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BI-LO is one of the first grocery chains to make the move away from traditional office productivity software to Google’s Business Apps service, a web-based communications platform complete with e-mail, word processing, scheduling, and document sharing capabilities.
The move, which is expected to produce hundreds of thousands in annual savings, is designed to improve business efficiency through enhanced communication and collaboration and allow BI-LO to focus more time and energy on providing customers with a superior shopping experience.
“This decision was made with the needs of our teammates and customers in mind,” Carol deWitt, CIO/VP of information management with BI-LO said. “The solution we found in Google not only allows us to pass greater savings on to our customers, but our teammates get to spend less time working around computers and more time responding to our customers quickly and effectively. “
The switch from Lotus Notes to Google Business Apps gives BI-LO more for less, according to the grocer. In addition to the 60 percent total e-mail cost reduction, the new Google solution makes obsolete the hundreds of analog tapes used for e-mail backup, reducing storage and power costs by 10 percent. Google’s service also allows BI-LO teammates to collaborate on projects electronically, eliminating the need to print multiple copies of a single document and greatly reducing paper waste. Like with all of BI-LO’s cost saving efforts, these savings will be passed on to customers.
The move will bring other benefits, as well. Through Google, the security of customer BONUSCARD and credit card information will be improved, and Google’s service reduces the risk of data loss through spam and spyware and eliminates data on teammates’ workstations.
“Protecting our customer’s data and ensuring we have their trust are at the very top of BI-LO’s priorities,” said Jason Breazeale, senior manager of enterprise architecture. “BI-LO has invested millions of dollars in solutions to protect customer data and the switch to Google Business Apps continues that commitment.”
BI-LO’s decision to use Google Business Apps is another example of the company’s commitment to advanced technology. Earlier this year BI-LO supported the “We’re Feeling Lucky” campaign as part of Greenville’s desire to become a Google Fiber city. Google will announce the target communities for its project to build experimental, ultra high-speed broadband networks by the end of the year.
Mauldin, S.C.-based BI-LO operates 207 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, employing approximately 15,100 people.