Decideware: Taking Agency Expense Management to the Next Level!

As per our recent posts, Decideware are the Agency Performance Management Experts, having brought end-to-end agency lifecycle management (Part I, Part II, and Part III) to your agency-based supply chain.

Agency-based spend is an often overlooked spend category because it’s creative (and marketing doesn’t want to give it up), outsourced, and typically hands-off (because all marketing wants is the end product — print, radio, tv, or web advertisement, campaign, etc.).

However, ignoring this spend is costly, especially if you are doing a lot of production work — because the amount that is being spent through your agencies on production is often a lot more than the creative agency fees. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you drill down, you often find that if you are using a lot of different agencies for your different marketing initiatives, there will often be overlap not only in the types of production companies your agencies use to create your advertisements and campaigns, but in the actual companies themselves. This means that if you can identify common tier-2 providers used by your agencies, and identify potential preferred providers, you can negotiate with those providers for preferred rates to be on your preferred provider list that you provide to the agencies (who can be told that they can only use providers for identified services from your list).

Plus, because Decideware’s new Production Management Module allows you to track all costs down to the individual project and provider level, you can make sure that the preferred rates are actually being offered to you. And if the project is large enough, or the volume of work increases, you can ask for an additional discount and track the negotiated savings as well. It’s a great way to identify cost-savings opportunities when you don’t need the absolute best provider. After all, just about any print house can do a print job and any production studio can film an advertisement. This allows you to save on the “commodity purchases” and spend those dollars on the “creative” side instead, where you are likely to receive the most value for your money.

The new Decideware Production Module is a great complement to their existing Statement of Work module (discussed in Decideware: An End-to-End Agency Lifecycle Management Solution Part II) and now, for the first time, you can truly undertake multi-tier end-to-end agency-based cost management and really get your advertising and marketing spends under control.

The Production Module, currently in beta and scheduled for full-release at the start of next quarter, is similar to the scope-of-work module in that it walks the user through the full production RFX and cost estimate workflow. After the user defines the project metadata (type, scope, timeframe, org unit, etc.), she selects the users who will participate (in editorial, view, or approval mode), defines the work products (and who is responsible for overseeing their definition), selects the vendors who will be allowed to bid, defines the desired cost breakdown (by phase and element), defines the contract terms, and then, finally, defines the approval process. Then the project is launched and vendors provide their bid package with the desired cost breakdown, which includes an identification of the sub-tier suppliers who will be used to complete the work.

It’s an easy to use and well-thought out solution for getting your rampant advertising budget under control.