking at the costs on a job. “If someone asked me how much time we’d spent on a particular job, it could have taken up to half an hour on the old system, whereas now, I can pull up a report in around five minutes,” said Lorraine.

Client work by Blue Chip for McCain


Lorraine also likes that fact that there’s a lot of information at your fingertips which wasn’t there before, and she finds the billing plans very useful because it highlights if any invoices haven’t been raised.

“Purchase orders are now more routinely sent out, and our terms and conditions are automatically added to pdf versions of purchase orders. This has tightened up on managing cash flow,” added Lorraine.

The system has impressed the Company Accountant. “From an administration point of view, Synergist is brilliant,” said Lorraine.

From a team efficiency perspective, Synergist has transformed the lives of the account handlers in Blue Chip. MD Nicky Thompson commented that “year-end job bag closing used to take up to two months of Account Handlers time to complete and, at its peak, disrupt the smooth flowing of the office. With Synergist, we can’t even tell it is happening. Last year was done and dusted within two weeks – amazing!”

Time to see it

Whatever your agency looks like – 10 to 500 people, design to digital –
Synergist can be shaped to the way you work.

See it for yourself.

Synergist consultants, Agency Works, will be in touch to arrange your bespoke demo. Their experience working with hundreds of agencies means they can help you work out what's right for you.