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Terra Engineers

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“We are tremendously pleased with the capabilities and specialized functions of Mail Manager. Among other improvements, the amount of time saved in having all project communication comprehensively filed in a team accessible location is immeasurable, Mail Manager worked so well for our organization that we recommended it to our clients.”

Robert C. Kirby, Vice President

Terra Engineers

Industry: Engineering

Location: USA

Market: International

Website: www.terraengineers.com

Key benefits
  • Save money by filing emails into network locations
  • Range of search capabilities saved time on a daily basis
  • Ensure information is filed and organized in a central location

The problem

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.”

The solution

Terra chose Mail Manager, a software plug-in for Outlook, to assist in better managing e-mails and team communication within their firm. The results were so positive they recommended it to their clients (see below). Mail Manager allowed for expedited search, retrieval and filing of project e-mails into centralized shared team folders throughout the daily routine of checking and sending e-mails. The fact that Mail Manager integrated with Outlook made implementation easier and adoption by the staff quick and intuitive. With Mail Manger, Terra experienced increased efficiency managing their emails in the following ways:

  • Offloading emails outside inboxes: With email backup storage costs rising, Mail Manager allowed users to file emails outside of their email servers to more cost effective network locations.
  • Faster and more efficient search capabilities: The Mail Manager fast search function allowed users to find correspondence based on keyword, date, To/From/CC/BCC/Between, and attachment names among many other metadata criteria in a matter of seconds. The search functions also allow for fast, thorough e-discovery related to audits and litigation procedures.
  • Central locations for filing emails: Centralizing email correspondence to respective project folders on the network allowed for teams to have shared access to the information. From an archive perspective, Terra does not have to rely on user inboxes or unpredictable PST files to store their email information. They now have e-mails stored in their native format alongside the other corresponding project documents.

A Solution Worth Recommending

Merrill Creek Reservoir, a Terra Engineering client, is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2,000 additional acres of woods and fields. It provides stored water that can be released to the Delaware River to make up for the evaporative water usage at certain electric generating units in times of low flow in the river. In addition, Merrill Creek Reservoir provides a tranquil setting of water and land that allows people to interact with the natural environment.

After successfully utilizing Mail Manager within their own organization, Terra recommended the tool to Merrill Creek. After a trial and review of the software, Merrill Creek found great value in the tool and implemented the software to its constituents.

“Mail Manager has provided our on-site team peace of mind in knowing that our firm's essential email correspondence is now safe and secure,” said Jane Bullis, Administrator and Naturalist at Merrill Creek Reservoir. “Before Mail Manager we relied on Outlook alone to store our emails. Mail Manager allows us to conveniently file important emails onto our company server as well as making them easily accessible to other managers. The emails that are filed on the server can then be backed up on our office server. Although Merrill Creek Reservoir is a small company, we are now as prepared and secure as any large corporation with extended resources if our Outlook system failed.”

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