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Tracking time to foster creativity.

Design Agency
Team Size
14 people
Starbucks, Nordstrom, Oiselle
Use Case
Balancing creativity with profitability

Turnstyle是一家提供全方位服务的创意机构,以其与类似品牌的创新工作而闻名 StarbucksNordstrom, and Oiselle. The three Co-Founders and Principals—Matt Diefenbach, Ben Graham, and Steve Watson—have been working together for decades.

The three met at a brand consultancy that focused heavily on B2B clients. 在那里工作给了他们一个很好的基础,让他们了解设计业务是如何运行的, they found the projects a little bit stale. They longed for more variety and the chance to dabble in B2C projects. “我们决定分拆公司,创建自己的公司,以便对我们所做的工作有更多的控制权,” says Steve. And thus, in 2004, Turnstyle was born.

When the three first struck out on their own, 他们做出了一些重要的决定,即他们想要从之前的设计经验中继承什么,以及他们在业务中绝对不想要什么. “我们决定我们绝对不想做的一件事是在时间表上记录我们的时间,” says Ben. They felt it was unnecessary and just added an uncomfortable level of surveillance. They wanted their primary focus to be on producing high-quality work, so what did it matter how long it took?

Little did they know that time tracking and design craftsmanship would go hand in hand.


Coming around to time tracking.

“It’s funny looking back on it now, but when it was just the three of us we thought, ‘We know we’re going to be working 80-hour weeks anyway, who needs to keep track of how many of those were billable?’” says Ben. “我们觉得老公司的工时表有点‘老大哥’的味道,我们知道那不是我们的风格. 我们想要把工作做好——做任何我们需要做的事情来达到那个质量水平.”

随着Turnstyle团队的成长,反对时间追踪的争论也开始逐渐消失. “As time went on and we added more people, we realized that we needed some business intelligence,” says Ben. 对他们来说,评估他们所使用的预算是否准确是非常困难的, or determine which projects were profitable.

First, 他们试图保留纸质的时间表,但这是一个短暂的策略,因为它是多么的劳动密集. So they started to look for a digital tool. Eventually, they found Harvest. “We never looked back really,” says Ben. “It certainly has helped us. 你可以从这些信息中获得很多我们以前无法获得的见解. That was one of the things that I think we ultimately came back around to and realized, ‘Okay, we need to act like grownups a little bit.’”

Time tracking without tears.

In order to make time tracking feel less like management looking over their shoulder, Turnstyle has been really intentional about how they frame the practice to their staff. “我们强调,这实际上是在告诉我们的决定,向客户收取多少费用,我们的成本,以及这是否是一个好的商业决策,以追求一个给定的项目,” says Ben. “这也给了我们勇气去告诉客户去改变范围,因为我们在一个项目上没有盈利,并且会消耗比我们预计更多的时间.” Having those insights is something everyone on the team can get behind.

“我喜欢Harvest内置的自动提醒功能,这样我就不用给员工发垃圾邮件了. I want it to be easy and seamless.”

Learn more about tracking time with Harvest

They’re also not hugely prescriptive about how employees track their time. 有些人使用计时器,有些人在一天结束时填写他们的时间——turnstyle的操作 & 财务经理Cari Stalter并不介意是哪一个,只要他们坚持记录他们的工作. “In my view, the best tool to use is the one they’ll use,” she says. “I love that some people on the team have Harvest integrated where they’ve got an app on their desktop, or they’re using it through Slack or Asana. I tell them to do whatever’s most convenient for them.使用Harvest还能让她确保每个人都能按时工作. “我喜欢Harvest内置的自动提醒功能,这样我就不用给员工发垃圾邮件了,” she says. “I want it to be easy and seamless.”


Enhancing profitability while enabling creativity.

Contrary to their worst fears, using Harvest has actually allowed Turnstyle to become more creative, not less. Instead of profitability being a black box, 他们清楚地知道自己赚了多少钱——这使得他们能够平衡对创意灵感的需求和经营企业的需求.

“Harvest是一个很好的参考工具,当我们回顾历史时,可以了解类似规模或范围的项目, ‘Okay, how did we do on a project like this before?’” says Matt. “I can do some initial budgeting based on that—seeing what’s similar and different.“在开始一个项目之前,他们对自己要做的事情有一个很好的想法.

这让他们能够在有趣但盈利较少的项目与更标准且盈利的项目之间取得平衡. “我们的客户从小型初创公司到《外围滚球app365》100强公司,我想你可能可以想象,其中一些项目的利润比其他项目低,” says Steve. 他们发现拥有这样的项目范围是值得的,因为这些小项目提供了无形的利益.


Learn more about reporting with Harvest

“When we take on a boutique restaurant, for example, we get a lot more out of it than just the billing rate,” says Ben. “我们接受这些项目,知道我们无法达到我们的目标账单数量,因为它们对我们的公司有其他好处——设计师喜欢从事这些工作, they’re great for publicity, 我们从各种各样的客户那里得到了更多的关注,这些客户可能负担得起那些从商业角度来看实际上更接近我们所寻求的东西.”

On the other end of the spectrum, 使用Harvest可以让他们向那些负担得起的公司收取相应的费用. “我认为,我们可能在某个时候获得了提高网络价格的勇气,这部分要归功于我们从Harvest获得的数据,” says Ben. “We noticed we were getting killed every single time we did web design. So we went out and just started responding to RFPs with bigger numbers.”

Thanks to Harvest, Turnstyle can be strategic about which projects they pursue, allowing them to fulfill both their creative and financial needs.



Thriving creatively and financially.

自从十年前采用Harvest以来,Turnstyle越来越欣赏这个工具. “你不能只专注于做真正伟大的创意,而不具备保持业务健康的基本要素,” says Steve. “Harvest帮助我们保持明智的商业实践,使我们能够专注于伟大的创造性工作.” Rather than cramping Turnstyle’s style, Harvest让工作室能够专注于他们最擅长的事情——为复杂的沟通需求提供创新的设计解决方案.

A great example of this is a project they undertook for Princi, 一家意大利面包店的特许经营店,当时正准备向美国和世界各地的新市场扩张. “你如何将那种身处面包店的体验通过它的视觉和气味捕捉到网站上??” says Steve. “It’s a completely different media. But that was what we did—we ultimately tried to put the image style, the colors, the interface to give you that multi-sensory feeling. 从创始人那里得到的反馈是,经过这么多年和无数个版本的网站, someone had finally got it right. That’s an example of what we hope to achieve in terms of capturing people’s essence.”


Learn more about Harvest

虽然他们没有预料到这一点,但如果没有时间跟踪,这一切都不可能实现. “I think the thing we feel best about is our original goal, 是要创建一个把工作质量放在第一位的机构,而不是仅仅成为一个为客户执行任务的机器,” says Ben. Harvest has been an integral part of their journey, and will support them as they continue to tackle ambitious projects.