ICUC is the world’s largest social media management company delivering content moderation, community management and social listening services for brands and marketing agencies. With global headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada and offices in New York and London, ICUC employs over 600 multilingual specialists worldwide who support industry leading global clients 24/7.
Managing a rapidly growing global business
Over the last few years ICUC has grown exponentially, thanks to the increasing demand from brands to incorporate more digital marketing and social media programs. Previously, the onus was on account managers to track time spent against projects, however over time the company realized that a more centralized system was critical to support its expanding global workforce.
- Rapidly growing, global contractor workforce using disparate systems
- Lengthy project costing analysis process for operations team
- Limited scheduling capabilities to block time across different shifts
- Staff unable to request and book time off
- No integration with existing payroll system
As a client services firm that needs to monitor its clients’ social media accounts, ICUC had also been using spreadsheets to ensure that there were always staff working around the clock. While this system worked well initially, as the company grew and required more in-depth reporting capabilities, it needed a more sophisticated scheduling solution to also match team availability to specific skillsets. The spreadsheets also lacked the self-service functionality for users to request and book time off.
“We had about 14 different teams, mainly consisting of contractors around the world, who would use their own systems for tracking time against different projects. But at the end of the week, having to trawl through inconsistent sources of information was a painstakingly laborious exercise for our operations team. We knew we needed a more effortless approach to track and manage our projects,” said Jeff Hoard, Senior Resource Manager, ICUC.
Assessing simpler, more integrated offerings
Over a six-month period, ICUC tried three different solutions before selecting Replicon. Replicon was chosen for its robust project and scheduling module, which includes a stopwatch feature so that users can easily start and stop tracking time against various client projects. In addition, Replicon seamlessly integrates with ICUC’s payroll system, to facilitate more streamlined payroll processing for its global workforce.
“Typically, our contractors are scheduled to an eight-hour shift, where they work across a number of client tasks. Being able to effectively utilize time and report on efficiencies was a critical driver for us to select Replicon. And the fact that it could integrate with payroll was the gravy on top,” Hoard said.
After a smooth implementation with Replicon, ICUC now has a one-stop system that can match team schedules and skillsets with client projects, and also better track time worked against client work to improve efficiencies across all teams.
“Some of the brands we work with have very particular requirements – for example, we may need a fluent French speaker with particular content specialist skills to work a specific time zone. Using Replicon, we can see if we have the right person in a flash, obviating the need to send multiple emails to account leads. This functionality has also helped with our recruitment process and decisions,” Hoard said.
Additionally, by eliminating the use of multiple scheduling and project management systems, ICUC has been able to eliminate the time that team leads previously dedicated to administrative tracking and reporting. ICUC now has a central team who extracts and evaluates reports on resources and projects. This has freed time for the account leads to focus on optimizing their teammates hours, and ensured that individual utilization meets the business goal of between 80 to 90 percent.
“One of my favorite things about Replicon is how we now have so many different ways of looking at the data. We can look at overtime hours worked across teams, profitability against projects, cost efficiencies, shift utilization, various time off submissions – the reports are immediately accessible,” Hoard said.
Once all employee hours have been entered at the end of a pay period, this information seamlessly integrates with ICUC’s payroll system for quick payroll processing.
“With employees all over the world, our payroll needs are quite complicated. We need to account for overtime hours worked, holiday pay and other nuances across all the different regions. Using Replicon, it’s so simple to make sure everything is accurate,” Hoard said.
Continuing to derive data-driven value
In the future, ICUC plans to continue to benefit from Replicon’s reporting capabilities in order to make smarter and more data-driven business decisions. For example, in just a few steps ICUC can run a report on overtime hours worked to better plan and support its global workforce. Previously, an account lead may have resorted to more manual ways of assessing the status and profitability of a project, but today they can glean the data in Replicon to improve how they manage their teammates and client projects.
“With Replicon, it’s been so much easier for us to track campaigns, and break it down into subcategories so we have more granularity into how a project is faring. We continue to embrace how to use the data in more strategic and critical ways each day, which undoubtedly helps us continue to serve our clients effectively,” Hoard said.
- Cloud-based, centralized solution for global workforce
- Significant reduction in administrative duties for project leads, enabling them to focus on client services
- Ability to meet individual utilization rates of 80 to 90 percent
- Operations team more efficient in reviewing time, schedule and project data
- Improved project/cost analysis to support hiring and other business decisions
- Highly flexible and comprehensive reporting capabilities
- Quicker and more accurate payroll processing
"With employees all over the world, our payroll needs are quite complicated. We need to account for overtime hours worked, holiday pay and other nuances across all the different regions. Using Replicon, it’s so simple to make sure everything is accurate."