18 Jun

Hey Mr. Sales Director, George Trachilis is NOT nuts. Are you nuts?

by Michael Hoffman

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dedoOne of your prime objectives as a sales director is to get your teams out of their inbox and in front of the customer as much as possible. I’m not knocking the importance of email, I’m just saying that you probably see a huge benefit to having your teams managing their inboxes at twice their current rate, with 90 percent fewer errors and 80 percent more attention to priority.

A lot of leaders see email as a personal time management problem. They’re nuts.

Email, is a process. It’s a factory. Mail comes in, gets processed and goes out. It’s what transports your business all day long. If you see that as a personal problem, then you, indeed, need your head examined. Luckily, processes can be tuned up my friend (we can still get a bit personal).

Since you and your teams have been managing email about the same way since ’94 (mail comes in, you poke at it, you go home), it’s not that difficult to imagine that a company like ours could completely transform the process if we made it our core business, but to achieve a 95% adoption rate of a best practice in any area is nothing short of amazing.*

George Trachilis, the founder of the Lean Leadership Institute with Jeff Liker – and one of many Lean experts who recommend LeanMail, says,
“…It has personally helped me reduce my email management time by 50%…”

Now we can’t guarantee those insane results for everyone, but 30 percent improvement? No problem. Don’t reach 30 percent? Don’t pay. Which KPI’s do we use, you ask? Yours. Whatever you throw at us — or we’ll suggest what we think are important ones since most organizations haven’t put that much thought into inbox KPI’s. They should though, since the time spent managing email represents a whopping 25-40 percent of salary spend. Yes, if you spend 25-40 percent of your day managing email it means that 25-40 percent of your salary goes to processing email. That’s an enormous amount of money in ANY organization isn’t it? (By the way, have you ever wondered who’s responsible for this area in your organization? Good luck. They don’t exist.)

So, Mr. Sales Director, your nuts if you don’t at least pause for a second and imagine what your sales teams would be able to achieve if they doubled their productivity and focused on the 20 percent that brings you 80 percent of your profits in an area they spend a huge part of their day in. You heard me. Nuts.

*According to our 6-month post-training survey with 82% responding.
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26 Mar

How my small company cut in half our $3.2 million dollar inbox expense in just 12 minutes!

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greasymOK, I have a small company of only 200 employees, so $3.2 million is nothing. But imagine a company of 2,000 employees that spend 2 hrs. per day on email with an average annual salary of $70,000. That would mean that they spend OVER HALF A MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY managing email.

Since we all know that email is a fact of life (nothing we can just cut out of the budget) I came up with a quick fix in the form of a memo that I sent to everyone in the company with the following 5 suggestions:

  1. Don’t check your mail too often during the day (Just enough so you don’t miss anything).
  2. Respond quickly. (I got this one from Google’s Eric Schmidt – GENIUS! – So don’t pay too much attention to rule 1)
  3. Use the OHIO rule; Only Handle It Once (unless you can’t, so don’t – and most you can’t)
  4. Prioritize your mails before responding, then answer the high priority mails first – remember that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. (I’m sure there is a way to do this in Outlook, just play around with the menus until you get it right)
  5. Don’t Cc: everyone, just the ones who really need the information (But always keep your boss in the loop and maybe a few others.)

So I figure, if a CEO of a 2,000 employee company does what I did, he could save $16,000,000 in just 12 minutes.

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. The truth is you CAN double your productivity and cut in half your email management cost. But you CAN’Tdo it with a memo, seminar, workshop, add-in, app, or any of the other methods that you’ve tried. There is only one solution on the market that works for entire populations of employees and it takes a lot more time than 12 minutes to see the results. 10 TIMES That. (Yikes – two hours!)

It takes 10 times more time than a memo, but it’s the only long-term, complete solution for your multi-million dollar black hole you call an inbox.
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23 Jan

Guest blog: Drop It Like It’s Hot, By Jesper Sommer

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Not so long ago, Sony Corp. in the US was hacked. I am sure you’ve heard about the case (it was eventually blamed on North Korea, though security experts are questioning that conclusion).

My favorite tech-magazine has this interesting article on the subject:

The importance of deleting old stuff, another lesson from the Sony attack

Sociologists have previously (around the millennium) proposed that all non-essential data should have an expiration date. Their reasons were different: we’re drowning in data, and searching through piles of old stuff can sometimes be less productive than simply throwing it away early.

Regardless of the argument I think it is something for you guys to consider. Do we really need to save all that data (mails)? Probably not.

New ImageSo why not have a 90 day auto-delete on ALL mails, except if flagged for longer retention? It would be easy simply to make a few extra categories for it:

– 180 days
– 2 years
– forever

If the user puts none of these categories on archived mail, delete them after 90 days. Or whatever nummber of days your business experience tells you is optimal … but you get the idea.

Could this work?

Could we increase efficiency (become more Lean) simply by knowing that old crap data is just GONE? Could it lead to a healthy Lean-mail culture where employees communicate better because nobody expects their colleagues to be able to dig out aging mails from their archives? Could it lead to better and more clear communication with clients?

I am not an expert on these matters. But I find the premise interesting and appealing. And it would certainly help avoid disasters such as the one Sony is going though – as put forth by ArsTechnica.

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11 Jan

Atrendia LeanMail V.3.1

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We are pleased to announce the release of version 3.1 of the Atrendia LeanMail add-ins for Outlook 2007 and 2010.

 


This new version has several significant improvements including:

  • A “Read” button has been added in order to archive mails with the category *Read for mails that you want to read at some point but don’t want to assign a Next Action or When, i.e. newsletters, articles, documents, personal mail, etc. (2010 only)
  • The “New and Due” view has been replaced with a “Today” view that shows mails that have come due today (or previously). It will no longer distract you with new mails, which you can see in the “Prioritize”, “Plan” and “All” views.
  • The “New and Due” view (now the “Today” view) has a separate button rather than toggling with the “All E-mails” view.
  • The current view is now highlighted on the toolbar.
  • The “All Mails” view (now called “All”) is now sorted by Date then by Next Action rather than Priority so that you can see mails grouped by Next Actions.
  • You are now able to drag and drop groups of mails from one date to another in the “All” mails view.  (use Shift or Ctrl depending on whether they are situated together or separated, respectively) – making it easier to have snow at the end of each day!
  • A “Snow” button has been added.  With just two clicks you can send your “Snow” print-screens to Atrendia during the course of the training or whenever you like in order to receive feedback. (2010 only)
  • A “Rapid Response” button has been added allowing you choose from a drop-down list of responses in order to cut down on time spent typing and re-typing common mails. (2010 only)
  • A “Send with Category” button has been added allowing you to assign and automatically send a mail with one or more categories.
  • Probably the most significant improvement is the fact that we have built in a work flow so that once you have prioritized your mails in the “Prioritize” view, you are transported automatically to the “Plan” view. Once you have answered or planned your mails you are transported to the “Today” view.
  • Post-it notes no longer require Next Actions; instead, the subject line is duplicated automatically in the Next Action column.
  • Tip text has been added to the buttons in order to remind you about how to use each function. (2010 only)
  • There have also been a number of small bug fixes regarding categories.

 

For licensed users only, please click on this link to download the LeanMail Add-in for 2010.

For licensed users only, please click on this link to download the LeanMail Add-in for 2007.

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