Monday, July 16, 2012

[G] We all scream for ice cream with Google Apps for Business

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: We all scream for ice cream with Google Apps for Business

Posted by Kelly Campbell, Director of Global Enterprise Small Business Marketing

One of my fondest memories growing up is riding my bike to get ice cream with my family on a hot summer day. For me, it’s exciting to see the local ice cream industry evolve and grow, without losing its charm. Today, ice cream shop owners from around the country are using technology–like Google Apps for Business–to help them run their businesses and reach their customers. From taking their beloved treats on the road to shipping pints across the country, technology is a sweet source of their success.

In celebration of National Ice Cream Day, let’s take a look at how three ice cream shops from around the United States are using technology to scoop up business:

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams began small, but had big dreams. Jeni Britton Bauer opened her first ice cream shop in Grandview Heights, Ohio in 2002, and turned to Google Apps for Business to help her manage everything from ingredients to employee scheduling. Today, Jeni has grown the business to 10 stores throughout Ohio and Tennessee and has a booming online shipping business, and she depends on Google Apps to help her manage it all. Google Docs helps Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams employees share information from the kitchen with the planning teams on the ground at each location. And it gives her access real-time information to ensure they have the ice cream, packaging and manpower to handle spikes in online orders. Stores are also able to give feedback about each home-made batch of ice cream through a Google Docs form. So if there aren’t enough pecans in the Whiskey Pecan Ice Cream, Jeni’s team can add more in the next batch. Jeni even wrote her best selling cookbook using Google Docs.

Business partners Zach Davis and Kendra Baker knew they wanted to start their exploration in sweet treats with Google Apps. But their journey to get The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz, California off the ground includes a video they made about spending money locally and rethinking ice cream manufacturing from the ground-up, and a subsequent invitation to the White House to meet the First Lady and the President.

The ice creamery’s menu changes each season, depending upon the fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs that are in season in Northern California, so keeping track of ingredients is crucial. Google Spreadsheets help them do this, as well as track and reconcile daily sales across multiple locations, and Google Forms help them manage their mailing lists. Zach and Kendra wear a lot of hats as proprietors of an expanding beach empire, but IT falls to Zach, who says Apps has been invaluable because, from a management perspective, it's quick and easy.

While it might feel natural to drive or bike to your favorite ice cream shop, Coolhaus does things a bit differently. They bring the ice cream to you.

The brainchild of Los Angeles natives Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, Coolhaus is an artisan ice cream sandwich truck that launched at the 2009 Coachella music festival. The entrepreneurial duo turned to Google Apps for Business to help them develop everything from writing their business plan to organizing locations to park around the city. Over the past four years, Natasha and Freya have been able to expand their business to Austin, New York, Miami, and Dallas, and they depend heavily on Google Apps to manage their 50+ employees across different locations and time zones. Google Calendar helps streamline collaboration among operation managers and truck supervisors to ensure there are enough employees at each location. And Google Docs lets regional event managers share and menus and truck catering details with CoolHaus clients.

It’s exciting to see how Google Apps has helped these entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams and reach the sweet tooths of so many people. Whether you’re a two-scoops, waffle cone or sundae kind of ice cream lover, celebrate National Ice Cream Day with a sweet treat from your favorite local ice creamery.

URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/07/we-all-scream-for-ice-cream-with-google.html

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