A project management tool for design agencies

55 KNOTS is one of Australia’s leading creative agencies disrupting the design world with their On-Demand Graphic Design Subscription.

Who am I and what do I do?

Hi, I’m Ben Williams. I’m the founder of 55 Knots an on-demand graphic design service in Australia.

What is ManyRequests and what type of value do they bring?

“What it’s enabled me to do is have someone come into my website purchase, put in a brief straight through to ManyRequests, and then I can have a designer assigned to working on that brief in minutes.”

So ManyRequests is a project management tool for service based businesses like mine. Before using ManyRequests, a client would have to go on my website purchase a form, it gets submitted to me, I’d have to set them up manually into my previous platform, give the client some login details, then they could log in and submit a brief and then one of my designers could start working on it with ManyRequests. What it’s enabled me to do is have someone come into my website purchase, put in a brief straight through to ManyRequests, and then I can have a designer assigned to working on that brief in minutes.

What was it like before I started using ManyRequests?

“It was just an absolute mess.”

I can describe it in one word, and that is messy. We had from, I guess from the start of purchase to the end of their first or client’s first job, we probably had about three or four different systems. So the first thing the purchasing system didn’t connect to the system we were using, then we would have a separate, I guess an asset, we use a table basically to track all the different projects that we had. Then we had the project tool itself, which was where the clients would upload their briefs. And then it was supposed to have really great notifications but didn’t, so then we were back to all using emails, because the communication was so bad. Communication is probably the biggest key for me, especially in an SLA business where you’re working to two business days. So not having that run smoothly. It was just an absolute mess.

What was the biggest pain point before ManyRequests?

“Previous platform was terrible at communication and notifications.”

So I know it’s one main point, I’m going to give you two, the first one being communication. Previous platform was terrible at communication and notifications. And it was driving me up the wall. When we, you know, customer service and quality is something I value highly with my customers and if I can’t communicate with them, or if they don’t know I’ve left a comment, or I don’t know if they’ve left a comment on a project. That is not great. And having to do everything over email when you’re paying all this money for a platform is not ideal. And the second one is, the service we were using prior to ManyRequests was a competitive platform that we were white labelling. So just something that didn’t really sit well with me was using a, you know someone in the same field and having access to my data. It didn’t quite mesh well with me and a couple of things that they did like, I’m not going to go into because I don’t wanna help them too much. But that’s what I like about ManyRequests is that it’s a neutral platform for all service based businesses.

What made ManyRequests stand out from other companies?

“It was simple. It was exactly what I needed.”

It was, well the name for one. Yes, we as a service based business, we have many requests. So I like that straightaway.

I liked just the platform itself, it was simple. It was exactly what I needed, from what I could tell. It was also just the founders of this company that have been very responsive and very open to feedback which is always great to see.

What have my results been so far while working with ManyRequests?

“There’s been a massive improvement in uptake and different services without me having to help people.”

The results so far have been much better improvement in my notifications and comms with my customers, which is great. I have not been kept up at night wondering if I have a comment that I haven’t seen.

The second has been the massive improvement in uptake and different services without me having to help people. So we’ve had our first couple of, you know, sort of automated from purchase to brief without any sort of interaction and that has just made my day.

What’s the number one biggest benefit of ManyRequests?

“I love being able to see the revenue that’s come in how many active customers we have, how many projects we have going.”

I love being able to see the revenue that’s come in how many active customers we have, how many projects we have going, you know, what our, you know, daily project amount is, is it increasing or decreasing. It’s all in one spot. It’s just great to have a tool that’s all encompassing.

What has been the ROI for ManyRequests?

“The return on investment has been great in terms of cost saving on the platform itself.”

Basically the return on investment has been great in terms of cost saving on the platform itself. The ability to streamline from purchase to a finished product for our customers, as well as also improving the efficiencies of manual processing of payments, login details, email comms and all that stuff. So everything has improved greatly because of ManyRequests.

What has exceeded my expectations and surprised me the most since working with ManyRequests?

“The best about the platform is the owners or the founders of the platform, being so willing and open to talk to you lend a hand give you insights and also take feedback on their platform.”

The platform is great. But the thing that I find the best about the platform is the owners or the founders of the platform, being so willing and open to talk to you lend a hand give you insights and also take feedback on their platform. It’s probably like the best thing about working with ManyRequests.

My recommendation for anyone who’s sitting on the fence…

“I would tell them to sign up.”

I would tell them to sign up. Get an account, try it out. I mean, what can you lose? It’s only one month, but I really doubt that you’ll want to go to another platform after giving them a try.

How it works

  1. Once a client has signed up to a subscription on the 55 Knots website, they automatically receive their portal login details.
  2. Clients can then log into a white-labelled portal (with 55 Knots branding) and submit a graphic design request.

Example of a custom intake form for your service

You can create custom intake forms for different types of services. Below is an example of a custom intake form for a standard graphic design request at 55 Knots:

How requests are managed

  1. Administrators will be able to log into the portal and view all client requests from the Admin dashboard.
  2. Administrators can also assign requests to themselves or other designers and communicate with clients regarding their request.

Check out the video below to see how this works:

Selling add-on services

The client portal makes it easy for clients to purchase add-on services (outside of their normal graphic design subscription). Clients can browse the Service Catalog within their portal for a full list of add-on services offered by 55 Knots.

Tools used by 55 Knots

  • ManyRequests: a client portal to manage requests, client communication, subscriptions, invoicing and payment.
  • Google Drive: storage space for your client’s design assets
  • GoVisually: a creative mark-up tool that makes a world of difference to both a design agency’s workflow and their clients lives (no more printing out artwork scribbling and scanning back in)!