About Vanessa Vollum Edwards
Hailing from Portland, OR, Vanessa graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy. An amateur helicopter and fixed wing pilot since age sixteen, she began her first career as a pilot for LifeFlight. Upon completing her MBA, Vanessa was recruited by a fellow classmate into becoming the CFO/COO for a digital agency experiencing rapid growth. The agency was acquired in 2010. Over the last decade, Vanessa has built a strategic consultancy focused on empowering agency principals, accelerating growth, increasing profitability and deploying agency management software. She is a founder of AgencyStory®, a patent pending curated analytics solution for the marketing services industry.
After working with over 150 leadership teams over the last decade, both agency and in-house, CPI began to notice a consistent pattern of challenges impairing growth and negatively impacting culture. AgencyStory® was developed to empower agency leadership and de-risk their decision making. Finally, a solution that helps you answer:
- What is the Financial Potential of my agency? How far off am I?
- Which of our departments are the most/least profitable and why?
- Which of our clients are the most/least profitable and why?
- Why are my people so busy… but we aren’t making any money?
- How hard should I work my staff before hiring new talent?
- Are there areas where I can cut? When and how should I cut?
- Why is my AGI per FTE so low?
- How can I make my Tier 2 clients as profitable as my Tier 1 clients?
- Why is my salary to AGI so high? Is this because of Overhead or Billable employees?
- Why is my net income so low?
- Is my rate margin ideal for this service/employee/department?
- What operational problems are costing us the most money?
- How much am I paying people to do work I’m not getting paid for?
- How many less FTEs could I have and still get the work done?
- What is dragging down the utilizations of my best employees?
- Which staff are my over-achievers and under-performers? Why?
- What is the opportunity cost of organic growth within clients, and what is the return?
- What if I increased utilization by x%? Is it worth the effort?
- What if I right-sized my compensation-to-rate ratios?
- What if I decreased my agency’s realization by x%?