Customer Story

Toolquip & Allied: Choosing the right collaborative tools for the job

Toolquip & Allied hero image

Toolquip & Allied implement G Suite to help improve internal communication, speed processes, and work more collaboratively using Drive, enabling employees to access files remotely.

Google Cloud Results

82% savings on software licensing costs

• Enables technicians and sales reps to access files on Drive remotely on any device when working out of the office

• Help improve internal administration through collaborative processes using Sheets, Docs and Forms

• Keeps data more secure when sharing files with customers thanks to clear sharing and editing settings

By stocking a broad range of engineering tools for processes such as welding, machining, and measuring supported by extensive application expertise, Toolquip & Allied has grown to comprise seven retail outlets in South Africa’s major industrial cities. Founded in the 1940s, the company helps its customers stay competitive by providing the latest technologies from its suppliers.

“Over the last two years, we have been moving progressively into the cloud. A major part of our decision to go with Google was the ability to collaborate and work independently if you’re in the office, in the branch, or with a customer.”- Laszlo Locsei, Marketing Manager, Toolquip & Allied

To deliver the company’s services, Toolquip & Allied sales representatives and technicians work across its head office and retail sites, and carry out on-site customer visits. Making sure the customer’s employees have the information they need to do their jobs is crucial to providing the customer service for which Toolquip & Allied is known.

Toolquip & Allied decided to make the move from an on-premises server into the cloud to solve its issues with downtime. When it came to renewing licensing for its word processing and spreadsheet software, it looked for a solution that would support a more collaborative working environment and enable its employees to work from any site and any device. G Suite was the perfect fit.

“Over the last 2 years, we have been moving progressively into the cloud,” says Laszlo Locsei, Marketing Manager at Toolquip & Allied. “A major part of our decision to go with Google was the ability to collaborate and work independently if you’re in the office, in the branch, or with a customer.”

Enabling new ways of working

“We use Calendar extensively to schedule meetings or Hangouts, and it also gives me insight into my team’s schedules. Using Hangouts Meet, we can have a meeting with all our branch managers at the same time. - Laszlo Locsei, Marketing Manager, Toolquip & Allied

Selling industrial equipment requires in-depth knowledge of the product and up-to-date supplier information. Toolquip & Allied needed a solution that would enable their employees to access documents on its server without having to be in the office, while offering cost savings. “Before, we were sharing folders, but we had to be on-site and the firewalls were very limiting,” says Laszlo. “We also suffered problems with downtime and speed of delivery.” The company looked for a solution that meant its employees could work from wherever they were located.

To do that, Toolquip & Allied implemented G Suite. With Drive and Cloud Search, files are much easier to share. “We sell everything from a spanner up to large industrial machinery,” explains Laszlo. “As we have a lot of product information, the search function is really useful. Being able to easily find specific files speeds up our processes. One of the first things we did was to create an inventory using Forms to look at IT assets across the company that didn’t exist before.”

Toolquip & Allied also use G Suite for communicating between team members. “We use Calendar extensively to schedule meetings or Hangouts, and it also gives me insight into my team’s schedules,” says Laszlo. “Using Hangouts Meet, we can have a meeting with all our branch managers at the same time.” Using Docs and Sheets, Toolquip & Allied can easily carry out complex processes across all its branches. “For our annual stock-take, we used Sheets in each branch, with reconciliation taking place at the Head Office. It was really efficient, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without Sheets,” explains Laszlo.

Getting the team on board

For the change management process, Toolquip & Allied worked with Google Partner Opennetworks. “Toolquip & Allied have adopted a cloud-first strategy so the message from management was very clear,” says Stephan Schoeman, Certified Sales Specialist at Opennetworks. “Having executive sponsorship meant a much quicker adoption from the users themselves, and because it was driven from the top, we only needed light-touch change-management strategies.”

“The enthusiasm and excitement from the Opennetworks team was pivotal to getting our team on board,” says Laszlo. “There was substantial initial buy-in so most of the staff migrated quite easily to the new product using Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Calendar, and other G Suite functionality across the board.”

Providing added customer value

“At Toolquip, we’re constantly trying to do things better — improve efficiencies, provide better customer service. With G Suite, we’re able to do things we previously couldn’t. It has already speeded up our processes, and we’re continuing to find new ways of using the products.” - Laszlo Locsei, Marketing Manager, Toolquip & Allied

Thanks to G Suite, Toolquip & Allied employees can now access files whenever they need them. “We put all our data sheets for the machines we sell on a shared drive, which our technicians can now access on the road,” says Peter Hughes, Director at Toolquip & Allied. “They can also access their emails or sales data analysis using their iPad, tablet, or phone.”

As well as being easier to access, the data is also more secure. “Many of our suppliers are overseas, so being able to share large files easily is important,” says Laszlo.” Being able to restrict viewing and sharing rights means we don’t lose control over our data.” Moreover, since the company is no longer paying separately for its productivity software, it is saving 82% in licensing fees.

Now, Toolquip & Allied plan to continue growing their market share by offering added value to their customers. “There are still many G Suite features that we are learning to use. We are beginning to use Forms as call sheets for our sales teams and as survey forms for our customers. And we’re going to start using Hangouts as a message board, for getting short service messages out to the staff.”

“At Toolquip, we’re constantly trying to do things better — improve efficiencies, provide better customer service,” says Laszlo. “With G Suite, we’re able to do things we previously couldn’t. It has already speeded up our processes, and we’re continuing to find new ways of using the products.”

Deployment Partner (G Suite authorized reseller)

Opennetworks

Established in 2000, Opennetworks is a Google Cloud Premier Partner helping organizations in a range of sectors adapt to cloud-based infrastructure.