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International Digital Media Company, Rawpixel, Saves Cash & Forecasts Confidently
Posted on 8th May 2017 in Customer Stories
Written by Freya Hughes
Rob Churchill decided to make some extra cash when he went travelling after university. After a few years, he branched out alone, noticing a gap in the growing market for a diverse digital media company. Fast-forward to today and the Rawpixel head office resides in the UK, while their creative team in Thailand is going from strength to strength. A community of creatives help innovators in media and break the mould of over-used stock images. We caught up with Louise Churchill, Director of Business Development & Corporate Services at Rawpixel to find out how using FUTRLI has helped them operate Rawpixel from east to west.
How did Rawpixel evolve into what it is today?
It was actually more an accident than planning! After a while of testing the water, so to speak, we managed to get some serious time and investment behind us. We started out with some fantastic projects in the early days, like hiring helicopters in New Zealand to take photos on top of mountains, and we once rented an entire floor of a skyscraper in Manhattan. The stock images market predominantly is full of very small one-man-bands – people that practice photography anyway and then upload their photos. That made us think, ‘We need to be doing bigger shoots’. We needed to make our photos stand out.
So, we invested in these shoots in fantastic locations with up to 50 models at a time. We were able to get images others wouldn’t be able to dream of, or even want to dream of making, as they couldn’t invest that kind of money into it. When our finances started getting more complicated we moved to FUTRLI for forecasting. At that point I was using spreadsheets, in the early days that was quite straightforward, but as we grew everything got more complicated.
As an international business, how does FUTRLI help with your financial reporting?
Being an international business definitely has its challenges. Now we’ve grown, we certainly couldn’t rely on spreadsheets. That’s why I was keen to find a system that could do what FUTRLI does. I was so fed up with doing the constant updates to each spreadsheet. You can add a formula but might lose it and end up tripping over yourself. You really worry that you haven’t done something right.
FUTRLI gives me confidence in the figures for Rawpixel. It just has to be right. Spreadsheets were starting to waste my time and I really needed to build a forecast, so that’s why I love using it.
I wanted to find something that was simple to operate and was keen to find something that would plug into the accounting software we were using, which is Xero, and I loved FUTRLI because it’s so user-friendly. Having our creative base in Thailand it was important to find a system that I felt could be rolled out there too. We needed simple software – we have language, time and distance barriers which can make things tricky, training-wise.
What sold you on FUTRLI?
I looked at other apps but didn’t find anything I liked – a lot of them are aimed at big firms. If you want the functionality FUTRLI is offering, you have to spend quite a lot of money. We are still quite a small business but because we’re international and digital, the features we need when looking for software often puts us in the highest price bracket, which isn’t fair based on our revenue. These days, software needs to be ticking the international functionality box, which FUTRLI does! When you compare what FUTRLI is offering against the other apps out there, it’s completely out of the box with pricing. It meets all of our needs. We did give Float a try but it just wasn’t simple and user-friendly enough.
What are your favourite features of FUTRLI?
I particularly like the ease of use of FUTRLI. I really like that when you’re forecasting you can add in your own line and put in your own formulas and calculations. The majority of our incomings and outgoings are in US dollars, all of our prices and targets, but obviously we’re a UK company so all of my financial records are different. When I’m reporting figures back to the rest of the managers, I need to show them in dollars. Pound sterling doesn’t mean anything to them. So what’s great is I can build all the forecasts and put them into pounds (as they should be!) but then I can add in extra lines of my own calculations based on the exchange rate at the time. It then instantly converts what I want converted into dollars, and I can put a quick calculation in to work out the value of each sale. It saves me so much time which is nice!
It speeds so much up for us, as many of our team are based in Thailand we need that instant connection. The flexibility of it in the dashboards where you can play around with what you want to present, making it a graph, whatever, different formats/sizes, reorder them. It’s all so user-friendly and up to date in terms of technology.
Does using FUTRLI help your working day?
Yes, it’s really streamlined my day. Because it’s so easy to use I can very quickly get the results I need, so I’m still able to use FUTRLI on top of all my other work. If we were still using Excel, then I would have had to bring extra staff in. Because we haven’t had to do that, we can now invest that cash back into the areas of the business that are really making money, photoshoots, design teams, IT development, rather than people doing admin work.
Any advice for prospective users?
Don’t be scared of everything FUTRLI can offer just look at what you need it to do for you. And then figure out how you can make it as streamlined as possible for what you use it for. Because you’re adding stuff all the time, it can look a bit daunting to new users but don’t worry about it – focus on the basics and when you’re more financially sophisticated then you can start using all the other measures as well.