Wrike Eliminates Project Communication Routine and Supports Effective Collaboration
Organization. Hildebrands GmbH is a German company that provides a wide range of services in international shop fitting, support in strategic sales development, product design and brand architecture.
Challenge. Organizing effective collaboration on multiple projects with 30+ external partners distributed all over Europe.
Solution. Invite external partners into a shared workspace, thus making project progress and all the workflow clear and transparent to them.
Result. Wrike automatically takes care of a big part of the communication routine. Important data is communicated in the workspace, and 25% less time is spent on internal emailing.
Interview with Gunter Hildebrand, Managing Partner at Hildebrands GmbH
Gunter, please tell us a little about yourself and your organization.
Before starting my organization, I had been working at leading positions in several big shop fitting companies for about 20 years. Hildebrands GmbH, which was formerly known as Hildebrand Consulting, was founded in 2004. We provide a wide range of services to marketing-focused companies with strong brand names - to name a few, Volkswagen, Schiesser, Ado Goldkante and Bauerfind. Our core competency is international shop fitting. We offer design, merchandising and installation solutions for retail stores. We also support our customers in strategic sales development, product design and brand architecture. Also, we run youretail.com, a networking presentation platform for retail design, shop fitting and shop-in-shop systems in the field of food retail.
Why did you need project management software? How did you come to Wrike?
We work as a distributed team. There are few employees in the office, and around 30 external partners are located all over Europe. We have to cooperate with lots of agencies, designers and suppliers all the time. Obviously, the flow of information is huge. Considering the number of team members and the distance between us, communication can become very time-consuming. This is why we needed a project management tool in the first place - to navigate this big network comprised of our partners. Our aim was to be able to keep everyone up-to-date without spending half a day on the phone or typing emails.
A few years ago, we tried some project management software, namely Microsoft Project and Basecamp, but they didn't match our criteria. We wanted to find a tool that would be very functional, yet not bulky. It had to be user-friendly and easy to adopt. So we kept looking for a solution that would meet all our needs. Then I came across several mentions of Wrike on Google and decided to give it a try. Wrike turned out to be the best option for us! This project management software was really simple to use, it had a fresh look and a neat interface. One more advantage was the variety of subscription plans.
What challenges did you face while organizing your projects and workflow before Wrike? How did Wrike help you overcome these challenges?
Given the significance of the networking component in our work, the main challenge for Hildebrands is to organize effective collaboration with all of our partners in all of the projects. We are quite a special company because we have little internal administration and a very big network outside. In order to be a productive team, it is crucial for us to keep everyone informed in real time. Since we started using Wrike, we've seen big improvements. For instance, we spend less time on emailing each other to ask how things are going with one or another task, thanks to Wrike's ability to automatically request status updates. This feature saves us around 25% of time that we previously spent on internal project communications. You don't need to enter your mailbox and type a message every time you want to get an update on the progress of a certain task. Instead, you can do it right in your workspace. You simply click on "Request status update" below the task description, then customize the default message if necessary and send it to the team member responsible for this task.
How does your company benefit from using Wrike for project collaboration?
Wrike minimizes the need to make numerous phone calls and send dozens of emails when working on a project. It saves a lot of time! We assign new tasks and events and edit them in the workspace. All the project workflow becomes transparent to everyone who is involved.
A lot of routine communication tasks are automatically taken care of by Wrike. Everyone who is involved is instantly notified about the updates in the schedule. Everyday to-do reminders are very handy. They help you make plans for the day, and nothing gets forgotten.
What other features do you like in Wrike?
Wrike is a great project management tool, and I recommend it to my friends and colleagues. There are a lot of great features in it, but my personal favorite is the Dynamic Gantt Chart. Hildebrands' activity is based on multitasking, so it's crucial for me as the project manager to be able to keep everything under my control. The neat timeline is perfect for a quick and well-arranged overview of all the projects. Once I switch to the timeline tab, I get a clear, real-time picture of all the tasks and their statuses. This feature helps me supervise the progress of our projects and thus enhances my control over the team's performance. It's also very convenient that changes to the schedule can be made right on the chart, and everyone gets instantaneous notifications.
Please express your impression of Wrike in 3 short phrases.
High usability. Short adoption period, which is crucial for our partners. Very contemporary.