BlueCaribu is an innovative marketing agency, offering a unique mix of e-learning, SaaS products and marketing services. With offices in Colombia, Spain, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador, this is one of the best-established agencies of its type in the Spanish-speaking world. Not only that, BlueCaribu won the Helping Businesses Grow Online award at the Google Premier Partner Awards 2019, an impressive feat for the agency. There have been over 2,500 clients on the agency’s books, spread across 19 countries and counting.
“Covid-19 drove business down by 50%. It was scary”
Like so many businesses around the globe, BlueCaribu was blindsided by the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of its clients – about 90% of which are SMEs – were in industries badly affected by the pandemic, including tourism, health and hospitality.
“Our business went down 50% in April, and it was scary. Cashflow was seriously affected in the first months of the pandemic, so we were looking at making cuts to every cost and payment.” says BlueCaribu CEO, Manuel Gil.
How a Teamwork payment holiday kept BlueCaribu’s team together
As the economic effects of Covid-19 set in, the BlueCaribu team decided they would need to either downgrade their Teamwork account, or pause it completely.
When Manuel reached out to us to tell us BlueCaribu was going to struggle to make its usual payments, we wasted no time in offering a payment holiday so they could pull through difficult times and continue to deliver for their clients.
Manuel and BlueCaribu however weren’t the only Teamwork customers to receive a payment holiday, there were many more in the same boat. When customers reached out to tell us they were struggling to meet payments for Teamwork due to the global pandemic, we offered a two-month payment holiday to give a helping hand to those in need. We extended the payment break for some customers who’ve had a particularly hard time, including BlueCaribu, whose payment holiday lasted five months.
Thanks to our Covid-19 payment holiday, BlueCaribu was able to keep using Teamwork as normal. This equipped BlueCaribu to continue delivering projects, providing exceptional service to clients, and collaborating as a team while working remotely during the pandemic.
One of our core values here at Teamwork is that “we put our customers first,” and with this in mind, we knew we’d need to give extra help to people who needed it during the pandemic. Hearing how the payment holiday helped BlueCaribu makes it all worthwhile.
“We needed to keep the team organized while working remotely, so the help was vital for us,” says Manuel.“
Overnight, we made the decision to close our offices weeks before everyone else did. It was thanks to Teamwork that the next day, everyone was working from home as synchronized as always.
“The transition to remote working with Teamwork was smooth”
The cruel irony is that while Covid-19 has rendered businesses unable to pay for core services like remote working solutions, it has also made remote working mandatory for many.
Millions of companies around the world are practising social distancing and working from home – and the ones with an effective way of organizing their work will be at an advantage.
“When the pandemic started, we were working 90% of the time from the office. Then, overnight, everyone moved to working remotely.” says Manuel.
Fortunately, BlueCaribu already had Teamwork in place so the shift to remote work was seamless. The agency had been using Teamwork since 2015, when it had just a three-person team, working from Madrid. In 2020, now with over 70 employees, BlueCaribu has found it simple to implement Teamwork as a more fundamental part of daily work.
The transition was very smooth for us, as we had already chosen and implemented Teamwork, which is perfect for working remotely.
“We’ve built our processes using it, and it helps us stay organized, collaborate, centralize data and control progress.”
Teamwork has been central to BlueCaribu’s daily work over the course of the agency’s payment holiday. Happily, Manuel has seen a turnaround in fortunes in that time, with cashflow slowly rising towards pre-pandemic levels. It looks like the lasting outcome of BlueCaribu’s struggles with the pandemic will be an increase in its use of Teamwork, rather than anything negative.
Striking the balance between freedom and control during remote working
Not only has BlueCaribu used Teamwork more since the pandemic hit – the team also started to use the platform differently.
“We wanted to give extra help, but also extra freedom,” says Manuel.
A key feature in delivering that balance was Teamwork’s in-built time tracking, which BlueCaribu has used to keep track of each task, project and team member while working remotely.
“It has really helped our team to understand how they spend their time, and to keep control of the time for themselves and the client,” says Manuel.
“When we started working remotely in March, we knew we didn’t want to micro-manage team members every day. Time tracking has been a great tool for making that transition without losing control.”
Another of BlueCaribu’s favourite Teamwork features is task lists. This feature allows the user to group tasks together as they see fit.
“With a couple of clicks you know exactly when and how to perform a process, and the rest of the team knows when and how to help you,” says Manuel.
We’ll always do what we can for our clients
Manuel was both surprised and relieved when we offered BlueCaribu a payment holiday to help his agency to continue to run during the pandemic.
There are plenty of service providers that simply would not offer support like this, no matter what’s happening in the wider world. Our approach is driven by empathy with our customers. We want to understand and assist every one of them to the best of our ability, and it’s this quality that helps us make the compassionate decisions that set us apart.
BlueCaribu is one of several Teamwork clients we’ve granted a payment holiday during the Covid-19 pandemic. From family businesses to continent-leading agencies like BlueCaribu, all sorts of account-holders have been adversely affected, and we’ve done what we can to lighten the load.
Payment holidays are not something we can provide as standard – but if a trusted customer comes to us to say they’re struggling, they can rest assured we will listen.
“If you are a serious business owner and you want to grow, control and organize your operations, you need Teamwork, period. It’s probably the best project management software out there, so give it a try!” –Manuel Gil, BlueCaribu CEO