Hello everyone! We hope the week is going well!
We wanted to share a customer story with you. This time we caught up with Mike Orren at Speakeasy, a digital agency based in Dallas, Texas.
Here is a picture of the merry bunch:
Who are you? What do you do?
I'm a local media junkie and entrepreneur who has been involved in the relaunch of D Magazine (Dallas' city magazine); a turnaround of Texas Lawyer for American Lawyer Media; the founding, sale and re-sale of Pegasus News, one of the early local news pure-plays; consulting for national media companies like Examiner and CBS; and now the founding of Speakeasy. Speakeasy is a new content marketing and social media agency that is a joint venture between Slingshot Advertising and The Dallas Morning News.
Before you used Siasto what did you use for collaboration and tasks and project management?
I've used lots of tools over the years, and still use a hybrid approach. I use Omnifocus to manage my personal to-do list and we use Kapost to manage our our newsroom for staffers, freelancers and clients creating content. For project management, I've been a Basecamp user for some time, but when we started Speakeasy, I found it didn't fit our needs. It is very good, but very rigid in its workflows and use cases. We needed something a little more flexible that we could shape to use (and abuse) as we saw fit.
How did Siasto help you solve these problems?
Siasto is a really powerful and flexible tool. It's also so user-friendly that people who aren't technically inclined can pick it up immediately. And its ability to natively render both Google Docs and Dropbox files means that almost anyone can plug-and-play.
Why is Siasto important for your workplace?
We needed to use one tool and account for very disparate tasks and workflows. We have three groups interacting at different levels: Our staff; our sales team inside the Dallas Morning News; and our clients. We use Siasto to take requests from the sellers for our account managers to attend sales calls and build decks, with our office manager acting as dispatch. We use it to manage communication and deadlines between ourselves and the client. And we use it to manage documents, including contracts and invoices. With as many as 8 people involved in an account and no more than two in the same office together, Siasto allows us to keep everyone in the loop and maintain a library of any assets anyone could need to understand the status of a job or account.
Can you tell us about one situation where Siasto helped you and your team collaborate better on a project or set of tasks?
Siasto is so much a part of our workflow, it's hard to point to one situation -- it is in the fabric of everything we do. But early on, we saw the power of it when of our external sales managers had gotten some bad information and thought an account was off the rails. Even though the account manager was out in a meeting, we were able to pull all the relevant documents and communications to rectify the misunderstanding in less than ten minutes, averting a controversy and getting us back to productivity.
I'd also point to the sales dispatch system mentioned above. We had more than fifty external sellers trying to schedule our individual account managers for sales appointments by email. Their firewall didn't allow calendar sharing and we wanted control over whom we sent on a given call. By creating a project called "Sales appointment and deck request" and having reps create a task due on the date of the request and assign it to our office manager for her to assign by looking at our Google Calendars, we were able to wrangle an unwieldy process and save lots of wasted "can you meet on x date" emails. Then, by embedding a Google Form as a document, we were able to create a seamless data dump mechanism so the rep could request the interaction and forget it, save for getting a confirmation email.
Thanks a lot Mike, and thank you for the tip about using a Google Form, we'll have to check that out!
If you've got an interesting story about how you've been using Siasto, or want to share your experiences please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org), and tell us about it!