When Matt Andrews joined Aerotek, a leading recruiting and staffing firm serving more than 300,000 contract employees and 18,000 clients, he was tasked with creating customer marketing campaigns. The initiative required coordination across more than half a dozen marketing teams—each with independent systems and processes.
Teams sent hundreds of emails back and forth for some projects. Miscommunication was a constant threat and efficiencies suffered. Matt and his colleagues knew something had to change.
“We had to find a way to streamline collaboration,” Andrews says. “We got together and said, ‘Let’s explore collaboration tools and see if we can bring everything into a central hub. Let’s get out of email and find something that does it all.’ At the same time, we wanted something that would track historical project data so we could go back and research how things were done, how long it took to do them, and who was involved.”
After several months of evaluation, Aerotek chose Wrike. We recently caught up with Andrews to learn how his team has streamlined marketing requests, shortened planning cycles, cut email by 90%, and much more.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Aerotek and what your team does.
A: Aerotek is a recruiting and staffing firm helping businesses by providing workforce solutions. We find talent and place them at the right company to complete the tasks the companies need done. I lead the Campaigns team, which was just recently formed. We work with teams across marketing, including communications, PR, content, and creative, to create marketing campaigns. It’s a fairly large department with more than 40 people across more than half a dozen cross-functional teams.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced as a new team?
A: My team collaborates with all these channels with the goal of accommodating customers’ needs. It’s the first time all these teams have ever had one point of contact on a project that everybody touches. It’s a new way of doing business for the entire department.
Q: What did the process look like when you first started?
A: We saw a lot of process and email and phone calls. We relied on email to capture all our communications, held meetings for collaboration, and used a server to archive completed projects. We had different systems for different functions and it wasn’t very efficient. We wanted to avoid booking excessive amounts of meetings and losing important things in emails.
Q: How did Wrike help?
A: We looked at what we were doing and thought, “We could probably be more effective with a tool not just to manage timeline and collaboration, but that has everything in one place for everyone to access and handle things like approvals and quick chats back and forth.”
Wrike gives us that power. We can move a project from initial request form to collaboration to completed project and archive it easily. We still have certain processes in place, but they are much more efficient thanks to Wrike.
Q: How has it affected your ability to collaborate across teams?
A: We work with everyone across the marketing team, so a collaboration tool like Wrike helps us not only project manage, but also keeps everything in specific communication streams, which is really critical. Because of the ability to collaborate inside the tool, we have fewer meetings, which means more streamlined processes and fewer individual touch points. We had a lot of email communication in the past. Some projects that only lasted four or five weeks had hundreds of emails, which is excessive.
Q: How many emails do you send now?
A: We have been working on a large project for three weeks and my team is not using email at all. We use Wrike 100% of the time. Overall it’s probably an 85 to 90% reduction in the number of emails because everybody is working at the task level in Wrike and communicating with each other through @mentions.
Q: What Wrike features does your team appreciate the most?
A: Like most companies, we have an intranet where colleagues in other departments can look up someone on the marketing team to contact them if they need marketing support. Rather than a phone call or an email that’s going to result in a longer phone call or a meeting, we now use Wrike’s Dynamic Request Forms. The form triggers a new project, applies the proper tagging, and notifies the appropriate people that a new request is in the system.
The request forms help everyone manage their time, workload, and work quality. We have hundreds of field offices and thousands of employees, so we’re constantly getting requests for website updates, design requests, creative content, etc…and to have most requests come through a standardized intake process helps us triage all requests effectively.
Q: How were requests set up before Wrike?
A: Some departments built and used their own request forms, but they’re not nearly as robust as Wrike’s and do not automatically trigger new projects or send alerts to the proper team members. The great thing about request forms in Wrike is that when one comes through, the request form triggers the creation of a job your team is going to work on from start to finish. Once it’s done, we can archive it and it’ll be there forever.
Wrike’s deployment team worked with us to create custom request fields we need people to fill out so we can start working on the requests as soon as they’re submitted. A more generic process would result in a lot of phone calls, emails, and meetings, which is exactly what we want to avoid.
Q: How has Wrike changed the way you run meetings?
A: Before we get into any tactical development, we have a meeting to map out why we’re doing this campaign, what the business objectives are, what our strategy is, and how we plan to execute. We put all that in Wrike and use it as a guide for our meetings, allowing us to consolidate a lot of those conversations and have more meaningful meetings. We’ve shaved off about a week and a half of what we typically go through for a planning cycle, which is a tremendous value.
We definitely feel more confident knowing we have everything captured in one place. I always think of that person in the meeting who isn’t taking notes or has six or seven things they have to do after the meeting and wonder, “Are they going to remember everything we talked about?” Wrike takes that pressure away. When you’re running a meeting in Wrike, you can @mention people who are a part of the meeting and get their input on the agenda before you even get into the room.
Q: How do you use Wrike’s historical data to your advantage?
A: We track things as simple as the number of revisions to a design project. If the number of revisions is sky high, then maybe there was an issue with the original direction, or maybe the direction pivoted halfway through the assignment. Understanding why it took someone so long to work on something is critical for workflow purposes. It also informs how we assign work to the various designers or content builders on the campaign in the future.
We also pull up things that were successful in the past and repurpose them, or go through the archives to understand if we’re duplicating work that’s already been done. Wrike has definitely helped people feel more confident that they’re doing things the way that they should be done.
Q: What would you say is the key to using Wrike successfully?
A: Getting buy-in from everyone is crucial to successfully using Wrike. We asked Wrike’s deployment team to help us get set up, and our professional services rep Danielle made it easy for us. She helped us understand what the entirety of the process was going to look like up front. We used the training recordings on a weekly basis to go back and catch up on any details we may have missed.
Is your company seeking more streamlined processes? Interested in reducing emails and consolidating communication? Want to feel more confident about projects and tasks?
Wrike can help change the way you do business. Start a free trial and see how your team can benefit from the power of Wrike.