How Sequoia Financial Group Has Used Quip for a Seamless Transition to Remote Working

By Shaun Kapusinski

Shaun Kapusinski is Director, Technology & Operations, for Sequoia Financial Group.

Out of necessity, it seems, the virtual world has eclipsed much of our brick and mortar existence. The way we used to do things, almost without thinking, has been cut off like a broken hyperlink, and our ingenuity has been called into service in finding new ways to accomplish simple tasks in our working and personal lives. Many non-essential businesses have moved to an entirely remote working environment, bringing technology to the forefront as an “often overlooked teammate” who comes through for us in the clutch. For Sequoia Financial Group, we’ve taken technology to lunch a few times, and invested in that relationship, so we’re reaping the benefit of a deep and abiding friendship with our tech.

Technology has enabled our team to make a seamless transition to a remote work environment, and one of the most impactful tools in our arsenal is Quip. We made the move to Quip in the fall of 2018, so instead of scrambling in the current climate, we have had nearly 18 months to integrate the application into our working toolkit. We’ve found that it has greatly enhanced collaborative work across our organization and increased efficiency within our processes.

In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has used Quip as a communications home base. We have a master folder with departmental subfolders that are overseen and updated by our team leaders on a daily basis. Quip is serving as a clearinghouse for shared resources (internal and external) and a platform for sharing current information throughout our teams. Here are four ways Quip has benefitted Sequoia in direct and measurable ways:

1. Connection

The conversation pane allows our teams to work together, notify one another of updates, and make requests for additional work without cluttering the workspace. We’ve also made use of Quip for an ongoing Quarantine Team Blog, sharing photos of our pets, memes, and Netflix watch lists with one another. We’re proud to note that our Social Distancing Scavenger Hunt has resulted in some truly horrific photos of our team’s most hideous family heirlooms. Quip makes exchanges like these easier.

2. Efficiency

Quip enables our teams to work together across distance, in real time, within living documents. This eliminates countless back-and-forth emails, multiple versions of documents, and confusion. Our team meeting agendas are more than a list of topics to discuss, they are active workspaces where we track next steps, progress, and workflows. The Quip update feed gives a consolidated look at what’s changed.

3. Fluidity

Quip creates a nimble environment, making it easy to include charts, calendars, spreadsheets, and links to other files. Instead of multiple files spread across multiple applications, our work is centralized in one location, and easily exported into formats that can be used externally.

4. Cost-Efficacy

Time is our most valuable commodity. Leveraging technology to free our team members’ bandwidth is hugely important. When we chose Quip, we participated in a Nucleus Research study to project its effect on our processes and time-cost for our organization. We anticipated time savings given the benefits of using Quip at 30.6 minutes per day per user. Based on a conservative average hourly rate for our employees, we projected annual savings at that time of over $400,000. With our team 30% larger now, the savings is even greater.

In business, the bottom line is the bottom line. If a tool simplifies our interaction, saves time, and therefore, makes us, and our processes, more streamlined and more effective, then it shows up in the bottom line. Quip has been an excellent investment in the success of our team, and it’s been especially easy to see during this season of uncertainty.

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