Productive is a tool made for project and operations managers, directors and financial managers, as well as creative teams in agencies and professional service businesses. Productive helps agencies consolidate all their business data and processes in one place. What you used to do in 4-5 tools or spreadsheets, you can now manage in one software, in one place. In this article, we’ll go through all the aspects of agency management that we cover: from sales and project management to reporting and billing.
What Is Productive?
Productive is an end-to-end platform for agency management. Our tool’s main objective is to provide agencies and service providers with a complete and real-time overview of their business.
Productive was first launched in 2014 by industry experts who were running a design and development agency of over 50 people at the time. We needed one place to schedule resources, manage tasks, and see how profitable projects were. Today that agency still regularly tests and uses Productive, and has grown from 50 to 350 people in 5 years thanks to our tool.
What started out as a simple project management tool with budgeting capabilities turned into an application that agencies use to plan and deliver projects from start to finish.
We’re also dedicated to continuous feedback and iteration. Just in 2020, Productive released over 300 improvements and updates across all its modules: budgeting, reporting, sales, project management, billing, and resource planning.
Who is Productive for?
Our users are mostly software development, marketing, advertising and PR agencies, IT implementation services, business consulting, and legal services. You can learn more about Productive on our website.
What challenges does Productive help solve?
Challenge 1: Resource planning and forecasting
In an agency, production of any kind is very dynamic and considers multiple stakeholders. Whether it be digital advertising, software, campaign work or copywriting, the scope of a project can often change. To conquer this enormous agency challenge, Productive provides a visual overview of all your teammates, the projects they’re assigned to, who’s overbooked and who’s on leave, so that you can better schedule upcoming work and forecast hiring needs.
Challenge 2: Consolidated data for informed business decisions
Managing your present workload and steering the future of your agency requires consolidated business data. You need to have a single source of truth where you can monitor your agency’s key metrics, see budgets, keep track of utilization rates, and watch profitability. In Productive, teammates can track time on a daily basis. All your costs (including overhead, additional expenses, out-of-pocket fees) can be added into the system and updated regularly. Then, in Productive’s reports, you can get a real-time overview of your agency’s financial situation per each project, client, team, and/or teammate.
Challenge 3: Billing in agencies
Billing projects is very time-consuming for agencies. Sometimes, sending out invoices can take a few days. Typically, you’ll be serving dozens of clients and delivering various complex projects at once. Those projects require different service rates that can also be billed in multiple currencies. To solve this problem, Productive’s billing solution lets you generate uninvoiced time and expenses, amounts that need to be invoiced. Alternatively, you can bill entire projects or parts of them. You can also combine different projects and services in one invoice.
What’s On The Productive Roadmap?
Since Productive was launched in 2014, the product has continued to evolve. In 2018, Productive rolled out several new features such as forecasting and budget overviews, which help agencies plan costs better and predict the future of their business. The product roadmap for the coming year includes some exciting updates, namely:
- Workflows: a predefined status setup for task management.
- Docs: An improved project notes system where you’ll be able to collaborate with teammates in real time, and rearrange and pin notes.
- Dashboards: Flexible and customizable dashboards.
Productive Features Overview
To get an idea of how Productive works, here’s a tour of the main features and how they can help you run a more successful agency.
Productive’s sales feature lets you use concrete data to make decisions about winning new business. Besides managing each deal individually and as part of a sales funnel, adding financial details and probability rates for each deal lets you forecast your revenue and resource planning better.
2. Project Management
With projects in Productive, teammates can collaborate on tasks and get notified on project updates in real time. You can choose which project layout works best for them between the list, table, board, timeline and calendar view, and you can invite freelancers and clients aboard to comment on project progress.
Billing in Productive is linked with budgets, their services, and rates, as well as tracked time per teammate per service. You get to decide how much of an original budget you want to invoice when generating invoices. Productive’s billing module can save you administrative time usually spent on searching for data that you need to invoice.
Productive’s budgeting feature allows you to manage fixed-priced and hourly services in budgets, as well as out-of-pocket expenses and additional costs. You can use it to effectively deliver recurring work (retainer fees). For long-term projects, you can split budgets up in separate phases. To prevent budget overruns, you can set up warnings.
Productive’s reporting suite helps stakeholders visualize complex project data to draw out actionable insights and resource summaries. Productive can give you automatic answers to questions regarding profit, utilization, revenue and more key metrics that you need for your agency to move forward.
Productive vs Mavenlink
Mavenlink and Productive both boast fast profitability insights where you can track your agency’s revenue and profit. However, according to users on G2, Mavenlink lacks forecasting functionality within reporting. In Productive you can build fully customizable, real-time reports from scratch or access over 50 pre-built, agency-focused reports and save them by category.
Productive vs Accelo
According to user reviews on G2 and Capterra, what users tend to enjoy in Accelo is project planning with milestones and budgets. In Productive, each project is linked to a budget and services, and time tracking is then linked with reporting, billing, and resource planning.
From a user’s point of view, one of Accelo’s major drawbacks is the cost: you can buy each module (projects, sales, retainer, services) at $39/user/month or all 4 modules for $79/user/month, each plan requiring a minimum of 3 users to get started. The costs can add up quickly.
In comparison, Productive’s Premium package is $24 USD monthly per user. Productive Premium includes advanced features like forecasting, client access to budgets and timesheets, advanced insights (multi-level grouping, report pivoting), automatic time tracking, webhooks, and more.
Productive vs Monday.com
Though Productive serves for project delivery, just like Monday.com, Productive is more than a project management tool. Productive gives agencies consolidated data that’s connected with resource planning, reporting, sales, and invoicing. When you set up project budgets and schedule resources in Productive, you can forecast your agency’s revenue and profit. On the other hand, Monday is a project management tool that helps teams businesses and teams plan and deliver projects.
Productive integrates with a number of third-party tools you use every day, like JIRA, Xero, Google Calendar, Exact, and Outlook. Here are a few highlights.
Productive – Quickbooks integration
With Productive’s integration with Quickbooks, first you choose which services you want to bill in Productive, and then, as soon as the invoice is created, you can copy the generated invoice into Quickbooks for further processing.
Productive – Slack integration
Connecting your organization’s Slack account with Productive makes your work more streamlined and communication runs smoother. You can create new tasks directly from a Slack message and perform quick actions like closing tasks and changing assignees or Due dates.
Productive – Zapier integration
Productive users use the Productive-Zapier integration to connect over 1000 other apps with Productive and automate work. Zapier requires a paid plan to use its full feature set.
Productive’s pricing is seat-based and we let you test out all our features for free for 14 days. We also include a demo presentation with dedicated Sales reps who make sure you’re getting the most out of your trial.
We offer three different pricing plans: Standard ($15 USD per month, per user), Premium ($24 USD per month, per user), and Enterprise (a tailored pricing model for agencies above 100 people in need of more customization).