Bluewater Transaction Advisors is a national forensic due diligence firm that performs collateral based field exams for lending institutions . Bluewater provides deep-dive audit services to companies that value a comprehensive look at their overall financial picture, using real-time data. The firm has grown from a one-person operation to a nationally recognized due diligence firm with a staff of over 25, serving international, national, and regional commercial borrowers and lenders from offices all over the United States.
Before finding WORKetc, Bluewater was using Outlook to manage contacts, and different time and project management software. Only the time management solution was cloud based, and using multiple programs was inefficient for Bluewater, especially in a period of company growth.
Bluewater began looking for another solution, and it soon became clear that they needed a solution with CRM, time management, and project management, all in one package.
“Our people are remote and work on site with clients,” says Bowles, “So it’s important for them to have access to the cloud, and we wanted them to have a solution with multiple ways for them to gather information about a client or a project.”
The company looked at a popular enterprise CRM SaaS offering, which according to Bowles was great for contacts, but too expensive for Bluewater and didn’t offer the project management functionality that Bluewater needed. The company also tried using different project management solutions that were light on CRM. None of these potential solutions were quite right for Bluewater’s business needs.
WORK[etc] was the solution Bluewater found that not only offered time, project, and contact management in one package, but was much more reasonably priced than other software with similar all-in-one functionality.
“We found WORK[etc] during due diligence when looking for a project-based solution we could grow with,” said Robert W. Bowles, founder and executive director of Bluewater. “We knew that we would be able to grow with WORK[etc].”
Bluewater began using WORK[etc] in 2009, and soon added G Suite to their business process. Bluewater uses Gmail for all communications, Google Drive to store all files, and Calendar Contacts and Groups to manage contacts. So when WORK[etc] rolled out
WORK[etc] for G Suite in 2012, Bluewater started using it almost immediately, and found that it greatly improved their existing process.
“We are a project-based firm that works on a lot of individual projects,” says Bowles. “We have all of our history archived, and we refer to our past projects on a regular basis. Having them organized the way WORK[etc] and G Suite does it is very beneficial to us.”
WORK[etc] for G Suite allows users to access an entire suite of business management and CRM tools inside of Google apps, and also allows users to access G Suite from inside the WORK[etc] interface.
- a Gmail widget that turns any email into a support ticket, a sales lead, or a project update
- the ability to access any file in Google Drive directly from WORK[etc], and any WORK[etc] file directly from Google Drive
- Syncing Google Calendar with WORK[etc] calendar
- Syncing Google Contacts with WORK[etc] contacts with conflict resolution, and custom fields.
“We love that we can customize fields in these projects in WORK[etc],” says Bowles. “With the custom fields in WORK[etc], we can link Google Drive files into fields in WORK[etc]. Our employees go to one place and have links to exactly what files they need in Google Drive for the current project. For us, that’s a huge benefit, something I would recommend to any small business doing something similar to what we are doing.”
The WORK[etc] Gmail integration is especially useful to Bluewater, since Bluewater uses Gmail and Google Drive for all communication and file storage. The WORK[etc] Gmail Gadget for G Suite is a widget that appears at the bottom of every email in Gmail. It allows users to manage their business without ever leaving their inbox.
Users can simply select any email inside Gmail and instantly update a sales lead, create a new project or assign a support case. Bluewater uses the Gmail Gadget for tasks such as archiving correspondence with a WORK[etc] project, and archiving a contact conversation within a sales lead thread.
WORK[etc] for G Suite and G Suite itself have allowed Bluewater Transaction Advisors to streamline their business processes, providing the foundation for Bluewater to grow exponentially.
Bluewater found that in many ways these solutions not only met, but performed well above expectations.
“The project management side of WORK[etc] was something we were excited about because we didn’t have that as part of our current process,” says Bowles. “It exceeded our expectations. Being able to link the time spent to project management and manage it in WORK[etc] was exciting for us and really helped us scale our business.”
Bluewater used its new and more efficient business processes to help expand their business by 100 percent over the course of two years, bringing new talent into the firm and acquiring more clients.
“From 2009 to 2012 we doubled the size of the firm, and the implementation of the WORK[etc] cloud-based solution was a very important part of us being able to grow the company like that,” says Bowles. “We put individuals in Dallas, Charlotte, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other cities out West.”
According to Bowles, the firm has seen a steady 10 to 15 percent growth from 2012 to the present, and he believes one of the major contributing factors is that WORK[etc] and G Suite have been integrated so thoroughly into the culture of Bluewater.
With WORK[etc] for G Suite and G Suite’s apps supporting Bluewater, the firm will have the resources it needs to grow and serve its customers well into the future.
We are a project-based firm that works on a lot of individual projects. We have all of our history archived, and we refer to our past projects on a regular basis. Having them organized the way WORKetc does it is very beneficial to us.
— Robert W. Bowles, Founder, Executive Director ~ Bluewater Transaction Advisors LLC