OK. I admit I’ve not been exactly Johnny-on-the-spot with my updates. A lot has been going on here at Gamechangers, but that’s a subject for another article on another day…

Now I’m not normally one to flog or endorse things. It’s just not in my nature. Today I can’t help it – I have to give a little shout out to an absolutely stunning business system we’ve been using (and developing for clients) for the past three years – Podio.

Before I start waxing lyrical about Podio (and believe me, this article may never get published because I have serious trouble shutting up about how good it is) let me tell you a bit about the frustrations I’ve had with business systems over the years. It’s driven me mad. Here’s a short list of the problems I’ve encountered (both in Gamechangers and in our clients’ businesses) over the years as it relates to business systems (CRMs, Project Management Tools, Sales Pipelines, Intranets etc). Tell me if any of these problems sound familiar:

  • Systems that don’t fit the way we work – This is a big one for me. I’ve searched far and wide for a system that would actually fit how we work (or how our clients work). I’ve yet encountered two businesses that work the same, and yet almost every business system forces you to work in certain ways. I’m sure those ways fit someone…but they don’t fit us, and they have never fit any of our clients. This is a HUGE problem for most businesses, as the more the business system deviates from how they actually work – the business processes – the less people want to use the system
  • Systems that don’t promote collaboration – This is only something that has been on my radar for a couple of years, but systems don’t have to just be data containers. They aren’t just places to log, or look up, or add to. A good system actually should be an inclusive system that encourages your team (and possibly your clients and suppliers) to interact and work together.
  • Systems that don’t let you develop new ideas – Or if they do, they require a degree or two in computer science. I’ve seen some seriously cumbersome systems that can do a lot of things, but are so complicated to set up and make work that the majority of people only use about 5-10% of the capability. This causes powerful CRM tools to be used as a glorified address-book (as opposed to a seriously powerful business tool) and extensive project management tools to be used as glorified task lists (instead of a way of increasing your efficiency).
  • Having to use fifteen different systems – I get the concept. I really do. It’s about doing what you do best and not trying to be everything for every person. The problem is the more systems you have to use to accomplish your different tasks, the less likely you are to actually use them. We want people working in a system all the time, not flitting back and forth for every different task.

Yeah, I can see that. So tell me why Podio is better?

First of all, we have to understand a fundamental about Podio. It’s not a CRM. It’s not a Project Management System. It’s not a Marketing Automation System. It’s not a Sales Pipeline Management System. It’s not a Document Management System. It’s not an Event Management System. It’s not a Financial Management System. It’s not an eLearning System.

It’s none of these things.

It’s ALL of these things.

And that’s the real trick about Podio. It’s whatever you want it to be. There are no set processes it tries to force you to use. There is no inbuilt workflow to fight against. It’s not set up to be one thing over another. It’s not designed to be a good…well…anything.

The genius about Podio is it can be all of these things at once. It’s entirely up to you (or for most of our clients…to us) to decide. You can build Podio to help you manage almost any part of your business. And I mean ANY part. Over the past three years, we have built the following within Podio:

  • Project Management System
  • Document Management System
  • CRM
  • Sales Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Support Ticketing System
  • Manufacturing MIS System
  • Resource Scheduler
  • Intranet
  • Staff Holiday Management
  • Staff Rewards System
  • Qualification Management System
  • Resource Management System

All of those different systems were designed by Gamechangers, built by Gamechangers and implemented into client businesses by Gamechangers. And every single one of them was built in Podio.

Now if you’re like most people (and we’re working hard to change this) you don’t know much about Podio. It was founded in 2009 and acquired by Citrix in 2012. It’s got a fantastic community of people working for it (and with it) and is constantly developing new features.

Why Podio will WOW you, your team and your business!

So why will Podio work for your business? I can tell you from experience that these are the key features that absolutely blow the socks off of our clients once they get up to speed on their new system.

  1. Podio's building blocks work with a  simple drag and drop interface.

    Podio’s building blocks work with a simple drag and drop interface.

    Design Podio to Fit YOUR Business – The principle is simple. Podio provides you with the building blocks (see the diagram to the right) and let’s you decide how they work and, more importantly, how they work together. It’s a hugely refreshing approach as it allows you to build  what you need as an organisation and doesn’t force you into using things you don’t. If you can dream it, you can build it. If you do it in your business, you can make it more efficient in Podio. If you’ve seen it work in another system, we can probably build a customised version that works specifically for your needs. It’s amazing.

  2. Automate Anything –
    And everything. Podio has an in-built set of workflow tools that are…basic…at best. That’s where the Podio Partners (and their ever expanding set of add-ons) come in. By itself, Podio is amazing. Combine it with some of the key add-ons and it becomes a gamechanger (ha!) for your business. Our personal favourite is GlobiFlow, an amazing automation tool that lets you build automation into pretty much every aspect of Podio. We’ve built incredibly complex automations for some pretty complex business processes that run like clockwork because of GlobiFlow. It’s the easiest monthly fee you’ll ever pay (after Podio, of course)!
  3. Link Everything Together
    Every part of Podio can be linked together. This sounds pretty trite, but it actually unlocks the ability to do some pretty amazing things. We built one of our clients a pretty sophisticated marketing system that captures prospects information, profiles them (based on information they request) and targets email messages and calls to action based on all of the information collected. Sure you can do the same thing in systems like Infusionsoft (and other MA platforms) but our version integrates with everything else – the CRM, the Project Management, the Support Tickets etc. It’s all linked, so we can run metrics on everything and we can see how everything interacts. Amazing.
  4. Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration
    This has become a hugely important part of Podio for us. Think about it. It makes sense doesn’t it? When you work in a company you very rarely work completely by yourself. You usually work with other people. Strangely this has never really been dealt with well in the systems we use. We tend to use them by ourselves to do our own buts and bobs. That all changes when you work with Podio. Take our system as an example. Our system brings us all (as a business) together and let’s us work together. We’ve also brought this to some of our clients and suppliers, and are now actively working together in a much more intuitive way than ever before. We review, comment, chat, suggest…you name it. We’re all in the system and we can all work together. It’s revolutionised our business.
  5. Everything is Transparent –
    I’ll put my hand up here – I’m a pretty shitty manager in many ways (to be fair, I think I’m a pretty good boss, just not the best manager). Over the past ten years of employing people in various businesses, I’ve found transparency to be the biggest pain in the arse for me. I move around a lot. I’m on the road a lot. I need to be able to see what is going on in my business without having to reach out and ask every five seconds. This is where Podio absolutely shines. Suddenly I have 100% visibility about how everything in every part of the business is going. And it’s not just for me…it’s for everyone. The team is able to see what everyone is working on, and can pitch in. Project managers can track projects. Operations can manage capacity. Everything is there at our fingertips. 360 degrees of pure visibility. Heaven.

Sounds amazing, what is the catch?

There isn’t really one. Podio is an amazing system that can revolutionise how you run your business. The only caveat I’ll add is it depends on HOW you build it. For most of our projects, about 50% of our time goes into creating a business scope of what the business actually needs. We do this before we even think about how Podio can be built to accomplish it. We do this out of experience. When I first got involved in Podio I was excited and ran around building all sorts of bits and bobs in the system. I learned quickly that this is a quick way to ruin a very good opportunity.

Now, we spend a lot of time with our clients understanding the business case before we even attempt to design the system. It’s a bit of a “measure twice, cut once” approach. It’s ensured we build rock-solid systems for our clients. If you’re going to try to do it on your own take my advice – think hard about what you really want to do before you start to build anything. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Trust me.

Want to find out how Podio (or Gamechangers) can make a big impact on your business? 

Hopefully, the above has whetted your appetite. It should. Podio is one of the best systems I’ve ever seen. If you want to see what it can do for you, figure out if Podio can do a better job than your existing systems, or simply want to chat to us about Podio, please fill in the (Podio) form below. The first chat is free 😉

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