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Ben Cunliffe Architects

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“It was an answer to a problem that we had for a long time, mainly as we got busier. You find that you’ve got less and less time for doing things like filling emails.”

Nick Dent, Senior Technician & Project Manager, Ben Cunliffe Architects

Ben Cunliffe Architects

Industry: Architecture

Location: UK

Website: https://bencunliffe.co.uk/

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Key benefits:
  • Mail Manager has saved a significant amount of time for staff.
  • Guarantee that all-important information is stored and accessible, without storage space limitation.
  • Improved organization in the company, creating easy access to each project in a faster way.

Background

Established in 2001, Ben Cunliffe Architects designs innovative, elegant, sustainable architecture. With a full range of architectural services, including project management and contracting, they can provide a turn-key service, from initial design sketches through to building completion. Their portfolio ranges from small extensions through to new-builds and renovation projects, also providing landscape design and build service.

Ben Cunliffe Architects are extremely environmentally conscious and fully aware of the carbon footprint a new-build can create. They aim to minimise this by using local materials and local trades, in addition to sourcing products that are manufactured in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.

Nick Dent works as Senior Technician & Project Manager, and has been in the company since 2007 when the team had only 3 staff members. With a varied role, Nick produces planning drawings and models; undertakes contract administration; and presides over the day-to-day accounting and administration of the company.

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The problem

Nick says: “Because I’ve been historically dealing with admin, one of the things that fall under my radar is the IT aspects of the business."

"In the days that we were a small company of 3 people and 3 PC’s, with each of us using our own Outlook account, we had a basic shared filing system onto one computer terminal, which basically had an external hard drive with everything stored. Then, periodically, we would sit down for a day or two and save all of our emails. As an architect practice, we have an obligation to store project information for 12 years, so it is quite a paper-heavy industry.”

“Since the beginning, information management has been a time-consuming task. We originally used Microsoft Explorer search and Outlook, which were severely lacking in search functionality within filed emails. Additionally, the filing process was inefficient and with limited storage space.”

“Not only that but also when staff members left the company and the business needed to find important information, we found that, in some cases, departing staff had not filed all of their emails. This would mean slow and laborious searching to find relevant messages, plus additional time would be required to file, resulting in time wasted.”

The results

Ben Cunliffe wasn’t originally looking for a solution but became aware of Mail Manager following an internal discussion. Nick says: “Mail Manager was an answer to a problem that we had for a long time, mainly as we got busier. You find that you’ve got less and less time for doing things like filing emails.”

They implemented Mail Manager in March 2019, and the company felt a positive change straight away. Nick elaborates: “Within a day, we had a training session. Mail Manager showed us how to set up the file locations and everything else, and everyone started using it - no issues with staff or anything”.

Today, Mail Manager allows them to rapidly save emails within one location, keeping projects filed in an organized and simple way. “Being able to save emails as you go removes the need to put aside a couple of days twice a year to save our emails in the old way. If Mail Manager was no longer available the impact would be going back to the previous filling system, which presents a potential concern. The old way would make us all allocate a few days throughout the year to file, in a very slow and boring process.”

“Overall, support has been great. Mail Manager is always quick to come back to us with a workable solution.” To anyone considering Mail Manager, Nick summarises: “Generally speaking, we’ve all found it incredibly helpful in terms of time-saving, especially for a business where email correspondence is vital. For us, it is critical and if you need that kind of system for emails Mail Manager is certainly to be recommended.”

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