Alex Renoult is a Marketing Director at Sven&Yoko and what we can call an Azendoo power user! So today he's sharing with us his tips and techniques on Azendoo.
Can you give an introduction as to what your company does?
Our company is called Sven&Yoko and we are a communications consultancy based in Nantes. We work at a regional level, with clients from Brest to La Rochelle. We have positioned ourselves as an agency that is highly focused on inbound marketing and corporate internal communication, and we deal with printed media, the web, social media and events.
What is the size of your team? How do you organise your work with Azendoo?
We are a team of six, but belong to a larger group of some 100 people, and are surrounded by various satellite staff who are brought in to work with us on specific projects when we don't have the necessary competences in-house.
The entirety of our client, project and task information is hosted on Azendoo. As Manager, that enables me to:
- provide input for my teams on generic messages, news, client feedback and also the to-do lists;
- communicate more easily with my teams;
- have greater visibility, and a written trace of our progress on each file;
- reduce the torrent of internal emails;
- include our satellite staff, thanks to the new guest functionality.
More generally, using Azendoo enables everyone to have the same level of information, at the same time. Often, projects can stall on the basis of hearsay, of tittle-tattle around the coffee-machine etc. Azendoo provides us with one unique and official voice.
In a personal capacity, and because I regularly follow my team's tasks, I've organised my email inbox so that I receive all my Azendoo notifications in one place. This enables me to organise specific periods of time that are dedicated to following certain projects. I am the driving force behind my projects; it is not the projects that organise my day.
Did you encounter any difficulties in recruiting the team on to the application?
I myself am an avid user of tools that facilitate productivity, organisation and task management. Ever since the days of the good old ugly Excel spreadsheet, I've flirted with Wunderlist, Evernote, Onenote, Trello, Todoist, Anydo, Astrid, Mindmeister etc. I think I’ve tried pretty much all of them!
But one day you just have to make a decision! Although personally I am willing to inflict long hours on myself while learning how to use a new tool, I won't do that to my team! I played the "Made in France" card, and emphasised Azendoo's interface which is 100% in French, and its freemium model that allowed us to get to grips with the tool before then moving on to the paid version.
Today we use two tools that coexist perfectly: Azendoo for managing our projects and tasks, Trello for our creative planning. I think I can speak on behalf of the team when I say that the learning curve has been a quick one. Soft ergonomics are of primary importance when you spend between eight to ten hours a day using the tool. Today, Azendoo has become a natural reflex and is one of the family!
How has the application changed the way in which you work?
I think that question isn’t quite right. Changing the way in which we work is a frightening prospect. Azendoo has not changed the way we work, and that was an important point for me. Azendoo has slotted into our working processes to provided connections and links where they were needed: making sure that the priority information is always available, and for everyone; better management of urgent tasks; better command of remote working via the smartphone application etc.
So Azendoo has improved the way in which we work, not changed it.
What is your favourite functionality?
As Manager, it is easy to follow tasks that have been delegated, completed, have not been finished on time or are behind schedule. With more or less a quick glance, I can get an overall view of the chain of production and can intervene as a result, either by rescheduling the task or by trying to find a solution with my colleague.
More than just its clean functionality, it was Azendoo's ultra simplicity that made the difference for us.
What is more, the fact that the Azendoo team is so readily available and attentive to client feedback is really important too. If your roadmap will allow for it, I have a whole notebook full of suggestions of how you can make Azendoo even better.
So Azendoo and your team in the future, what does that look like?
Our team will be able to grow, both by bringing in new skills and with the arrival of new client accounts. In that respect, using Azendoo is going to enable us to make connections quickly and to allow everyone to have a hand on the wheel, as it were. So our relationship with Azendoo is going to be constant and long lasting.
To whom would you recommend the application?
Honestly, to everyone, and I'm saying that without any Azendoo shares to my name! From the independent contractor who is looking for a bit of coherence and structure, to the small or medium sized business working on multiple projects, on multiple sites, or who are just doing multiple everything!
As I mentioned, our team is part of a larger Group. I know that the fact that we use Azendoo has made heads turn in the corridors...and the question will be asked sooner or later as to whether the integration of a tool such as Azendoo at Group level is necessary.
To be continued, then...