How Google Workspace drives technological and cultural change to retail businesses

17 November 2020

Realise the true benefits of digital transformation with Google Workspace

It is no secret that the retail industry is forever changing. In order to keep up with consumer trends and behaviours, businesses need to constantly adapt to stay ahead of the competition. New strategies and processes need to be implemented. It is more important than ever to optimise the most valuable asset to your business: data. But before you begin with implementing these complex strategies, you need to start from the very beginning: are you using the right tools for your digital transformation?


Get ahead with the omnichannel approach

In March 2020, the world ground to a halt. High Streets were empty, roads were quiet, and an eerie stillness put doubt into businesses across the globe. Without an online presence, many retailers wouldn’t survive. This was the driving force to innovate faster. Many had to upgrade their technology, not only to implement these digital strategies but to also continue working, remotely. Read our first blog in the retail series: “An enhanced retail experience with AI and Machine Learning” to understand why the omnichannel approach is important to succeed.

To help tackle these challenges, Google has been working on industry-specific solutions. Through driving operational improvements, capturing digital and omnichannel revenue growth, and help make data-driven decisions. Watch Google’s Next: OnAir session “Planning for retail’s new priorities” for further details.


Stay productive and collaborative with the right technology stack

Just because you have identified the solutions, does not mean you can enable them straight away. The biggest obstacle businesses have faced is the cultural shift from working in an office to now working from home. Most companies were simply not set up for a remote workforce. In order for retail businesses to deliver a brilliant customer experience, keep up with consumer demand, and excel in a digital environment, they need organisation robustness – systems, processes, productivity, and collaboration.

Google Workspace

Google recognises these challenges and prides itself on enabling businesses to thrive in a digital environment. The collaboration and productivity tools within Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), are everything you need to get anything done. Earlier this year, Google announced a better home for work. The main applications are now fully integrated with each other, bringing together the core tools for communication and collaboration.

Gmail: Made into a more collaborative space, with tools from Meet, Chat, and more all being accessible in one interface.

 

Chat: Create tasks, upload files, and join a Google Meet from your chat window.

 

Google Meet: Hold a video call on any device, no matter where you are. Send a calendar invite with a link to a Google Meet and transform the way you host a meeting.

 

Google Drive: A safe place to store all of your files and has a powerful search tool to find your files quickly. 

 

Docs, Sheets & Slides: Everyone can work together on the same document at the same time. Create, edit, and share documents directly from within your browser. 

Download our latest White Paper: “How Google Workspace helps businesses thrive & plan for an unpredictable future” and learn why Google Workspace could be the best technology stack for your organisation.


How Google Workspace has helped organisations transition to a remote way of working

When the first UK lockdown was announced, the DFS group decided to immediately close down all operations, pause deliveries, and halt manufacturing. DFS was then left with just an online presence, and had no other option than to furlough 5,000 members of staff. However, after exploring their options, they decided they wanted to align their business wherever possible and to improve collaboration and communication as a business.

Netpremacy partnered with DFS to ensure that the business was able to stay online and to keep the business running smoothly throughout lockdown. DFS saw numerous advantages of Google Meet Hardware for remote meetings; the simplicity of use, native integration with calendaring, seamless, and reliable video conferencing.

Read the full case study here.


Google’s vision for the future of technology in retail

Thanks to the collaboration and productivity tools, Google is able to solve the basic challenges of remote working and can help drive digital transformation. This allows retailers to focus on their marketing strategies, digitise their processes, and ultimately serve their customers better. 

Being successful in the retail industry today requires technology to solve big problems. Whether that’s stock inventory, customer experience, or analysing data. Google continues to innovate and has multiple tools and solutions specific to retail (view here).  


 

Further reading: With Christmas just around the corner, learn how to use your data to prepare for the busiest shopping period of the year with our second blog in the retail series: “Is your retail business ready for a surge in online sales?”.

12 June 2020

How Netpremacy & Google can help you utilise G Suite & GCP to become more digital and mobile

 

Register now for our 3-part webinar series, featuring guest speakers from our partners FinTech North, and Google Cloud, as we discuss:

• How to create a return to work strategy with Google technology

• Increasing collaboration and productivity in the manufacturing industry

• How to use smart analytics to stay ahead of competitors

Follow the links below to find out more and how to register for each webinar.

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How ML & Smart Analytics are helping FinTechs understand their data

Date: 09/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Join us, FinTech North, and Google to learn about the power of Machine Learning, and Big Query. Hear more on how FinTechs are driving their business forward thanks to Google Cloud. Understand how businesses are using data to gain a competitive advantage, and how Big Query is the tool that makes this possible.

Guest speakers:

  • Alastair Lumley, Netpremay
  • Tom Anderson, Netpremacy 
  • Julian Wells, Director, FinTech North
  • Richard Ashby, Google Cloud 

REGISTER HERE 

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How businesses can use the G Suite tool-stack to return to work

Date: 22/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Sign up to our webinar to understand how businesses can use tools from G Suite to create a complex and intelligent booking system, to get your teams safely back up and running in an office environment.

Hear from Google and Netpremacy on what our plans are for getting back to the office, and how we are using tools from G Suite, App Script, and Data Studio to do so.

REGISTER HERE 

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Manufacturing with G Suite during and post-pandemic

Date: 23/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Sign up for our webinar to hear how manufacturers in the industry are increasing their agility and digitizing their way of working thanks to Google Cloud.

To sustain a business we must transform digitally and culturally. G Suite has been a go-to solution for many organisations within the manufacturing and distribution market, providing that competitive edge during times of uncertainty.

Guest speakers:

  • John Boyle, Google Cloud

REGISTER HERE 

If you are unable to attend these webinars, but would like to find out more, please contact us.

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26 June 2018

“It’s been a pleasure working with Netpremacy”

Pressure Technologies is a specialist engineering group with businesses in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barton on Humber, Glasgow, Cardiff and overseas in Vancouver, Canada, Germany and Pittsburgh, USA.

The company was introduced to Pressure Technologies at a Sheffield Chamber of Commerce event where CEO, John Hayward was impressed by the presentation Netpremacy gave on the benefits to a business that G Suite could offer.  

G Suite had two core appeals for Pressure Technologies, cybersecurity with trusted Cloud-based servers and the ability to collaborate. With geographically diverse businesses, Google’s G Suite and cloud storage gave Pressure Technologies added security and a common operating platform across the entire Group. The Cloud encouraged and enabled collaborative and mobile working, with access to data from any device, anywhere.  

The project kicked off with Netpremacy being invited to present to Pressure Technologies senior management team and business leaders, who were as equally impressed as John had been at the event in Leeds.

To ensure a smooth transition of the overall G Suite Deployment, Netpremacy broke it down into 2 projects, so each project had its own statement of work.

The first project began in July 2017 and included all the manufacturing divisions. Given the scale of this first project, consisting of 6 businesses, a decision was made to break up the project into two phases: Drop 1 and Drop 2.

Project 1 was concluded by December, and the second project for the Alternative Energy Division was delivered early 2018. Even though this second project was smaller than the former it still came with its challenges. With Pressure Technologies being dispersed between the UK and Canada, it meant the project team had to plan meticulously to avoid issues arising from the time difference, time constraints and international training both in person and remote.

Each of the projects began with a period of discovery, an important aspect to ensure a smooth transition. The aim of this was to find out what processes could be improved upon, where time was being wasted and more importantly, where G Suite could be used to improve efficiency and the everyday practices of teams and individuals. The information collected was used to form the training sessions, training resources and post-training support that users received.

Before the transition to G Suite and the training that was provided, Pressure Technologies were using Outlook. When the transition began, Netpremacy used a tried and tested approach for migrating the data. After the training sessions were over, the teams returned to their desks and all of their data had been seamlessly migrated across into G Suite. This then led to a successful transition for Pressure Technologies.

Training and communications were provided by Netpremacy as a part of managing the end user’s reaction to the change in the business. Moving platforms can often be stressful without the right communication to educate end users, leading to lower adoption levels if not managed correctly.

In this particular project, training played a very important role. Pressure Technologies encompassed most age groups and generations, as a result, there was a broad mix of confidence levels in using new tools. Taking this into consideration, Netpremacy took people from every sector of the business to be Google Guides, giving them access to G Suite before everyone else. This meant they were confident and in turn able to help their colleagues with the transition after the training and go-live had finished.

A programme of ongoing communications in the weeks following go-live ensured further support.  A “Tip of the Week” programme was created and sent out weekly to provide small pieces of information and improve knowledge on how to use different aspects of G Suite. This series of tips have been very successful so far with some users being known to print them out or store them in some way to create their own ‘Google Handbooks’.

“I have been heavily involved in IT projects during my 35 year career, and none of them have ever gone this smoothly. It’s been a pleasure working with Netpremacy. We highly rate the team for technical and project management ability. G Suite is transforming the way we work,encouraging much wider collaboration then we had dared to imagine.”

– John Hayward – CEO, Pressure Technologies

Although the migration to G Suite is complete, Pressure Technologies decided to continue with the CSS programme that Netpremacy provides. They felt this was essential to the continued success for the transition to Google and did not want to leave people with the project without ongoing support to ensure G suite is successfully embedded into the whole Group.

If you have any questions regarding G Suite and how it can enhance your company’s performance, please contact us.

22 May 2018

Managing Resistance to Change

 

In this blog post, I would like to underline how to go about managing resistance to change. As a trainer and therefore, the person on the ground during a change initiative, I am usually a prime target for directing resistance. Having experienced this in the past, I aim to highlight the methods and approaches Netpremacy use when dealing with resistance in a project.

It is important to have a plan of action for managing resistance. This will help to mitigate the impact of resistance on a business change and ensure a smooth transition between the old and new processes. Resistance is a natural human reaction that stems from the fear of moving into an unknown future state. It is, therefore, the role of a change manager to identify and address resistance, as well as get the right people involved in managing this on a personal and individual level. Poor change management can directly influence resistance, so in order to avoid these change management activities need to be at the heart of a project.

 

Resistance management and change management come hand-in-hand

Proactive change management is key to dealing with resistance. Training and communications activities are essential for many reasons:

To communicate the need for change, the effect it may have on people and the benefits it will bring in the future.

To expect certain obstacles and tackle them head-on in advance of the switch (for example, by creating MythBusters, FAQ’s, custom use cases, and many more).

To ensure people have all the knowledge they need to feel comfortable and confident with the new way of working.

Motivating and engaging employees through visible executive sponsorship and general support from management serves to create a burning platform and encourage positive emotion towards the change (see blog post on the importance of executive sponsorship). This can then be captured and leveraged to further spread the excitement and purpose.

Another aspect of change management is to expect resistance and empathise with the difficulty to adapt to new ways of working. There will always be a strong tendency to revert back to old ways, especially with deadlines and time constraints. It is normal for people to “quickly do something the old way” because it’s easier and they don’t have to think about it. Making yourself do something alien or unnatural and sticking to it is very hard so it is up to the change manager to facilitate the new processes and communicate the short and long-term advantages.

 

Addressing resistance

There are 3 steps to formally addressing resistance:

1. Identifying the resistors

2. Give them a part to play

3. Understand why they resist

The types of resistors that you frequently encounter are people who either have a strict routine for certain processes, are the ones who put the old processes in place, or already have heavy workloads and anticipate even more work as a result of the change. For example, in a typical G Suite deployment, those who are usually resistant to the transition are typically heavy spreadsheet users such as the finance department and PA’s because they have a unique way of working (with mail and calendar delegation).

Initial communications, such as a scoping survey that gauges how people currently work and what attitudes they have towards the project, are normally the first means of targeting resistance. In the first instance, you should pick out the people who are in favour of the change as these will help to spread excitement and positive energy around the organisation. Then, identify those who raise concerns about the change and get them involved in the project. Doing this will make them feel more in-control of the change and therefore, it will seem less scary because they are driving it. Taking this proactive (rather than reactive) approach to resistance management will help to reduce risks to the project rollout.

There is also a trend in the root causes of resistance that should be taken into consideration when understanding certain user groups objections.

Firstly, a common reason for resistance would be the lack of awareness. This is where clear and concise communications are vital to ensure complete transparency of why the change is happening, how it will be rolled out and when each stage is going to take place (see blog post on impactful communications).

Secondly, people are often afraid of the effects to their current and future job role. Employees sometimes feel that they may become less efficient at their work after the change, leading to the fear of job loss. Effective and engaging training gives these people the knowledge and ability to continue with daily operations, and floor walking allows trainers to provide one-on-one support to those still struggling (see blog post on effective and engaging training).

Lastly, another reason for resistance could be bad experiences in the past. As mentioned above, implementing change into an organisation requires visible support and commitment from managers. Without this, there are no apparent advocates of the change and so no-one pushing the project on the inside.

Assign resistance managers

Getting the right people involved from the start to combat resistance will facilitate the change management process. These people will be well respected to help push positivity and influence innovation.

Senior leaders are in the perfect position to enforce the need for change. If they devote time to the project to demonstrate their commitment, employees will value their input and opinion.

Middle managers represent leadership within the organisation already and are the closest figures of authority to employees. Being openly supportive and advocating for the change will motivate employees to follow suit.

Appointing these resistance manager roles can not only reduce negativity towards the project but also minimise ongoing resistance once the project has come to an end.

In summary

Having a plan for managing resistance is an important aspect of the change management process. From the early stages of a project, there are many factors to consider for managing resistant user groups in a proactive manner.

First of all, standard change management activities should be as strong as ever, especially if there are already high signs of resistance.

Then, an understanding of who is resisting and why is required to address resistance upfront by making them a part of the change.

Lastly, resistance managers from inside the organisation drive the positive need for change during the project and the increasing desire for innovation in the future.

Click here, for more information on how Netpremacy can help with change management for your business.

fraja change and training coordinator at Netpremacy

 

Fraja Hodges

Training and Change Coordinator