Terra Engineers Inc. is a consulting engineering firm headquartered in San Francisco that provides geotechnical, project management, and environmental consulting services. Their clients are located across the U.S as well as in the Middle East and Asia.
As with all engineering firms, documenting and accessing team communication, especially across global borders and time zones, is crucial to the efficiency and accurate completion of each project. With e-mail being the primary tool for team communication, Terra recognized ways that e-mail was hindering team communication and optimum productivity on projects.
Terra wanted a better way to organize emails among their team members. Using the standard features within Outlook did not provide the advanced tools to allow them to save their emails and attachments alongside their project-related documents easily. Additionally, there were concerns around properly finding email correspondence quickly and efficiently. Some of their main challenges included:
- Large inboxes: The sheer volume of emails and their associated attachments resulted in inboxes growing too large too quickly and contributing to storage constraints
- E-discovery: Considerable time was lost due to searching and retrieving project-related emails and attachments by individual team members.
- Centralising email correspondence: Storing emails in disparate inboxes and personal folders caused concerns around accessing all respective email data related to a project - especially if a staff member was out of the office or left the organization. This was also a concern with properly archiving documents for any potential litigation related to a project.
“It was clear that by relying on Outlook alone, securing and sharing team communication properly meant creating separate tasks specifically for managing and filing away e-mails, which was something no one had time to do, “ said Guilaine L. Roussel, President at Terra Engineers Inc. “We needed a system that did not allow for such a high level of individual commitment that distracted from the best use of billable time on each project. Yet we didn’t want a system that became an entirely new management issue to deploy, train and maintain.”