Flock Associates aims to solve the problematic scoping process

$264 billion in agency fees changes hands every year - most of it on spreadsheets.

While there’s much for agencies and brands to disagree on in the industry, one thing everyone can likely harmonize on is this: The scoping process is flawed.

About $264 billion in agency fees is exchanged each year, and most of the time, that happens on Excel spreadsheets.

"If you’re doing that with 4,000 or 5,000 people in 60 markets with over 25 difference scopes of work by market, can you imagine the size and complexity and risk of those spreadsheets?" said Flock Chief Executive Simon Francis. "We decided to make it easy, simple and fair."

After six months of development and a "high six-figure" investment, Flock is releasing a tool to help make scopes of work (SOW) and fees more transparent and defined, which will build more trust between brands and agencies.

The Flock Agency Scoping Tool is currently being beta-tested by nine clients around the world. Flock declined to disclose which clients are using the tool right now, but the marketing transformation company has worked with major marketers, such as likes of Ford, McDonald’s and Johnson & Johnson, in the past.

"Better scopes equal better relationships, which equals better work," said Francis, adding that the tool houses all of the data in the cloud and allows for different fees and bonus structures for be created in all markets and currencies.

"You can compare the French scope with the English scope and see why one has loads of account directors on it or why one has a different cost proposal," added Francis. "This is about building trust and transparency."

Matthew Kasindorf, 4A’s senior VP of agency management services, told Campaign US that the SOW should be a living document "because business needs evolve throughout the year, and the agency's compensation must be adjusted accordingly.  It's important that both agencies and clients together support any changes in scope, and both should agree upon what's not in scope."

He added: "Better scoping leads to better alignment of resources, and that leads to better work and better working relationships."

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