Case Study: Beyond Basecamp: Digital Agencies Empower Remote Teams & Clients with Teamwork Projects
Las Olas Tech is a digital marketing agency driven by a team of digital marketing professionals. From their offices in Miami, Florida (USA), they provide social media marketing, website development, SEO, and ad campaigns so clients can build genuine connections with their ideal audience.
Jeff Mendelson, founder of Las Olas Tech, saw that his company was growing beyond the limitations of features in Basecamp and needed project management software that could help his home team and remote workers organize tasks, files and communication from anywhere. He turned to Teamwork Projects for solutions and saw a significant increase in productivity across his team — and a positive feedback from clients.
“I recommend Teamwork Projects to anyone who’ll listen: soloprenuers who are just starting out, non-tech businesses, and anyone who needs to record and track accountability with clients or customers anyone outside their location.
For years, Jeff was a fan of Basecamp 1.0, using it to coordinate tasks for his team. He was also a fan of Basecamp founder Jason Fried and the business frontier he described in his book Rework. But when Basecamp moved to their new platform, the time tracking feature vanished, which removed a critical component for the company’s workflow when it came to managing remote workers.
“Fortunately, Rework taught me that even the founders of Basecamp aren’t afraid to jettison functionality that they didn’t find useful, so I decided to take a cue and source another solution.”
Priorities for the new software included integrations with other major SaaS platforms, like Google Drive and Dropbox, since those were programs that his team and clients used frequently for creating and sharing files. Jeff also wanted easy-to-use time tracking and task reporting features so his team could focus on their work instead of spending time recording their daily progress in complicated planning and task organization software. Las Olas Tech needed a better way for team members and clients to interact as well. Basecamp didn’t offer privacy settings that would allow them to share important files and information without giving everyone access to all of the conversations and tasks within the project.
“An intuitive UI was actually one of my top concerns for a new platform. We wanted to make it easy for everyone to get more work done without the software getting in the way.”
Easier onboarding was definitely one of the selling points for Teamwork Projects. As soon as Jeff’s team started working with the software, they were organizing projects using it, and before long, they were adopting new features into their workflows. Now, Jeff has onboarding down to a (simple) science.
“For new staff and clients, I love being able to send them to the two-minute intro video on the Teamwork.com website. Afterward, I schedule a 15-minute call to explain some of the features we use most, and that’s it! Done and done!”
Even though onboarding was a breeze, moving all of Las Olas Tech’s data from Basecamp to another platform made Jeff nervous. He knew that he needed better tools, but he didn’t want to switch and lose all of the project information that he had built over the years. Fortunately, the Basecamp importer put all of the data directly into Teamwork Projects with just a few clicks. The team has been up and running on Teamwork Projects for five years, and they have their processes refined. Each team member knows how to set permissions on each project so public and private conversations are possible. Clients who want to review progress on a regular basis can have access to those, and for clients who just want regular updates, the team uses the reporting features in Teamwork Projects.
“Getting updates for clients or the team is so simple with the tools in Projects because generating reports is easy, quick, and painless.”
Teamwork Projects is also simplifying collaboration with clients and team members across the globe. Jeff hired his first online business manager at Las Olas Tech and had her create SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) that they placed in Teamwork Projects along with the templated tasks that they created. No matter where team members are, they can access these key documents and adapt them as needed as software upgrades or service providers change.
“I tell my clients and team members that it doesn’t matter whether you’re across the street, or halfway around the world — you’re remote to me. We need an effective means of communicating and collaborating to make this relationship work, and Teamwork Projects is the best tool I’ve found to accomplish that.”
Having a clear direction for team members and an improved communication channel for clients has allowed everyone to reclaim more of their hours for productive work. Time wasted hunting for information or chasing email conversations is gone, and everyone on a project has the most up-to-date information at every moment.
“The ROI is immeasurable. Everyone, from our team to clients and contractors, knows what to do, how to do it, and how to check in. It makes our daily work so much easier.”
Task lists, task management, and transparency have given everyone more accountability, and other tools to keep moving projects ahead without a lot of follow-up questions or meetings. Jeff says that just reducing the number of team and 1-to-1 meetings has been a huge time-saver.
When Jeff’s team does run into questions with Teamwork Projects, whether that’s about how a feature works or how they can further streamline their workflows, support is always there. Because the videos are quick and specific, the team doesn’t lose any time learning about a new feature.
Teamwork Projects has been keeping Las Olas Tech together since 2012, and as their needs have expanded, so have the features, integrations, and support. Jeff can’t imagine getting through a workday without it.
“Honestly, Teamwork Projects is the only way to roll. From a simple to-do list to managing larger projects, it keeps everything in check. Without it, we’d be in the dark ages.”