When Michael Schwartz founded Spring and Sprout, a network of pediatric and orthodontic practices with a mission to deliver quality care to children, he never could’ve dreamed how fast the business would grow.
Since 2013, the company has gone from two managed offices to twenty, with offices in six states. Creating a sense of community among the staff was definitely a challenge.
The founders were tech-forward, though, and they wanted employees to have the best tools to work together across vast distances. The company was already using Office 365 to share and store documents, but Spring and Sprout needed a dedicated repository where staff could access secure information, and communicate with each other. Executives knew SharePoint was the way to go, and after purchasing licenses for the software, they searched for a partner that could design and implement an intranet for them.
“We really liked what Aerie Consulting was doing. Their user interface stood out,” said Michael Schwartz, Co-Founder and CEO of the company. “I did all the research on my own, and the only company I wanted to talk to was Aerie.”
This potential partner didn’t offer a dull, out-of-the-box solution the way other companies did. Looking at other options, Schwartz felt as if he were reading off bullet points from a stock presentation. But Aerie was different. “There was a creative side to it,” he said, “and the cost was right.”
Spring and Sprout wanted their intranet to feel like a website, not like the complicated backend of SharePoint. They wanted a GUI interface, and Aerie had Accelerated Intranet templates that met their needs with a few added customizations. Aerie offered them a people directory – a custom app created for fast, easy contact with colleagues – in addition to quick links to documents, and features that would improve the company’s project management.
The company didn’t want the design to be driven solely by the top executives, though, so they gathered input from each of Spring and Sprout’s departments – including HR, Marketing, and Finance. “There were many different constituents involved in the process, and Aerie took all that information and got to work,” said Schwartz.
"Everything was pretty hands-on and moved pretty quickly. They’ve got the intranet process running pretty seamlessly because they’ve done it many times.”
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Solution & Results
Each division at Sprout and Spring needed something different from the new intranet. Permissions and access to internal and external information, documents, and contacts varied from one department to the next.
“Aerie made the process easy. We talked to them and went over the scope, then we had some meetings,” said Schwartz.
Aerie worked with Sprout and Spring’s departments to define file structures, set hierarchies, and populate data. “Everything was pretty hands-on and moved pretty quickly. They’ve got the intranet process running pretty seamlessly because they’ve done it many times.”
Adopting the new intranet gave Sprout and Spring employees the luxury of single sign-on and quick links for commonly used documents within the new portal. Staff could now perform time punches, utilize practice management software, and access HR communications all in one place. Instead of people searching for forms they needed, everything was housed on the intranet.
Communication flows easily with the implementation of Aerie’s Accelerated Intranet. Executives can post messages in a newsfeed. Recent documents can be accessed with ease. Aerie even built a form that gathers each dental office manager’s daily reports, which include a dozen different data pieces, into a scorecard that Schwartz pulled up at the end of each day.
“The team at Aerie Consulting is awesome. They’re really down to earth. They have all the technical skills. They’re able to communicate with any audience and explain things in layman’s terms or have a technical conversation with IT experts. They really listen to what you need.”
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