Friday, September 24, 2010

Going Google across the 50 States: Connecticut-based ice cream franchise decides to ‘gofer’ Google Apps

[Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog]

Editor’s note: Over the past couple months, thousands of businesses have added their Gone Google story to our community map and even more have used the Go Google cloud calculator to test drive life in the cloud. To highlight some of these companies’ Gone Google stories, we decided to talk to Google Apps customers across the United States. Check back each week to see which state we visit next. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map.

“It’s always a good day to ‘gofer’ ice cream,” according to Jay Ragusa, President of Gofer Ice Cream. Jay has opened five stores throughout Connecticut that provide high quality ice cream and unique treats such as razzles, smoothies, hand dipped ice cream, and soft serve ice cream with a flavor twist. Jay relies on Google Apps to keep his business running, and today he shares how it has helped him and his staff work more efficiently.

“Between our online accounting software and the use of Google Apps, which has become an integral part of our daily operations, we are gradually putting the entire company in the cloud.

Google Sites, part of the Google Apps suite, is used to create specific pages on our external website ( so we can easily edit content without the use of a webmaster. Internally, we built multiple intranet sites including the Gofer Network where store managers and franchisees communicate, organize, and operate their part of the company. The Gofer Crew Portal is a site designed for the staff to access information such as contact numbers, store schedules and the internal Gofer Blog, and submit time card exceptions.

We rely heavily on Google Docs to update manuals, recipes, and employee schedules all of which are posted on the Gofer Network for store managers to access and share with employees at each store. For financial reporting, we created custom Google forms to efficiently collect data on point-of-sale purchases every night — store managers input their sales numbers into the form and everything is automatically populated in my spreadsheets. The forms are a great way to get the data quickly without having to expose sensitive revenue information across all the stores.

Whenever possible, we’re developing business processes around the functionality in Google Apps. It’s low cost and we get the security of knowing that Google is backing up our data. I’m looking forward to finding more ways that Google Apps can improve how we work.”

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