customer testimonial

Onboarding with Parallax: How Raindrop Agency is Transforming Resourcing


Location: San Diego, CA

Employees: 80 employees

Company type: Creative & production agency




Raindrop is a holistic agency partner that serves as the creative engine across all channels for its clients – video, social, email, web, photo, design, and more. 

Raindrop’s resourcing and operations teams lacked insight into real-time project actuals, in-pipeline deals, and data to prove and who to hire to support current and upcoming projects. To gain trusted data that serves as the source of truth for all teams, they partnered with Parallax and utilized the Hubspot and Everhour integrations. They’re now making data-backed hiring decisions, refining their project scopes based on actuals, and always one step ahead for upcoming work. 

We sat down with Raindrop’s director of operations and senior vice president of service delivery to hear why they adopted Parallax, what their onboarding process was like, and what business outcomes they’re already experiencing. 

Here’s what we learned.

Can you introduce yourselves and share what Raindrop does?

Dema-ala: I’m Carolyn Dema-ala, the Director of Operations at Raindrop. We’re a creative video and photo production studio offering social, design, and art direction support for our clients. 

Youngren: I’m Jeff Youngren, Senior Vice President of Service Delivery at Raindrop. 

One of our core values at Raindrop is “people-first,” meaning we take care of our people. A huge part of that is resourcing and making sure that they feel supported and that they’re not overworked or overwhelmed. That’s how we found ourselves talking with Parallax. 

What problems did Raindrop face before using Parallax? 

Youngren: We have an amazing team of creative resource managers who intuitively know what we need to do in terms of resourcing and hiring needs, but intuition isn’t enough to make a decision that impacts the business. We were looking for something that could show us the data we were looking for. 

Dema-ala: Raindrop had challenges with up-and-down production and projects, so forecasting was really hard for us. There were a lot of times where we were understaffed or overstaffed. We also had a tough time auditing our budgets and needed to better understand our actuals and which projects we should pursue. 

What kickstarted your search for a new solution? 

Dema-ala: Before Parallax, we used to create a lot of spreadsheets that needed to talk to each other, and it was a really complicated and manual process. A lot of things would break, and we were recreating reports that now take two minutes to pull up but would take two weeks to create before. We had all the systems and tools that we needed, but it wasn’t just getting pulled together. 

I think the tipping point for us was when we were going through a slow period and then ramped up really quickly. We were billing at a certain level, but our hours weren’t reflecting that our team was way over capacity. Our resourcing was very reactive, which was a huge part of why we started looking for a tool to help us get ahead of the curve.

Did you consider any other tools? 

Dema-ala: We considered making our own tool – and we are really thankful that we didn’t have to. 

Youngren: We were always looking at ways to forward plan our resourcing, but it required so much manual updating that was wasting our team’s time. I took charge of trying to find something that could be more automated and streamlined. I was Googling how to combine resources and service offerings and delivery times – trying to connect all these dots – and that’s when I found Parallax. 

What was the onboarding experience like with Parallax? 

Youngren: The onboarding with Parallax was the best I’ve seen with any software. It was one of those things where we were like, “How is this even possible? They’re spending this much time with us?”  There was a lot for us to do, and the Parallax team was very guiding about what needed to be done now and what could wait. I really appreciated their check-ins, too. They would consistently ask us about our comfort level with different features and would adjust or pivot the onboarding process to match what we needed.

Dema-ala: The onboarding team from Parallax was awesome. They gave us a timeline to understand what each step would look like. We had a lot of work cut out for us, but the Parallax team was so patient; they offered to help in any way they could, answered all of our questions, and provided training. We’ve done a lot of software integrations, but Parallax has been our favorite by far – the team has been an absolute joy to work with. We couldn’t have been happier with the implementation process.

Any surprises or key takeaways you learned or experienced during the onboarding process? 

Dema-ala: Parallax revealed to us what we were doing right and what we needed to shift. For instance, our sales team was always in the corner, coming up with scopes or new projects we didn’t know about. Now, we know how to communicate so that our resourcing and forecasting are more accurate and so we all have a better understanding of the plan. We also found out that a lot of our estimates for time have been off, but now we can see actuals side by side, and it’s going to help us so much with forecasting. We’ll be updating our budgets; we’re going to grow our margin, and we’re going to improve the bottom line of our business.

We also discovered we were missing around one million dollars of billable revenue. That was a huge eye-opening moment for our team. And now, with Parallax, we’re focused on getting those dollars back and billing our clients for time that is actually billable or should be billable. 

Did you have any required integrations with Parallax? 

Dema-ala: EverHour, our time-tracking tool, was super easy to integrate Parallax with. The integration required a couple of clicks, and we had the data. HubSpot was also a really easy integration – we just hooked up our system, and all the deals were there. 

What was the transition like from onboarding to using the tool?

Youngren: The transition has been great. We kept calling our Parallax support person our “fairy godmother.” She always knew the answers to our questions, and we’ve been so thankful she was willing to jump in as needed. She went above and beyond.

What business outcomes are you already experiencing? 

Dema-ala: There’s a data point (EAC – estimate at completion) in Parallax that tracks what percentage we would be over budget if the project ended today. I love that because it gives our teams more foresight into whether we’re on track or not – not just something we know at the end of the project. You can actually track it in real-time and make adjustments, which is exciting and helpful for our team.

Youngren: We’re already getting actionable data. Right now, because of Parallax, we have six roles that we’re confidently hiring for. We’re not taking a wild guess. And we anticipate that there will be more hires on the way in the right places, the right positions, the right departments – not just based on our felt needs but data. That’s the biggest thing that has changed: the confidence we have with our resourcing and forecasting decisions.

Who is using Parallax the most at Raindrop? 

Youngren: Having our account managers onboard with Parallax allows them to make changes as projects change. Clients always have additional requests – things run behind, things get ahead of schedule, and budgets change. Being able to have them make updates, even if they’re very small, will let us see accurate data at a moment’s notice, so we can course correct as needed. 

Dema-ala: We have over 200 projects for a team of 80 people, so we rely on the resource management team to assign projects as they come in and as things change. A few others, myself included, help with pipeline projects and understanding what’s coming. Our leadership and finance teams, production teams, and larger operations teams use Parallax, too.

How has the tool been received within the organization?

Dema-ala: While our data still needs to catch up, we know we can trust the tool. Our leadership team has really embraced Parallax and looks at it as the source of truth for proactive business decisions. It also feels like we’re all on the same page now. The data is the data. 

Youngren: For anybody managing teams – looking at resourcing and trying to piece everything together – Parallax is the way to go. One of the things we appreciate most is the tool’s integration HubSpot so that we have visibility into if and when our sales team closes deals and how that will impact resourcing. We’re always thinking ahead now. 

What’s on the horizon? 

Dema-ala: We will start having more confident conversations with our clients based on the data we’re seeing, whether we need to potentially shift our compensation levels or what our billable time looks like. It’s important for our clients to have that transparency.

We also realized we had bigger challenges under the surface, and Parallax is giving us the opportunity to tackle those with data that we trust. We can start course-correcting our resourcing, project estimates, and more – it’s a game changer not only for the bottom line but for our team. At Raindrop, the heart and soul of our company is caring about our team and making sure that they’re happy and healthy and that their projects are sustainable, so it’s exciting to invest in our business and also our people.