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Golf Town tees off collaboration with help from Google Apps

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is John Hur, Director of Information Technology at Golf Town, a destination for everything golf headquartered in Ontario, Canada. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

At Golf Town, we’re all about the game. From footwear and apparel to clubs, bags and balls, we supply everything golfers need to play their best. Since we opened our doors in 1999, we’ve grown to over 60 stores and over 1000 employees across the U.S. and Canada.

We’ve grown quickly, adding up to seven stores a year, and it became increasingly difficult to keep our employees connected to each other and the company. We needed to give our team a better way to communicate and collaborate across multiple stores so things didn’t start to slip through the cracks. In 2009 we started to look at moving our email, documents and calendar to a better platform. We looked at Microsoft® Exchange and Google Apps, and found that Google Apps was more affordable and provided us with the best set of tools to improve communication and collaboration.

Now that we’ve switched to Google Apps, we’re able to see each other’s availability through Google Calendar and keep each other in sync with group calendars. For example, The marketing team has implemented a calendar that shows which advertisements are running at each store location and their duration. The calendar is shared with floor managers so they can be prepared to answer customer questions and honor any promotions.

Docs also helps regional managers streamline important daily processes. Each day, our regional managers compile sales reports from all of their individual store managers. Instead of compiling attachments sent from each store manager, regional managers can use one Google document to collect information quickly and easily. Plus, since Google Apps is web-based, employees can access this information from their Android mobile devices. This saves hours of time and energy each week, and it’s just one of many processes that are simpler and easier with Google Docs.

For us, Google Apps has been a hole in one. My IT team no longer needs to focus on supporting e-mail because everything is accessible via the web and Gmail is so intuitive. In fact, our support requests for email have gone down by over 95 percent. And, employees are happy because they can get to their information from anywhere and easily collaborate with their co-workers. Google Apps provides the tools that help our growing business run more efficiently. We’re excited to have Google help us prepare for our next 60 stores.