Last week, we looked at how a pharmaceutical manufacturer is using G Suite to improve collaboration, reduce costs and streamline projects. Today, we’ll look at another manufacturer that is an innovator in their industry.
To read previous posts that are part of Google’s white paper series on the Drive for Innovation in the modern workplace, please follow these links. First, Building the New Workplace showed how to tackle the opportunities and threats of the new digital future. Next, Creating A Culture of Innovation: Eight Ideas that Work at Google explored how to bring innovation to life. Most recently, The Evolving Role of the CIO discussed topics on the mind of every technologist concerned with workplace innovation: the power of personal technology, moving to the cloud and security.
Garland Industries, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio has a diverse and interesting past. The company has been a manufacturing innovator for more than 100 years.
Garland's storied history began in 1895 when Jacob B. Wise purchased the Garland Company, Inc., known then as the Garland Refining Company, for $100 with money he borrowed from his brother, Samuel. Garland became a leader in the commercial roofing industry throughout the last century by providing high-performance, innovative waterproofing solutions engineered for long-term performance. Today, Garland Industries is comprised of 14 manufacturing companies throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Looking at their history of innovation, it’s no surprise that the company has gone Google with G Suite.
Bruce Emrick is the Director of IT for Garland Industries. He has been with the company for 16 years, and has seen the company grow significantly during that time. In his role with the parent company, he and his staff of six do not dictate how the other Garland companies handle their IT functionality. Rather, he introduces the tools being used at the parent company to their manufacturing companies and shows them what options he and his staff like — and why. Currently, the company has 600 G Suite licenses; they will be moving the two most recently-acquired companies to G Suite over the next several months.
Emrick and his team first evaluated Google in 2008, and then again in 2009. It was 2012 when Garland was ready to make the transition, and they were happy to work with Onix. “We liked the resources that Onix had for deployment and training,” said Mr. Emrick. “We didn’t move quickly; we moved one region at a time, and we’ve never looked back.” Mr. Emrick commented that “Switching to Google was a big deal. We had been running Notes Traveler (using Lotus’ mobile server). We had overhead costs and issues, and time spent in setup and support. But Google just made it easy and those problems went away.” It was a very smooth transition, aided by Onix’s webinar training and regional training.
Speaking about the decision to go Google, he commented, “We saw the writing on the wall. We were using Lotus Notes, and Notes development was not an efficient way to do things. It was hard to administer and included more overhead. Also, moving newly acquired companies from Exchange to Notes definitely did not make sense.”
“We like to gradually bring acquired companies into the G Suite fold, so to speak,” said Mr. Emrick. Since the companies that Garland acquires generally do not have an IT person on staff, it’s up to Emrick’s team, along with consultants like Onix, to move the new employees to Apps.
Garland employees appreciate how the security built into Drive makes it easy to know who has access to what, and how simple it is to share docs. Calendaring has eliminated administrative overhead, empowering the end user. Employees can customize ways in which they do business. The company has a variety of files such as photos, CAD drawings, and scope of project documents, storing them all in drive folders filed by customer. Ultimately, this makes communication with customers even more efficient.
Mr. Emrick celebrated the benefits, saying “Can you believe that I used to train employees how to efficiently send email attachments because files were so large? Now we just send an email asking them to look at the Drive folder”.
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