Editor’s note: A few weeks ago, we announced Google Drive for Work, a new premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls. To celebrate the announcement and show how Drive helps businesses around the world, we’re sharing a few stories from a handful of customers using Drive (and the rest of the Google Apps suite) in innovative ways. Today’s guest blogger is Marco Grieco, Business Innovation and Change Director at OVS, the leader in the Italian apparel market. Marco runs all major change initiatives throughout the company across supply chain, retail model and internationalization, and is currently leading the company in its move to Google Apps for Business.
Merging Italian style with international trends requires a complex process of research, design and production. The 700-person, multi-national supply team at OVS produces 180 million pieces of apparel each year, 40,000 different styles, which are then sold online and in 700 brick-and-mortar stores in Italy and abroad. There are a handful of moving pieces, to say the least, but with Google Drive, we’re able to link together the otherwise disparate parts of our retail business and share information better across the company.
Before Drive, our IT solution was old-fashioned and difficult to coordinate globally. Half of the team used one outdated IT tool, and the other half sent faxes (seriously) or exchanged e-mails: last year, our supply chain team sent five million emails. Two weeks after starting to use Drive, our email volume dropped by 40%. The transition was smooth and the benefits emerged quickly, since so many people were already familiar with Google and were excited to use it at work.
We use Drive to store and share everything product-related both inside the company and externally with our suppliers. From information about models, fabrics and sizing, to prototype images and the results of product tests, everything lives in Drive. We share and sync these files across desktops, tablets and smartphones so people have the information they need, no matter where they are or what device they’re using. Information is always updated, avoiding potential mistakes that could cause delays in our supply chain processes.
Drive is crucial for expediting our prototyping and testing process, which involves teams across the world. The prototyping team in China uses Drive to share sample image JPGs and testing kit PDFs with our team in Italy. The team in China can quickly share results and the team in Italy can request new tests if necessary — and they can all share their updates in a shared Google Sheet that’s stored and shared in the same shared folder with the rest of the assets they need, so everything — PDFs, JPGs, Sheets — can easily be found in a single place.
Drive has showed us how we can work better together and improve communication overall throughout the business, while also breaking down barriers between teams otherwise separated by tens of thousands of miles. Now, we’re rolling Drive out to our retail stores and sales associates, some of whom already started using Drive to upload and share images from their mobile phones and tablets — anything from inspirational window designs to new fashions and innovative store layouts — all without official training. We see major potential to use Drive across our business and make life easier for our employees while continuing to innovate for our customers.