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Lilly Architects

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“Organised and simple to use. Mail Manager simply works. It has continued to improve without complicating things.”

Chris Lilly, Founding Principle

Lilly Architects

Industry: Architects

Location: United States

Website: www.lillyarch.com

Key benefits
  • Peace of mind over the security of project information
  • An immediate benefit of using the software
  • Increase in productivity and team expansion


When Chris Lilly founded Lilly architects in 2013, it was with one purpose in mind: to capture Tulsa’s rich character and breathe new life into its aged centre.

It’s a proud firm, having already built a high reputation through shaping the area’s most significant landmarks. It’s most notable projects include the Bob Dylan Centre, the Church Studio, the historic Tulsa Club and the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture.

Lilly Architects have looked to technology in the past to improve their productivity and the quality of their work.

Chris states, “We’re always looking for the best and most efficient technologies that are out there for us to be able to deliver our projects, and we still haven’t found anything that distinguishes itself beyond what Mail Manager is doing.”


The Problem with Email

As a small practice, time was a vital resource that needed to be spent wisely. “Everyone thinks Architects just sit at a drafting board and draw all day, when in reality we sit behind email just like everybody else, and every second we save is a second more that we’ve got to spend on the project,” says Chris.

Time was often wasted digging through folders to find crucial information. In some cases, information that proved to be important later on was lost.

Chris considers email to be a “necessary evil”, expressing that of the previous firms he worked at did not have a standard, uniform process to manage emails. This led to confusion, stress, and presented a risk of vital project information going missing.

Why Mail Manager?

“I was really fortunate to stumble onto Mail Manager before we actually started the firm and that was one of the first choices we made,” says Chris. The aspects that peaked his interest were:

  • It’s intelligent. It learns employee’s filing behaviour, taking the responsibility for filing emails away from staff
  • It’s fast. Its incredibly powerful search tool gives visibility over the entire company, and staff can quickly find any conversation they may need to refer to.
  • It’s intuitive. No company, big or small, works in the same way. Mail Manager was designed to fit around how people already work. Rather than companies needing to adapt to it, it allows them to continue adapting to new ways of working in the future.

Lilly Architects Today

Using Mail Manager has given Lilly Architects complete peace of mind over the security of their project information. The task of finding crucial details from past projects or even current projects no longer causes staff stress, as it once did. One project had 11,000 emails, and another was almost 14,000. Mail Manager now gives staff the ability to find any email on any project in seconds. For Chris, Mail Manager “creates a sense of transparency in the firm... it encourages a kind of team spirit, in the sense that communications are shared and available to all.”

Aside from the scope, it gives over the company and its projects, one unexpected benefit was simply its ease of use, meaning staff were able to benefit from it immediately. “Our file folder structure is extremely important to our office. It creates order in the chaos of speed and variety that happens in the project delivery process,” he states.

Chris not only has the comfort of being able to increase productivity without needing to hire more staff, but also gains a strong base for the company to develop and add their name to a wider range of projects in future.

“You worry about the longevity of software, and the fact that this is only growing reassures us that this is one for the long-haul.”

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