How Scheels Uses Chrome to Help its Sales Associates Better Serve Customers

Note: This post was originally published on Google’s blog, The Keyword. Scheels partnered with Agosto to support their Chrome needs. 

Today’s post is from Becky Torkelson, Computer Support Specialist Leader for Scheels, an employee-owned 27-store chain of sporting goods stores in the Midwest and West. Scheels uses Chrome browser and G Suite to help its 6,000 employees better serve customers and work together efficiently.

Whether customers come to Scheels stores to buy running shoes, fishing rods or camping stoves, they talk to associates who know the products inside and out. We hire people who are experts in what they’re selling and who have a passion for sports and outdoor life. They use Chrome browser and G Suite to check email and search for products from Chromebooks right on the sales floor, so they can spend more time serving customers.

That’s a big improvement over the days when we had a few PCs, equipped with IBM Notes and Microsoft Office, in the back rooms of each store. Associates and service technicians used the PCs to check email, enter their work hours or look up product specs or inventory for customers—but that meant they had to be away from customers and off the sales floor.

Starting in 2015, we bought 100 Chromebooks and 50 Chromeboxes, some of which were used to replace PCs in store departments like service shops. Using Chromebooks, employees in these departments could avoid manual processes that slowed down customer service in the past. With G Suite, Chrome devices and Chrome browser working together, our employees have access to Gmail and inventory records when they work in our back rooms. They can quickly log on and access the applications they need. This means they have more time on the sales floor for face-to-face interaction with customers.

Our corporate buyers, who analyze inventory and keep all of our stores stocked with the products we need, use Google Drive to share and update documents for orders instead of trading emails back and forth. We’re also using Google Sites to store employee forms and policy guides for easy downloading—another way people save time.

We use Chrome to customize home pages for employee groups, such as service technicians. As soon as they log in to Chrome, the technicians see the bookmarks they need—they don’t have to jump through hoops to find technical manuals or service requests. Our corporate buyers also see their own bookmarks at login. Since buyers travel from store to store, finding their bookmarks on any computer with Chrome is a big time-saver.

Our IT help desk team tells me that they hardly get trouble tickets related to Chrome. There was a very short learning curve when we changed to Chrome, an amazing thing when you consider we had to choose tools for a workforce of 6,000 people. The IT team likes Chrome’s built-in security—they know that malware and antivirus programs are running and updating in the background, so Chrome is doing security monitoring for us.

Since Scheels is employee-owned, associates have a stake in our company’s success. They’re excited to talk to customers who want to learn about the best gear for their favorite sports. Chrome and G Suite help those conversations stay focused on customer needs and delivering smart and fast service.

Cloud Computing to help Manufacturing

There’s a great article out today by Louis Columbus on Forbes called, “10 Ways Cloud Computing Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing.” The author touches on how cloud computing, often at the enterprise level, is helping manufacturers to streamline processes and work more effectively.

This is then helping them to get back to the business of innovation.

Which is then leading them to bring more new products to market, with higher sales.

Agosto has heard similar stories from our manufacturing clients like Superior Industries. The company is using Google Apps to help its employees across the U.S. to collaborate on the same documents at the same time. Others, like Egan Company are using both Google Apps and Google Chromebooks to enable both factory line and field construction workers to efficiently view, share, edit and communicate.

In all cases, Agosto manufacturing clients are also saving on their IT costs. Madison-Kipp Corporation also touts the savings and ease-of-use of Google Apps over its former, more complex systems.

As a Google Apps Premier Enterprise partner, Agosto can help manufacturers who are looking at how to improve their productivity, reduce costs and better collaborate across their business, no matter how many locations or employees they might have. To learn more, contact sales@agosto.com

You can also view the original Forbes article here, while it’s live on their site.