Aerotek Cuts Weeks From Their Planning Time With Wrike
Matt Andrews joined Aerotek’s marketing group to lead the new campaigns team.
He was immediately tasked with creating customer marketing campaigns. The initiative required him to coordinate with more than six marketing teams, including communications, PR, content, creative, and design.
“My team collaborates with these channels with the goal of accommodating customers’ needs,” Andrews says. “It’s the first time all of these teams have ever had one point of contact on a project that everybody touches. It was really a new way of doing business for the entire department.”
After several months, it became clear: The old way of doing things wasn’t working for this new, highly collaborative structure. “We saw a lot of process, email, and phone calls and wanted to avoid booking excessive amounts of meetings or losing important things in emails,” Andrews says. “Some projects that only lasted four or five weeks had hundreds of emails, which is excessive.”
Andrews and his colleagues decided to look for a tool that could not only manage timelines and collaboration, but also serve as a central hub for everyone to access and handle approvals, requests, and communication.
“We knew we had to find a way to streamline this,” Andrews says. “We got together and said, ‘Let’s explore collaboration tools and see if we can bring all this into some sort of central hub. Let’s get out of email and find something that does it all.”
After several months of evaluation, Aerotek’s marketing team chose Wrike to improve communication and streamline projects.
Streamlining process while maximizing output
Rather than digging through inboxes and managing unruly email threads, Aerotek’s marketing team uses Wrike for project communication, collaboration, archiving and reporting. “We work with everyone across the company, so a collaboration tool like Wrike helps us not only project manage, but also keep everything in specific communication streams, which is really critical,” Andrews says.
Wrike has improved visibility and collaboration while saving time and dramatically decreasing the number of emails sent between teams. “Overall it’s probably an 85-90% reduction in the number of emails because everybody is working at the task level in Wrike and communicating with each other through @mentions.”
Fielding and streamlining requests
Marketing requests multiplied as Aerotek’s marketing team grew. Content requests were constant, with hundreds of field offices and thousands of employees to support. However, requests weren’t standardized, resulting in too much or too little information.
“Like most companies, we have an intranet where people in other departments can look up someone on the marketing team to contact them if they needed marketing support,” Andrews says. “Rather than get a phone call or an email resulting in a longer phone call or a meeting, they now go to Wrike and fill out a very robust request form.”
Wrike’s Dynamic Request Forms automatically create a new project and alert the appropriate team members. “When a request comes through, it triggers the creation of a job that your team is going to work on from start to finish, and once it’s done, we can archive it and it’ll be there forever,” says Andrews.
Running meetings with confidence
Before launching a campaign, Aerotek’s marketing teams huddle to discuss the business objective, strategy, and execution plan. “We put all of this in Wrike and use it as a guide for our meetings, allowing us to consolidate a lot of conversations and have more meaningful meetings,” Andrews says. “We shaved off about a week and a half of what we typically go through for a planning cycle, which is a tremendous value.”
The teams not only take meeting notes in Wrike, they also use @mentions to make sure everyone is aware of the proper next steps. “Wrike has definitely helped people feel more confident that they’re doing things the way that they should be done because they can see all the activity.”
Wrike’s markup capabilities save the Aerotek team time and minimize meetings. “Having the ability to critique work, mark it up within the tool, and have it go directly back to the team saves us a lot of time,” Andrews says. “There’s no functionality for mark up in email. Now we’re able to skip some meetings and do everything in-line while capturing the history of all the comments and revisions.”
Finding and referencing past projects can be difficult with a multitude of ongoing initiatives. “Being able to create custom tags at a micro level is really important because you can search for something and find it easily in Wrike. In a normal server folder structure you can see the title of the document, but you may not remember what’s in the body of the document if you did it six months or a year ago,” says Andrews.
Aerotek uses Wrike’s custom workflows in tandem with the timeline view to easily visualize tasks, dependencies, and deadlines. “Working in the timeline is really valuable because it cuts back on progress meetings, standups, email status reports, etc… You can see the dependencies at a glance and know if you’re going to meet your deadline or hold someone up on the next step of the project.”