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Why WSP Canada rolled out Mail Manager across the business

9 August, 2022

WSP is a global consulting company, employing over 55,000 people globally. WSP develops creative, comprehensive and sustainable engineering solutions for a future where society can thrive. They aim to plan, design, manage and engineer long-lasting and impactful solutions to uniquely complex problems. Mail Manager is used by thousands of employees across WSP's offices in Australia, Africa, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom.

wspWhy WSP Canada implemented Mail Manager

WSP implemented Mail Manager in 2021 after determining they needed to improve efficiencies across their teams. Their internal initiative, Structural Mechanical Electrical 22 (SME22), helped find ways to improve and get more efficient in day-to-day work processes, and email management was identified as a critical area of improvement. Another aspect to why email storage was important was the change in privacy laws of accessing emails of a staff member that had left the company. With only the managers having access, this was having a negative impact on the project teams.

Arshia Ahmed, Electrical Engineering Manager at WSP Canada explained, "We have a fairly large team of structural, mechanical and electrical engineers across Canada, and we were all dealing with multiple projects with high volumes of emails. The processing time that each person was taking to save an email was both time-consuming and cumbersome."

Every individual on their teams had a very lengthy process to follow to save their emails, and as a result, many were avoiding filing their emails altogether. Arshia commented, "Most of the staff, because of this inconvenience had stopped saving emails for a few years now, so everything was sitting in their inboxes locked with no access to anybody else in the team. The excuse was always it takes too much time or I don't have time to do this."

"Even if people were saving them in the email servers, our search capabilities were quite hindered. It converted to a PST file eventually once it's archived and searching for an email with keywords is close to impossible unless you bring it back into your Outlook environment, which also again is very time-consuming."

WSP were experiencing the below issues before they decided to investigate email management tools:

  • Dealing with high volumes of emails

  • Current process of saving email was time-consuming

  • Most staff were not saving emails as it was inconvenient

  • Inconvenient search capabilities for emails in Project Folders or in .pst format

  • Multiple email copies saved by different members which created confusion and took up storage space

  • New privacy laws, and as a result, IT not releasing the inbox of a staff member that leaves or is let go from the business

  • Audits on large projects reflecting negatively due to not having proper email trails

  • Legal disputes and inability to search for emails.

The impact of Canada's privacy laws on WSP

Canada's privacy laws impacted the firm's ability to share emails. Arshia explained, "If a staff member was to leave or was let go, the way things used to happen was that the individual would give the manager their laptop, and the manager had access to their inbox so if there were any project-related emails, we could still go ahead and access them."

"However, with privacy laws changing, that is not allowed anymore. So, if the staff member left without saving those emails, we essentially had access to them only through the manager."

"That happened a couple of times in the last few years, and it was a huge hit. It was to the point where there were people who hadn't saved emails for two to three years and then that person, who is handling major projects, leaves and there is a huge, huge disadvantage here."

"With WSP now being a corporation, there are audits that are done impromptu without notification. So not having the proper email trail or not saving them properly was impacting our audit scores quite negatively."

"If a project was to go into a legal dispute, the ability to actually track down emails, search emails and locate email trails was quite hindered in our previous way of saving emails, so we needed a better handle on who sent it, when and to how many people. There is a neat feature within Mail Manager called social mapping, which is quite helpful when there's a legal dispute."

WSP Canada's pilot program findings


WSP Canada wanted to roll out Mail Manager licenses to 700 staff members, but prior to doing so, launched a pilot program. This pilot lasted for 6-weeks, where they tested and compared Mail Manager to two other email management solutions.

Once the solutions were all tried and tested, a survey went out to collect feedback from the users. Following that, a business case was put together with a financial cost model prepared, management buy-in and a legal and technology review.

On the pilot program, Arshia explained that "Mail Manager was much more intuitive, it was user friendly, the way the settings are set up are a lot more intuitive to the user. Depending what your email saving habits are, Mail Manager works better with them... The biggest reveal from the pilot program was really the fact that Mail Manager worked with multiple data platforms, such as SharePoint, OneDrive, ProjectWise, whereas One Place Mail was predominantly only SharePoint."

The importance of a pilot program cannot be understated to ensure that you are implementing the right tool for your users.

The rollout of Mail Manager across WSP Canada

At the conclusion of the pilot program, WSP rolled out 220 licenses as a regional decision. With Canada being across four different time zones, there were four x one- hour training sessions run for all relevant staff members, plus a recorded training session made available for new staff who are onboarded.

Arshia gathered the below feedback from users:

  • Mail Manager is fairly intuitive with an easy to use User Interface

  • Mail Manager gives users the ability to change settings to suit their email filing requirements

  • Mail Manager has options to save on network drives, SharePoint and other third-party sites which helps as WSP uses multiple project platforms. This is very constructive for different teams.

 

When asked what advice Arshia would give to other WSP offices thinking about rolling out Mail Manager, she explained that as a traditional consulting firm, time is always of the essence at WSP. She encouraged managers to look into their departments to see where they can be saving time as there can always be improvements. 

Arshia explained, "When we did our calculations for the business case of how much time a staff member was spending on filing emails at their job or at their rate table, it was pretty obvious that for somebody that's getting paid $200 an hour, filing emails is not what we want them to be doing."

To summarise the webinar, Arshia said, "We are definitely in a better place now than we were last year with Mail Manager."

To see Mail Manager in action, book a demo with our team today!

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