Outlook is a must-have, powerful tool in the hands of every company, as it is the core of intercommunication among customers, suppliers, staff, and company employees.
However, with larger maritime shipping companies, Outlook can often get inundated by the sheer number of messages that have to be received by the individual user.
This “message flood” is a result of the nature of the shipping business, which requires staff to work as departments, not as individuals, to be able to respond to pressing issues occurring anytime, regardless of the availability of any given employee. Consequently, messages are sent to departmental e-mail addresses (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and distributed to each user for processing.
To make matters worse, for fear of incorrectly addressed e-mail, users of one department ask to receive the e-mail of other departments to ensure that no vital message will escape them.
When this happens, two kinds of issues arise.
- a) Outlook becomes slow to respond, often freezing with its search function erratic frustrating its users.
- b) Users themselves suffer a kind of “information overload” where vital messages can become lost in the “message flood”.
The above problems are indeed common in the maritime shipping industry and for years stood plaguing a global provider of shipping transportation services, Diana Shipping. Especially when the company decided to change its operational structure to use horizontal “fleets” instead of vertical departments, the problem of “message flooding” became insurmountable. Diana IT realised that all fleets’ e-mail flow would need to be directed to all users so that staff on one fleet could serve as backup for any other fleet.
The company’s IT team overcame the challenge by utilising Astris TeamWare Suite’s unique features.
Astris separates the function of Search from that of Receive. It allows users to seek and find any message they need regardless of whether they have received it in the past, as long as the user has the appropriate permissions.
Based on this principle, Diana’s IT created for all users Astris Search folders, one for each fleet, and placed them right along the usual folders of Outlook under the Inbox.
One of the fleet folders (that of their fleet) is an actual mailbox folder, which receives messages as usual.
The rest of the fleet folders show messages when visited, but these messages are furnished from Astris in real-time and do not exist in the mailbox.
In this manner, each user’s mail traffic and mailbox storage is reduced by 80%, and Outlook couldn’t be happier!
It is evident that the Astris add-on safely keeps all the messages the company receives every day, and as a result, they stop overcrowding and slowing down Outlook.
- The Astris add-on allows employees to search and find messages by default up to a year ago.
- Employees who wanted to see messages from other departments created a folder in Astris for each department and used it when needed (Space-saving approach)
- It reduced the chance of errors if an employee misclassified a message.