28 October 2019

TankTank: Virtual agency relies on ZEP for time recording and project controlling

TankTank: Three years ago, the three advertising professionals Stephan Zschaler, Patrick Plogstedt and Alexandre Butaud founded a virtual agency under this umbrella brand. The background for the spin-off from an existing creative agency was the realisation that digitalisation as well as "new work" are also becoming more and more prevalent in the agency industry. At TankTank, there is therefore only a lead team consisting of the founders, who bring freelance experts - conceptioners, strategists, designers, copywriters, art directors, SoMe editors, SEO/SEA experts, programmers, motion graphics artists, editors, directors - into a so-called "tank" for each new client project. Once the project is completed, the tank dissolves again. Advertising clients who rely on this concept include companies such as HUK-COBURG insurance, BMW Motorrad, the manufacturer of dairy products Kerrygold or comdirect Bank. TankTank relies on the cloud-based software solution ZEP for the recording of project times as well as project controlling of the individual tanks.

"Small speedboat instead of ponderous freighter".

This is how Patrick Plogstedt, one of the founders and partners of TankTank, describes the advantages of his company's way of working for the client. He explains: "With our tanking concept and our large network of freelancers, we are able to bring together the most suitable talents in a project team for each project. We deliberately do without the 'organisational overhead' that traditionally exists in advertising agencies and additionally take into account the ever-increasing desire for freelance 'remote' work, especially among many creatives."

However, the TankTank concept of a virtual agency with agile project-based collaboration of different freelancers poses a very special challenge in project controlling. "Especially with virtual teams, i.e. our tanks, it is important that all services rendered in the tank are recorded and invoiced promptly and precisely," explains Mr Plogstedt. "In addition, we in the lead team naturally need as up-to-date an overview as possible at all times of what working hours have been incurred in the individual tanks and how this affects the current status quo of the project." With an ever-increasing number of tank projects, it quickly became clear that manual project controlling as in the early days no longer made sense. For this reason, TankTank decided to introduce the cloud-based software ZEP for these tasks after only about one year of existence.

Patrick Plogstedt remembers: "I learned about ZEP from an acquaintance who was already using the solution in his company. Based on this recommendation and after a corresponding evaluation, we then decided to introduce the solution at TankTank as well."

ZEP: Focused, functional, intuitive

After almost two years of using ZEP, Patrick Plogstedt draws the following conclusion: "ZEP can do a lot, but still focuses on the functions required for project controlling. The interface is very intuitive and clear, even if it is certainly not 'hip' for us as creative minds and advertisers from a design or UI point of view. But that's not what matters when it comes to time tracking and project controlling."

Complete case study