Ford Motor Company
Explore how Decideware transformed Ford’s agency management process for scope of work and performance evaluation into a transparent and efficient process.
Ford’s Marketing and Sales, Global Agency Management Team (GAMT) is responsible for managing agency of record relationships including, but not limited to, processes for scopes of work (SOW) and performance evaluations globally across all divisions. GAMT manages over 450 fee-based SOWs annually working with 4 Global and 3 US advertising agencies of record. Additionally, Ford conducts around 650 agency performance evaluations twice a year. Nearly 60% of the evaluation participants represent the agencies and 40% are Ford participants.
GAMT managed a global, standardized process manually prior to 2020 via Excel spreadsheets, emails, and many meetings. An alternative process was needed in order to develop a global database to house the information that would allow GAMT to establish a mechanized system for managing SOWs, performance evaluations and executive reporting.
Timing was aggressive, driven by the desire to conduct mid-year performance evaluations in June, 2020. Once the evaluation module was implemented, the team would shift their focus to the SOW implementation. This included completing training, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and other key milestones. The complexity was high based on the number of agencies, business owners, purchasing stakeholders and finance stakeholders who would require access. Additional complexity came into play with establishing user rights within the system e.g. read-only vs. editor and user roles including administrator roles. The global solution would become the single source of truth.
The automated solution needed to meet all of GAMT’s requirements:
Scoping Tool Requirements
- Establish a global database of SOW deliverables, priorities, labour rates, titles, mix across all agencies for reporting on resource utilization, competitiveness, and the overall cost to the budget.
- Give GAMT the ability to roll up total agency costs regionally and globally.
- Reporting function in USD and local currency to enable agency resource studies at the scope, regional, and global levels.
- A single point of contact from the software company, provided to GAMT, to oversee the setup and tool implementation.
- Provide the ability to track status and workflow accountability.
Evaluation Tool Requirements
- Conduct 360 feedback
- A consistent way to conduct both the Agency Self-Evaluations (100+) and the Client Evaluations (100+) for 4 global and 3 US agencies of record
- Agency evaluation of the Client.
- Reporting capabilities that can reflect both the granularity of local-level detail, and the consolidation of data to support executive-level reporting showcasing regional and divisional results.
- Ability to capture both numerical assessments and written feedback for each evaluation.
- A single point of contact from the software company provided to GAMT for setup and tool implementation.
GAMT found a complete solution in Decideware. Decideware met or exceeded all of the project requirements and complied with Ford’s Service Level Expectations.
The timeline from project kick-off with Decideware to the final phase of implementation was about eleven months and included a January project kick-off meeting and a one-week user acceptance testing that included 10 sets of UAT performed by 6 people and included the following:
1. January project kick-off
2. User acceptance testing that included 10 sets of UAT (1 week) performed by 6 people and included the following:
3. 184 IT Project tasks were identified, 174 closed and 10 carried over to post-implementation
4. 29 training sessions performed globally:
5. Performance Evaluations Go Live in July (ON TIME)
6. SOW Go Live in October (ON TIME) Nearly 650 Agency and Ford users have been trained and are using the Decideware software.
Keys to a Successful Implementation
Key characteristics displayed by the Ford GAMT team during the software implementation:
- Leadership – guidance on processes and strong vision with cross-functional team.
- Cultivate relationships – strong trust with agencies as a partner established over the years.
- Focused working team; single “voice” of client.
- Dedicated person with IT and Marketing background and a team of experienced Agency Relationship Managers.
- Culture – willingness to change and evolve.
“The Ford GAMT team has been a dream to work with, providing a wonderful mix of discipline and innovation. They are clear on their processes and content, but without being dogmatic. Indeed, they are always asking us what we can bring to the mix and adopting new ideas that improve their outcomes. Importantly, they take project management seriously, having a dedicated person take point on the implementation team - this is a game changer. And finally, they provide clear direction to their agency partners, working in a transparent way that seeks to look for win-win opportunities for both the marketer and the agency.”
Richard Benyon, Co-founder Decideware, Inc.
Instituted a change in the approval process allowing GAMT to track scope velocity from submission to completion. This visibility helped shorten the time from submission to approval.
Complex processes were able to be accommodated in Decideware’s automated platform with training and collaboration across global organizations (Ford and Dealer), agencies, IT, Purchasing, Finance & Management. The platform provided the ability to track change requests and sign offs for approvals.
Emulated the way GAMT does training globally and added Subject Matter Expertise from Decideware to enhance the training, videos, etc. Transformation – Within 11 months GAMT transformed their agency management program - fully automating their SOW and evaluation process globally. No more relying on spreadsheets and spending weeks trying to consolidate agency related data.
Decideware Tools Provide:
- Ability to deploy globally across all Ford and Authorized Agencies
- Repository for keeping all SOW’s
- Alignment to FLOW process; Plan, Create, Learn
- Rate card information
- Ability to track Year-Over-Year trends to analyze data
- Create custom dashboards with Business Intelligence
- Ability to track status and workflow accountability
- Ability to deploy globally across all Ford and Global agencies being evaluated
- Unlimited evaluations for authorized agencies
- Agency self-assessment and reverse score cards (360 options)
- Ease of use to tailor survey percentages and questions for a specific evaluation
- Create custom dashboards with Business Intelligence
Post-Implementation Best Practice Recommendations:
Perform Post Implementation Assessment:
After the software implementation was complete, GAMT and Decideware conducted a post mortem, intended to inform process improvements and promote iterative best practices. Agencies were also an integral part of this process since they are a key stakeholder in the SOW and Performance Evaluation processes. All recommendations from Ford GAMT and agencies were reviewed with the product development team to inform current and future product enhancements.
Additionally, Ford sought feedback from industry peers on what to consider post-implementation:
- When expanding to additional software modules, where possible, keep team consistency to leverage their knowledge and shorten implementation timelines.
- For ongoing use of existing modules:
- Keep close contact with stakeholders.
- Document processes, trainings, etc.
Overall, the collaborative spirit and desire to continuously innovate drove a successful software implementation where all stakeholders benefited. With robust Business Intelligence, the GAMT team will be an integral contributor to inform marketing investment strategies.
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