PlainJoe Studios Increases Projects Closing Within Budget by 50% with Kantata

Media & Advertising
PlainJoe Studios
What Kantata Replaced
Smartsheet, Google Sheets, Interval

The Challenge

PlainJoe’s success as an innovative design studio fostered continued growth, leading to larger teams and a greater amount and wider diversification of projects. This resulted in the use of many different project management solutions, from Google Sheets to Intervals. These manual processes resulted in unclear profitability, limited forecasting, and misunderstood project needs. While these solutions provided the team with important data, all of these processes had to be manually completed. As a result, the PlainJoe team experienced several challenges in how projects were handled and improved upon, including a lack of clarity into profitability and project needs.

PlainJoe Studios uses a team of artists, architects, strategists and problem solvers to drive connection, create value and captivate audiences. PlainJoe’s strategic storytelling is focused on defining everything from brand identity to corporate culture.

“Kantata is a lot more intuitive than other project management solutions. As a leader of project managers, it’s proven to be a really great system.”

Kelsey Sibal

Director of Production, PlainJoe Studios

The Solution

Data Consolidation

PlainJoe’s goal in their project management solution search was to consolidate the functions being fulfilled by many different legacy solutions – combining scheduling, budgeting, tasking, and time entry all in one.

Business Intelligence Support for Resources

As PlainJoe took on contract workers to fulfill increasing demands, the organization began to analyze profitability in detail, but they couldn’t quantify their data for hiring needs. Kantata became a critical aid in effectively expanding their team.

Improving Resource Profitability

The ability to tie in accounting data with resources in Kantata helped PlainJoe Studios better understand its team’s demands through stronger reporting.


  • Improved data insights for project success
  • Enablement of fast shift to remote work
  • Improved budgeting
  • Increased rates in billing

Increase in projects, closing within budget


Increase in billing rates

The Results

Supporting the Shift to Remote Work

Prior to COVID-19, few employees at PlainJoe worked remotely, although the company allowed some flexibility. However, the need for social distancing led to 95% of team members working from home — Kantata has fully supported the change.

Effective Project Budgeting

PlainJoe’s adoption of Kantata has led to a major increase in data quality. Since adopting Kantata, PlainJoe Studios has seen a 50% increase in projects closing within budget.

Business Intelligence for Staffing Needs

The use of Kantata in the area of profitability and resource staffing has helped PlainJoe grow from a small organization to a large one. The company was able to bring critical members onboard while preventing layoffs. Specifically, Kantata has helped the business collaborate and plan more effectively.

Increased Client Satisfaction

Kantata’s BI helped resource managers understand the growth of team member skills and support their ongoing needs. In addition, PlainJoe was able to increase billing rates by 15% to match project margins with the quality of work they provide.

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