Gilroy unlocks business intelligence with Synergist

As Gilroy grew, they needed better data to inform commercial decisions and optimise utilisation. Here's how Gilroy unlocked valuable data from Synergist for business success.

“We were using lots of spreadsheets. It was very time-consuming with manual reporting, which could be automated using Synergist."

Kelly Walsh, Head of Operations, Gilroy

Who are Gilroy? Gilroy is one of the first specialist B2B agencies, with a history spanning 45 years. Trusted by the world’s leading B2B brands to protect and grow their reputation, outperform their markets and supercharge sales performance.

Agency type: Strategic B2B marketing and communications agency

Services: Connected communications, Marketing operations, Brand experience

Size: 40+ employees

Location: London HQ, and Basingstoke

Who is Kelly Walsh? As Head of Operations, Kelly is responsible for ensuring the efficient operations of the business, including commercial success, operations and processes, and managing talent and culture.

The problem

Moving from manual to automated

"While there was a solid foundational underpinning of the business in terms of reporting and data, it was pulling from a number of different areas. We were using lots of spreadsheets. It was very time-consuming with manual reporting, which could be automated using Synergist."

Kelly worked with Synergist consultants, Agency Works, to build a number of automated reports so they could quickly access and share information across the business.

"It's working really well, but we needed more accurate information going in, to get the valuable insights out. Once you help people understand the benefits, you ingrain behaviours about inputting the right information to unlock the data."

The solution

Creating a commercial perspective

Forecasting confidently

"The first thing we looked at was our forecasting. Synergist evaluates live and quoted jobs to understand what's in and what's likely to come in. Now, every month, we're able to see this detail job by job, client by client, and by department."

"We can get a much quicker handle on where we're at. And we can also take a deeper dive into the numbers if we want to take a more detailed approach."

"It's about time and accuracy, the cost-benefit of accurate data, and confidence knowing that we can use this data to inform our management decision-making. This can really help our business plan going forward."

"To start with, the system needed to work for us from a commercial perspective. That then led to looking at how we can use Synergist to improve our processes, ensuring optimal utilisation of resources, both in terms of timing and allocation."

Understanding utilisation

Utilisation, in terms of billable and non-billable time, is a key part of agency profitability. Kelly wanted to drill down to see how non-billable time was spent.

"We've set up a report to show how people are spending their non-billable time in a visual way that we can quickly understand, query and act upon.

"With remote working, it's become even more important that we can see where time is being spent, who's got too much work on, who hasn't got enough... not always as easy when we're not under one roof.'

"We can look at how well utilised and how billable different departments and roles are. Which translates into how profitable they are. This helps us understand the dynamics of our business as a whole."

"We can now drill into the data using Synergist. For example, if a department's underutilised, is it because we're not bringing in the right type of work? Or we're not quoting or billing enough for the work they're doing? Understanding this is the key that can unlock the success of the business."

Three dashboards: Management, Sales, Performance

Screenshot shows example forecast and utilisation dashboards

Why would you recommend Synergist?

"You can get so much valuable business insight out of Synergist. A lot of other platforms feel like they are off-the-shelf, standardised platforms. Synergist feels like a living, breathing platform that can evolve with you. You can develop a suite of your own custom reports at your fingertips. The flexibility and simplicity work for Gilroy."

"There's a lot to be said for having the Agency Works consultation and having ongoing conversations with an available and approachable expert. They've helped make sure it's all set up properly, so it works for our business, and we get the most out of it."

"Working with Agency Works, we've unlocked a lot of valuable data from Synergist to more accurately inform how we review projects, our people, the commercials of the business, and our operations and process."

"Without Synergist, it's like running a business with one arm tied behind your back because you're making decisions based on unreliable, manually generated information or different people's perspectives. With Synergist, your decisions are based on fact."

Kelly Walsh, Head of Operations, Gilroy

It’s working for them... could it work for you?

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.