ROLL User: Chris Cooper, Digital Director
The Business: Digital Thing
Industry: Digital agency
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Who are Digital Thing?
Digital Thing are a tight-knit team of Melbourne developers who specialise in custom WordPress website themes. We deliver leading-edge strategy, creative and technology integrations and help brands leverage digital to realise their commercial goals.
Our business operates entirely remotely with our employees and contractors working all over Australia from home offices and co-working spaces.
Digital Thing was co-founded by Chris Cooper and Michael Colman, who each have over 15 years of experience in implementing websites.
What makes you different?
The main feedback we get from our clients is about the level of knowledge and experience Chris and Michael bring to the table when it comes to implementing websites that outperform project objectives. With a team of highly experienced UX/UI designers and developers who work remotely and are local, we can respond quickly to customer requirements and provide efficient and effective ongoing support.
Our clients often comment on the speed of our customer service, with our developers being available to help within the hour, not days later. Having worked on websites for over 15 years, we’ve seen a lot of different scenarios and have become really good at finding solutions and creative options.
Life before ROLL
Before ROLL we used a few different job and project management systems. When we first started the business, we were using Briefcase job management, a software package built for agencies. But we found that it required us to have too many windows open when working on multiple jobs and was taking up too much time in data entry. It also wasn’t cloud-based, so we started looking for something else.
We used WorkflowMax and we trialled Xero Projects, but didn’t like the complexity of their interfaces and processes to maintain up-to-date records of client job progress. The financials tracking also made it challenging to see real-time figures and progress of jobs. It was extremely time-consuming for our team to achieve well documented job profiles. Basically, it was taking to long to do things and we were paying annual fees that kept increasing – with no new features.
What has ROLL done for your business?
ROLL has significantly reduced our project/account management time on jobs, allowing us to spend more time working with clients, instead of doing data entry. The simplicity and well-designed user interface and experience of ROLL are a real statement of how a well-designed cloud application can greatly improve the efficiency of a business internally.
We can see our margins on each job straight away and can look at specific project profitability. We couldn’t do that with other systems. And ROLL integrates better with Xero better than systems we used previously, so we have much better visibility over our numbers.
From a top-level business perspective, we use the business metrics in ROLL to have a clear picture of profitability and projected earnings data – both overall and on a per-project basis. We use these quite a bit, for monthly forecasting and to see what’s going to be invoiced each month. ROLL gives us better insights for forecasting and making future business decisions to grow our business.
How has ROLL added value?
Keeping jobs up to date is much quicker with ROLL, and there is so much less data entry duplication. We have saved about 30-40% of our time undertaking the daily account/project management tasks per job – reducing unbillable time. This is huge for a business like ours.
For any agency, being able to reduce unbillable time is something we’re always interested in. With other software we were actually adding time to jobs because of the platform we were using – which makes no sense, especially as we’re a digital agency.
My background is in user experience – making things easy for clients – and my business partner is sales focussed – so he likes things done quickly. ROLL satisfies both of these requirements – doing things easily, doing things efficiently.
I love that ROLL is always evolving. It feels like they’re actually thinking about how customers are using it and they update it to meet those needs. An example that comes to mind is the ability to add a primary contact on a job. It’s a simple change that makes a big difference. They’re not creating updates just for the sake of it. As a developer, I appreciate that.
What are two standout benefits that you love about ROLL?
1. The simplicity of its interface.
2. The clear visibility of all jobs and their profitability.
If you were to sum up ROLL in one sentence, what would that be?
ROLL is a simple yet powerful project management tool for your business to grow efficiently and effectively.
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