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Google Apps helps Celio keep up with the speed of fashion

Posted by Laurent Rousset, Chief Information Officer of celio*

Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Laurent Rousset, CIO of celio*, a leading French men’s clothing retailer. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Fashion moves fast: what’s new, hot and fresh one season is old, tired and done with the next. Celio is a men’s retailer based right outside Paris and we sell clothes in more than 1,000 stores across 70 countries all around the world, and because apparel moves quickly, our email and collaboration tools need to keep up.

We had been using Microsoft Exchange for years and it wasn’t serving our needs anymore. We didn’t have the right tools for sharing sales, marketing and procurement information between our French and Belgian headquarters and our office in Hong Kong or our subsidiaries in India and Bangladesh. We wanted to move our email and collaboration to the cloud to offer a connection capacity all around the world. We evaluated Office 365 but chose Google Apps because of its simplicity and ability to instantly connect any of our users around the world through Gmail, Google Chat, Google+ Hangouts and Google Docs, simply through a browser or a smartphone. By making the switch to Google Apps, we were able to save a tremendous amount of money. For the price it cost us to host email for our entire Belgian headquarter, we were able to provide Google Apps access to 1600 employees.

Google Apps gave our organization the speed we need to compete in the fashion industry by helping us automate a lot of our important processes like collecting sales data during the busy Christmas season or other peak sales periods when it's even more important to keep our stores properly stocked. Our operational teams collect this information using Google Forms, which our store managers fill out daily, and the information is automatically collected, centralized and shared internationally through Google Sheets and turned into dynamic graphics using Google Scripts. In the past, our regional directors collected this information by hand, fielding more than 4,000 calls per day from our store managers around the world. Now, it’s shared instantly between our headquarters, stores and distribution centers, so our clothes go out to stores and into our customers’ hands more quickly.

Using Google Drive and Google Sites, we were able to create an extranet that centralizes our manufacturing, textile purchasing and logistics documents. Before, this used to be shared using email, FTP server or external sharing services like Dropbox, creating constant problems with clogged email and version control.

Fashion moves fast - we have to move faster and Google Apps helps us do that. Google Apps gives us the tools we need so we can focus on getting next season’s designs out to our customers rather than worrying if we’re sending the latest file version to the right person.