Could You Make It Tighter? — MadeTight Success Story

4 min read

MadeTight is a design and development agency that creates clean, tight digital solutions which help their clients gain a competitive advantage in the connected world. They work to understand their clients’ business from the ground up and come up with a solution that will drive them forward. The history of MadeTight’s name is best described in the words of Vladimir, their CEO:

The name of our agency derives from a phrase embedded into our brains by the man we used to work with a lot. He would always probe us to extract our best work by saying: “Is this tight enough? Could you make it tighter?” And so we did.

Being a fairly new agency that started in 2017, they grew from 2 to 9 amazing people who currently share an office in Belgrade, Serbia. As far as company culture is concerned MadeTight is somewhat of a small family, and one would say working at MadeTight is as relaxing as it can get. Being a rather small team, everyone has to pull their own weight (and then some), whether it’s their personal tasks or strategic decision making. What we are happy about is that they also treat Productive as a part of their family, almost like one additional employee — the puppet master who keeps all strings attached.

When it comes to client work, MadeTight gets jobs mostly through referrals from existing clients, which they are quite happy about. They don’t feel like they need to implement a full-fledged sales process just yet, as they have a steady income of work and feel comfortable with their current situation. Their clients are spread out across all continents, but if you had to pinpoint some areas specifically, those would be East USA and Europe. At some point, when they decide to fish for more clients, sales pipeline feature in Productive is ready to back that up.

We asked MadeTight about some of their organizational challenges.

Their internal policy is such that they work 8 hours a day sharp (makes tracking time a whole lot easier) and then shut down for the day. There is no overtime, which is less stressful for the team, but sometimes causes problems for clients if their projects are delayed due to this policy. They rarely have this problem, however, because they put a huge amount of effort into resource planning and scheduling. They aim to utilize their limited resources in the best possible way in order to keep the team spirit up and deliver projects on time and budget.

We plan up to 5 months ahead and schedule clients that way. Productive Scheduling feature is a huge help here. Since it was launched we dropped another scheduling tool that we used up until then, which cost us $30 per month.

MadeTight works with clients on two types of projects:

  • Web development projects that last between 2 and 4 months
  • Retainer projects that last anywhere between 12 and 18 months

When asked to mention a project they were most proud of, MadeTight simply said they are proud of every client project. Their biggest achievement is the fact that every client they worked with has either become a retainer project or referred them to companies that brought in new business.

It’s all in the value

As with any other agency, MadeTight has tried and tested various project management tools that helped them get their projects done. Their first long-term commitment was with ActiveCollab which they used extensively for quite some time.

At one point they collaborated on a project with another agency that used Productive and MadeTight was invited to their Productive account as clients. After a short testing period, MadeTight decided that they wanted to switch to Productive.

We didn’t see too much value right away since we were just Productive guests on a project but at some point we decided to check out the rest of the tool and damn — a perfect set of features we needed to run our agency!

It’s a well-known fact that agencies sometimes struggle when transitioning to a completely new project management tool but this wasn’t the case for MadeTight. The Productive team helped set up retainer budgets and import metadata. Vladimir said that he dug through basically every available tool out there and setting up Productive was an absolute breeze.

We asked Vladimir a couple of questions regarding the benefits that were noticed by his team since they switched to Productive and he put this in a couple of bullets:

Here are the things we noticed right away:

  • We have an overview of employee time utilization
  • Scheduling allows us to time projects perfectly
  • Now we have days off and sick leave as a part of Scheduling
  • Different boards on one project — helps a lot when splitting the project into 4 phases (design, frontend, backend, testing)
  • Project revenue overview (profit etc.) and not to mention that we create an invoice based on the budget which is super easy.
  • Reports help us immensely
  • The sales pipeline is used less but it is nice to add client and company information before actually getting a project. Later when we want to send an invoice the data is already there. That’s really convenient.

When asked what he thought about Productive’s price point Vladimir was completely open about it:

We don’t save money on licenses since we had ActiveCollab for free, but we definitely charge more and have more perspective if a project is profitable or not, so we gain more.

If you want to work with MadeTight, check out their website and shoot them a message!

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