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The real cost of losing an email

16 July, 2021

Email is still the most used communication tool in many businesses, but it’s also the riskiest. Over 319 billion emails are sent and received globally every day, and everyone manages their inbox differently. This causes headaches for anyone in a business from someone who’s part of a project or client team, all the way to Directors and business leaders.

Email management is an ongoing issue that takes up masses of employee’s time during the workday, and often eats into their social time and weekends as well. Especially if your company doesn’t have a proper email management process or system in place.

Industries globally from AEC, to accounting, finance and everything in between are feeling the burn from poor email management. Failing to effectively manage your email means you don’t know where your business-critical emails are, how they’re stored, and you struggle to find the right information when they need it.

When is the last time you lost an important document or email?

Our guess is that the experience was stressful to say the least. It’s not uncommon that you or your colleagues might spend hours or even days looking for a specific email they’ve sent to a client. Or worse still, having to complete reworks because they can’t find what they’re looking for. Improper email management is a huge productivity drain in your project and client teams.

But what happens when things go wrong?

More often than not, businesses don’t realise how important an email is until something goes wrong. The power of documents and correspondence is unparalleled, and we’ve personally seen a number of clients win disputes purely because they were able to locate documents from projects completed years ago.

Keeping track of all correspondence and having clear audit trails will always benefit you and your company. All team members need to ensure all information, including legacy information from completed projects, is discoverable. These will be the difference between winning and losing a legal dispute, should one arise.

The real cost of disputes for AEC

The latest Arcadis 2020 Global Construction Disputes Report found that the average cost of global disputes was US$30.7 million, and the average dispute lasted around 15-months. They also indicated that the overall volume of disputes increased in the last 12-months, with poorly drafted or incomplete, unsubstantiated claims being the new number one cause for construction disputes.

In our own research, the 2020 State of the AEC Project Management Report, Mail Manager found that two-thirds of respondents experienced some form of legal dispute since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, the most common causes indicated were timeline changes, payment issues and project scope changes. In most of these cases, the information they needed to win these disputes was evidence of correspondence, contract management and project information.

In the words of Arup's Regional CIO for Australasia and East Asia, Clive Bortz, "You don't realise how valuable an email is until you need to find it."

Staying compliant

How can you make sure you can produce everything that has ever been said to a client or on a project? Regardless of industry, filing emails is critical. Maybe you need to retain records for X amount of years as a legal requirement, or maybe your business is looking to maintain their Quality Assurance standings. One of the biggest benefits of keeping your records up to date is complete, end-to-end regulatory compliance. Plus, you won't get stuck with any hefty non-compliance fines, mitigating risks for everyone involved.

Get peace of mind with better email management

One of the biggest benefits of proper email management is having the confidence that you can protect yourself and your business if something does go wrong. By implementing an email management software in your firm, you’ll be able to meet your data retention policies and easily locate any correspondence you need in seconds, saving you hours and potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds in a legal dispute.

Never lose an email again with Mail Manager. We’ve put together this eBook to deep dive into the costs of improper email management which you might find useful, or if you’d like to see us in action, book a demo today.



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