Marketing and advertising

Scholz & Friends manages the capacity of 200+ creatives across languages with Float

Scholz and Friends Team Contributors

Maike Jahnens

Head of Financial Operations and Capacity Management

Comfort Agemo

Senior Capacity and Freelance Manager

People Scheduled257
Customer Since2019
Switched FromSpreadsheets
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In 1981, Jürgen Scholz, Uwe Lang, and Michael Menzel founded Scholz & Friends to create brand experiences with passion and creativity that change how people think, feel, and act. 

The agency has expanded into one of Europe's largest advertising agencies, with over 1,300 employees and offices in eight locations, winning awards for its innovative and inspiring campaigns. 

You may know them for the Paralympic logo. You might have strolled past the iconic Walk of Ideas sculpture in Central Berlin. Their Road to McDrive posters might have had you heading to the nearest McDonald’s in Germany.

At the Hamburg office of Scholz and Friends, the capacity planners in charge of the Commerce team keep the creative machine running smoothly, allocating tasks to their in-house team based on capacity while maximizing the use of their people's time. Their secret weapon?

Float.

As the S&F team grew, it became harder for capacity planners to track availability

Like most young agencies, Scholz & Friends relied on Excel sheets to plan their projects and track team capacity.

But as the agency expanded, they outgrew this system.  

Imagine trying to handle hundreds of people working on creative projects in various locations for an increasing number of customers with just a spreadsheet. 

“Excel is great, but it can only do so much,” says Comfort Agemo, Senior Capacity and Freelance Manager at Scholz and Friends. 

The capacity planners found it challenging to create tentative project plans, manage their team workloads, and determine when to hire a freelancer or assign work to an available internal team member. 

Float helps keep every team member visible 

After comparing capacity planning tools, the capacity planning team chose Float because it was the most intuitive. 

Once they moved to Float, they immediately found it easier to see the availability of the 200+ creatives in the Scholz and Friends Commerce unit. They could quickly assemble a project team—for example, one requiring a Spanish-speaking graphic designer—in just a few minutes. 

It also became easier to predict team capacity and make informed decisions like lending a team member from the Hamburg office to the Berlin one or hiring a freelancer when the team is at full capacity.

An extra benefit is that instead of spending hours to make sense of numbers in spreadsheets during capacity planning meetings, they could easily make (and tweak) project plans using data in Float.

Once a week, we have a virtual capacity planning meeting with account managers and creative directors, in which we go through projects in Float to see team workloads and availability. 

Float enables us to answer important questions like: Is this project properly planned? How much time can we allocate to tentative projects without blocking confirmed projects? Can we predict how much work is coming in?

The capacity planning team can now successfully track the capacity of hundreds of team members

It’s been over three years since Scholz & Friends made the switch to Float, and they have never looked back.

Float has helped Maike and Comfort's capacity planning team to successfully track the capacity of hundreds of team members.

With 200+ team members (plus freelancers), knowing who was overloaded or on the bench was difficult. 

But after dropping spreadsheets for Float, the capacity management team now “understand what people are working on, who the people are, and where are they from.”

Maike and Comfort are quick to detect overload in Float and find people support from other offices with availability to work on projects. 

You can just click [to find] a motion designer or a copywriter. And you have the list of everyone over offices. You know who speaks English and who speaks Spanish. You can see that very fast and help out if someone is in need of a specific skill set.

In the case that the whole team is at capacity, they can bring on freelancers, ensuring the projects never grind to a halt.

It's common to lose sight of individual team members in large agencies, making it easy for skills to atrophy and work assignments to not align with interests. But, with Float, the capacity management team can now learn about their team members' skills and spot opportunities for growth.

“With the tagging system, you can see … the skill of the person and what needs to be developed,” explains Comfort. “If you see that somebody is booked a lot, but somebody else is not booked, maybe skills are missing. [So we ask] how can we help to develop more skills? What does the person need to learn?” 

These insights deliver a two-part benefit to Scholz & Friends. They ensure they always have the right skills available to complete projects and guarantee that all team members are equipped to do what they love. 

“It's first of all about the people who are doing the work. They should have fun doing that because it's creative work.”

An unexpected benefit was that Float helped the capacity planners get to know their team members better. 

“It’s quite difficult to know everyone in a big international team. Sometimes, you see people in the office, you don't know their roles and their names."

"But, if you filter in Float, you can learn a little bit more about the colleagues than if you were just looking in the Excel list. You can see what project they are working on and learn more about their profession and skills.”

Understanding the people on their team also helped the capacity planners gain a “feeling” for who each person is and helped them understand the “vibe” in each team.

Float helps us in our role because we are like a link connecting people, and when we do it well, our team members are happy and productive.

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