Why Relying on Email Stifles Collaboration and Communication

BrandPost By Smartsheet
Oct 24, 2017
IT Leadership

Aramark’s winning choice -- a work management platform vs. email -- delivers real-time visibility while maintaining project flexibility.

With over 80% of workers time dedicated to collaborative activities, there is a staggering number of techniques by which to work together: email, chat, Slack, in person meetings, virtual meetings, conference calls…the list goes on. Yet email use only continues to climb.

Given the demands to collaborate coupled with the increase of email usage, it’s no surprise that the biggest incentive organizations cite to adopt new work management tools is improved collaboration and communications across projects and team members.

Case in point: when Aramark’s Capital Projects department realized how heavily they were relying on email to get important work done – and the associated risk to their business – they made the switch to a work management platform, to deliver real-time visibility and standardize program level elements, while maintaining project-by-project flexibility.

Reliance on Email Stalls Progress, Puts Client Relationships at Risk

This fall, Aramark helped to welcome more than three million students back to school. Whether partnering with an Iron Chef champion or committing to animal welfare, Aramark remains a leader in their industry with a continuous improvement mindset to find the best ways to enrich and nourish lives with innovative foodservice. And behind the quality and reliability that Aramark’s customers have come to rely on, are repeatable solutions built out by the Capital Projects department.

“In [this] business, if we’re doing a renovation project in a dining hall and it’s not done by mid-August and not ready when the students come back in the fall, our relationship with the client suffers,” explains Brian Dougherty, project manager. Yet when it came to collaboration and the means by which the team was getting this work accomplished, 99% of their work management stuck in email.

“We didn’t have the ability to share information on the same platform, we couldn’t share thoughts and comments, we didn’t have the ability to do all the things you need to do to execute a capital project,” said Darpan Patel, design analyst. Like so many other organizations today, the team needed a work management solution that would work for a team that historically relied heavily on email.

A Solution That Blends Art and Science

Everything changed when the Capital Projects group adopted Smartsheet as their work management platform.

Now, the Capital Projects teams is able to make better decisions, faster, with:

  • Real-time visibility into project status Smartsheet empowers the Capital Projects group with live project data. “Now, I’m able to give live information when people ask for it,” explains Bill Miller, director of capital projects. “It’s almost given me a superpower, if you think about it.” All project progress, status, and timelines exist on the same single pane of glass, no longer trapped in someone’s inbox or email attachment.
  • The perfect blend of structure and case-by-case flexibility There’s both a science and an art to the work that the Capital Projects team undertakes, which requires the team to maintain certain critical project elements consistently. But each project is unique and each business owner has their own specific demands of the work. With the Smartsheet Control Center, Capital Projects can maintain that consistency without sacrificing the flexibility that is fundamental to the team’s innovation.
  • Historical data to better inform future decisions Now that project information is centralized and actively updated, the team has an accurate database from which to project costs of work in the future.  

And this is just the beginning. As the Capital Projects group looks to the future, Smartsheet continues to play a critical role. “There are a lot of solutions out there. Some see the light of day, and others just wither in the dark,” explained Michael Bolanos, vice president of project management. “I’m very optimistic that Smartsheet will be one of those that just explodes, grows, and scales up with us.”