Treasure Island Group (TIG), Hong Kong’s leading outdoor adventure operators, have been running surf and schools camps, team building programs and corporate adventure events on Hong Kong’s rural Lantau island for over 20 years. They have a small team of sales and administration staff, and a group of team leaders that are always on the move. The operation is on hold during Hong Kong’s winter months, and so some natural staff turnover occurred each year.
Office productivity tools at TIG consisted of a mixture of the 2007 and 2010 versions on Microsoft Office, with a heavy reliance on Excel for record keeping. A growing number of documents were organized on their file shares using complex folder structures, and there was no way to access these outside the physical office. Their IMAP-based email for several of their domains was hosted by two different service providers.
The Solution: Office 365 for Event Management
With TIG in need of a more reliable system to manage their information and documents, they sought help from Born Solutions Limited, a Hong Kong-based SharePoint and Office 365 consulting company. After assessing the situation in consultation with TIG, Born Solutions proposed a complete migration to Office 365, and then helped TIG make the move. By deploying Office 365 with Born Solutions’ assistance, TIG would be able to migrate email and documents to the cloud, eliminate their reliance on file shares, and get everyone on the same version of MS Office, and also benefit from Skype for Business for IM and online meetings.
The project started with thorough analysis of work processes related to their four operations: Corporate Adventures, Surf Camps, School Camps, and Recreation.
Some documents, as well as administration and HR processes were common to all their operations. These were organized within what became their new intranet. Sensitive information was placed on restricted-access sites, and each operation provided with their own site structure.
On the site with which each operation was provided, a Clients list was setup to contain company contact details. A feature that Born Solutions setup on the Clients list allowed team member to create a site for each new client, after which the client site could be navigate to from the list. The client sites are used to store documents related to the events that each client books each season. Document templates for the sites were setup so that team members could quickly create new client proposals and other documents.
TIG were quick to adapt to the benefits of online document storage, and immediately began to provide their clients with a link to their proposal document that could be opened using Office Online. This ensured that their client always had access to the latest proposal, and eliminated TIG’s need to convert their proposals to PDF and send them by email.
Each operational site was also provided with a customized events calendar used to capture detailed information about each event. A feature that Born Solutions setup enabled sales staff to assign follow-up reminders to events and for different team members to record and share time-stamped notes. This helped manage the event sales process. Successfully won events for each operation were then rolled up to the company calendar on the intranet home site to keep everyone informed about what happening on the beach each week.
Invoicing was also a key process that was streamlined. For each operation, a secure Invoices library was setup that links to the events calendar and the clients list. Metadata on the library such as invoice date, amount and due date provided better ways to track both payments and revenue by client and operation.
One of the biggest benefits of moving to Office 365, for the most part unanticipated, was the increase in staff retention. Key staff that that were away during off season who would often not
return the next year, could now be retained as remote workers because TIG’s information systems and documents could now be accessed from anywhere in the world, and on any device. This has meant that an experienced staff member could be retained on a part-time basis thus eliminating the need to hire a full-time replacement. Skype for Business, the communication tool provided with Office 365, provided an effective means of communications with these types of workers.
Moving to Office 365 and taking advantage of SharePoint for document and information management provided clear operational benefits.
* Business processes such as client and event management, and invoicing, were streamlined.
* Client information and documents were organized using a more structured approach.
* Search capabilities in SharePoint provided unprecedented ways to find information quickly.
* Team members could access the information systems from anywhere.
This all provided benefits for the existing team, but it also reduced the time needed to induct new employees. With a logical site and library structure, and consistent navigational elements, new staff members could quickly grasp the site taxonomy and find information quickly.
Finally, getting all staff on the latest version of Office, and able to install Office apps on all their desktops, tablets and phones has, along with Skype for Business, made the entire team truly mobile.
TIG, in less than a year, realized all of these benefits, and with their new-found knowledge of Office 365’s capabilities, are looking forward to further streamlining their business processes in the coming year.
For a demonstration of how this can be fitted for your business, contact us.