Aurélien Terrade is the co-founder and manager of the branding agency Pile-Poil. Their philosophy? "At Pile-Poil, we believe that creativity, common sense, intuition and imagination are essential qualities for a highly effective branding strategy." Today, Pile-Poil is a team composed of five people who work based in Bordeaux, France.
Aurélien describes himself as a rigorous creative director. This rigour comes from the years he spent in Germany, and it is this same rigour which led him to test Azendoo, over a year and a half ago. In fact, everyone at the Pile-Poil agency is creative' in some way and so Aurélien considered it important to put certain processes in place, to ensure that their projects progress smoothly.
The agency works with all kinds of clients: from producers of foie gras to legal firms, and even zoos! The team works on the client's strategy, branding and advertising, with a particular focus on photographic image.
Aurélien uses Azendoo for the entire development process of a project for his client. The first step is to handle the business offer, by creating a subject for the given client and listing all the tasks to do, including benchmarking, defining the offer, setting the budget etc. Next, he delegates each of the tasks to his colleagues. He also applies a due date to each of these tasks, and sets a reminder.
"The due date function is really essential for me. Even if we often end up pushing the dates back, the function itself means that we never forget anything anymore. Since I started using Azendoo, I no longer use the 'reminder' function on my telephone at all. As soon as I have a new idea, or if I meet a potential new client, I make a note of it in an Azendoo task and set a reminder. I don't need to think about it again after that: I know that I will be reminded of the right information, at the right time!"
At the same time Aurélien also creates a secret subject, to which he invites only certain colleagues. This is in order to share more sensitive data.
"The ability to create secret subjects is really a very effective tool. It enables me to control and manage the circulation of information, and that is essential in any organisation."
Once the project is launched, Aurélien's team members complete each of the tasks attributed to him or her. Then they create new tasks, which they allocate among themselves. The advantage of Azendoo is that there is no hierarchy: everyone has access to the same information and is able to attribute a task to someone else. Work gets done much more quickly that way.
"I love that feeling when one of my colleagues completes a task that I have attributed to him, without me even having to ask if the work has been done. It's really exhilarating and you really have a good idea of the work that the team gets done!"
Once the business offer has been approved, the team progresses with the creative phase. It is at this stage that the 'add a poll' function is really useful, in order to get the approval of the entire team on the final designs that will be presented to the clients. In general, they produce ten designs and the team votes for the three final designs that will be presented. For Pile-Poil, the most important thing is that the whole team is in tune with the final offer that will be presented to the clients. The 'add a poll' function therefore quickly confirms the consensus of the team, without the team having to enter into grand debates, which are often time-consuming and rarely productive.
"I have the Azendoo tab open 24 hours a day. My favorite function is definitely the tasks listed according to subject. It enables me to have a global vision of who is doing what and on which project, as well as to know what stage we are at. "
As well as using Azendoo, and at an earlier stage in the process, Aurélien also uses a file server on which he stores all of the agency's documents. Importantly, this means he avoids creating new versions or duplicates of any documents.
For Aurélien, the advantage of Azendoo is that everyone can collaborate on a project, contributing his or her know-how. Moreover, the application means that Aurélien can trace more clearly the working processes in internal projects.
"Azendoo basically represents a saving of three hours each week that would otherwise be spent on the phone."