The principals in my company maintain their own schedules and as such, when I as an assistant designer answer phone calls from clients wanting to set up on site meetings or potential new clients call in asking for an initial consultation, I can never be sure of when actual blocks of time are available. This is especially annoying when they are out in the field all day so that’s setting up another round of phone tag, which doesn’t reflect well on the company.
I already know the solution, however; a company-wide online service calendar like the one offered by Google Docs.
The only delay comes from the principals themselves dragging their feet over new technology. I have no doubt that I as “The Young Internet-Savvy Person” in the office will manage to convince them on the merits of an online shared calendar system.
I’ve already made some headway with multiple project management by setting the company up on Trello (http://www.trello.com) so that there’s less “Where are we on project X? Did we make copies/get the files from subs/blah blah blah” and more “It’s on Trello.”
There is also currently no centralized customer contact management system. Emails to one person or another means that only that one person gets the communication (people just aren’t in the habit of forwarding in this office). This also means that any attempts for something like a company newsletter are stymied because we don’t have a way to feed all that information into a service like MailChimp. Again, this is a generational aversion to technology.
Thanks for your input! Trello is a great tool and good to hear it is being used in LA firms.
Regarding your customer contact management system, I had some success implementing Business Contact Manager (addon for Micorsoft Outlook) to create a database for sending company newsletters and used shared folders in each persons inbox so people could easily access the email trail of a project.
Good luck, would love to hear your progress on bringing your office up to speed with new technology!