Case Study: Morris-Depew Associates
Engineering Firm Improves SharePoint Email Management with Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook
Morris-Depew Associates offers a wide range of civil engineering, land planning, surveying, and landscaping architecture services, with projects that range in size and complexity from mines
and airports to shopping centers and residential apartment buildings. The success of its projects depends on the collaboration of large teams that include the lead partner, primary manager, project managers, engineers, surveyors, landscape architects, and field crew. When the firm decided to go paperless and improve team collaboration, document management, and regulatory compliance, it selected Microsoft SharePoint as the best solution.
Aiming to improve the SharePoint experience for its team, Morris-Depew Associates added Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook to its document management strategy. Today, the firm uses SharePoint and Contributor to manage up to 200 active projects, each of which consists
of hundreds of documents and emails. Professionals save time by being able to find the right information quickly, helping them improve project management and deliver exceptional customer service.
About Morris-Depew Associates
Morris-Depew Associates is a full service professional consulting firm with in-house capabilities for all phases of engineering, planning, survey/mapping, and landscape architecture. This range allows the firm to address urban, residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, and community-oriented projects from initial inception to final stages of delivery.
Morris-Depew Associates chose Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook to improve access to SharePoint within the Outlook interface, and to support email and document management with easy drag-and-drop and metadata capture.
When executives at Morris-Depew Associates decided the firm would go paperless, they deployed Microsoft SharePoint. “We wanted to improve document management, project management, and collaboration within the firm, ultimately to both improve customer service and better meet regulatory requirements,” said Michael W. Morris, MS, PE.
Keeping up with the hundreds of thousands of files, emails, and images per case remained challenging. While company policy required important emails be stored on the network, in reality the large volume of emails often remained in individual PST files on local computers.
“For legal reasons, we needed a better way to manage emails for both retrieval and archival purposes,” said Morris. “In the past, we wasted a lot of resources by copying several people in our company with emails, many with attachments that included large PDF and image files. Furthermore, our professional staff spent a considerable amount of time trying to locate emails.”
In order to ensure the rapid and company-wide adoption of the new document management system and to enable the use of SharePoint for email management, the firm recognized a need for better SharePoint and Outlook integration.
Solution: Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook
Morris selected Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook to integrate SharePoint into the desktop experience. “Colligo has done a really nice job with Contributor. It’s easy for our professionals to drag-and-drop emails and documents into SharePoint, all within Outlook. When they add files to SharePoint, they are prompted to set project-related metadata,” said Morris. “Now it’s easier to store, archive, and locate all pertinent emails and documents related to our business and projects. Fewer files are lost and less time is spent looking for the right information.”
Colligo Contributor Add-In allows professionals at Morris-Depew Associates to access and modify SharePoint libraries and lists from within the Outlook interface, reducing context switching between interfaces. Documents and emails (including attachments) can easily be added to SharePoint with a simple drag-and-drop.
“Deploying the Add-In as the desktop interface for SharePoint made it easy for our professionals to really embrace SharePoint,” said Morris.
“Now information is truly centralized and our teams are able to quickly retrieve emails and documents for related projects. We’ve given our managers better tools so they can excel at their jobs. With SharePoint and Colligo Contributor Add-In, we have improved collaboration and project control, which translates into better customer service. We also reduced our risk as far as liability is concerned.”
When asked to comment on the firm’s return on its investment in Colligo Contributor Add-In, Morris said, “The ROI was almost instantaneous. By making email and document management so much easier, Colligo Contributor paid for itself almost immediately.”
Today, Morris-Depew Associates is truly a paperless organization. All pertinent project and business information is centralized in SharePoint, and this company-wide access has ensured adoption of the new document management system.
Deploying Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook has enabled Morris-Depew Associates to:
- Ensure adoption of SharePoint among professional staff by making it easy to use
- Improve productivity by reducing time required to retrieve emails and documents
- Reduce risk and liability, improving regulatory compliance
- Deliver superior customer service through enhanced project management
- Build more structured business information with automated metadata capture