United Biscuits prepares for another Christmas sales rush with help from Google Apps

Editor's note: Today we hear from Barry Kelly, Enterprise Architect at United Biscuits, a leading international manufacturer and marketer of biscuits and cakes, producing brands including McVitie’s, Jacob’s and Carr’s. Read how the company’s employees use Google Apps to work together globally and deliver significant incremental sales.

Christmas is a peak trading period for us here at United Biscuits, as people up and down the country stock up on their favourite snacks and treats to get ready for the festive period. We make 30% of our yearly sales then, so it’s important to get every area of the business focussing on driving seasonal sales. But with thousands of employees based all over the country, we had to find a way to work as a single team and get around the geographical challenges.

By using Google Apps for Work we’ve become a stronger team: we share over 700,000 documents on Drive, spend 1,600 hours a month meeting together on Hangouts, use Sheets to help coordinate marketing efforts and rely on Sites to continually develop our company intranet for better communication.

Google Apps tools have also delivered huge sales increases that add to our bottom line. Richard Williams, Field Sales Controller has been leading our seasonal in-store promotion days  or Making A Difference Days (MAD), as we call them. These now bring in additional significant revenue each year, thanks largely to the motivation and inspiration teams get from being part of our Google+ community. These specific days see up to 200 employees from across the company working together to improve our customer offer and taking on roles they’d normally never do. MAD days are a chance for people at every level to contribute to the customer-facing parts of the business during our busiest time of year.

On our MAD Day last Christmas, teams used Google+ to instantly share over 700 photos and videos with colleagues in other stores, and teams inspired and encouraged each other to go the extra mile. By allowing teams to share ideas across regions instead of work alone in a single store, Google+ revolutionised the day, and staff left feeling exhilarated rather than exhausted.

Google technology has transformed our merchandising days  and, with this year’s Christmas activity not far away, we’re confident our sales figures will reflect this. And by year end, every single United Biscuits employee will be a member of our Google+ community, meaning knowledge and ideas will continue to be shared and developed across the business, no matter where we’re based.