As a creative digital marketing agency, Rotterdam-based Pixelfarm has been using Wrike for over a year to manage daily project work ranging from Facebook campaigns to website/mobile apps to creative pitches.

Because some projects require a quick turnaround, Pixelfarm chose Wrike as their main project management tool. The efficient and fast workflow in Wrike allows them to switch, assign, and track tasks for a project and easily keep track of the time spent working.

But Pixelfarm wanted to utilize Wrike further by integrating budgeting and account management to get an even more efficient workflow.

Integrating BARN with Wrike

Previously, Pixelfarm had been using Google Drive to create and log project estimates and then Dropbox to store customer files. They then wanted to combine these two services with the task management capabilities of Wrike.

Stephan de Graaf from Pixelfarm uses BARN & Wrike for project budgeting.

“We had all these different tools and platforms but unfortunately there was no perfect integration for our needs," says Stephan de Graaf, Digital Strategist at Pixelfarm. "Using the API from Wrike, Dropbox, and Google Drive we had a chance to offer our clients a great experience, cut back on the hours spent managing projects, and gain more time to do work."

They developed their own platform called BARN: a system where the agency’s clients can log in to find their latest project files and track progress. But more importantly, it allows Pixelfarm to automatically generate projects in Wrike based on their project planning. It also creates project summaries using Wrike's time tracker which records time spent, and therefore overall costs.

Now Pixelfarm spends less time creating and assigning projects. By integrating Wrike financial management into BARN, their workflow is much smoother. This is how it works:

  1. An account manager begins by creating new project estimates in BARN. A Google spreadsheet is generated based on a chosen template, and the account manager fills out task names, descriptions, responsible staff, time estimated, and predicted costs.
  2. Once a client approves the project plan and budget, the account manager clicks "Convert to Project" in BARN.
  3. By calling up Wrike's API, BARN immediately generates a project folder and pre-filled tasks in Wrike using the information stored in the Google spreadsheet. It also automatically creates a Dropbox folder for client deliverables.
  4. For the duration of the project, team members use Wrike's timer feature to track the time they spend on this new project. BARN automatically stores that information in the original Google spreadsheet.
  5. Once a project is completed, the PM clicks "Close Project" in BARN. This marks the Wrike task as complete, collects the timer information, calculates the project cost for the client, and creates an end report. It keeps these reports in a spreadsheet so Pixelfarm can gain insight into their overall performance.
  6. BARN then sends a notification to the financial administrators so they know the project is ready to be invoiced.

With their BARN platform successfully integrating Wrike, Google Drive, and Dropbox, Pixelfarm has custom-built an efficient way to track project budgets and keep their clients up to date.

BARN & Wrike help Pixelfarm budget and manage their projects.

Future Plans

“Of course this is just the first step,” says de Graaf. "The way we set up BARN right now allows for a whole new way of working. For example, we’re already using an online service for invoicing and they have an API, so we can quite easily implement automatic invoicing. That would mean that when we close a project, an invoice is automatically generated and sent off to the client. Integrating bug tracking, implementing Google Analytics’ API to generate campaign statistics, and creating a mobile app for our clients are also high on our list of priorities.”

BARN has been a way to add more value to Pixelfarm's core services and products. By integrating Wrike's useful API, they have been able to build a tool perfect for their team. We're pleased to be the connecting tissue between all the vital organs, helping this team provide great service for their clients.