About the client
Packhelp is a company that brings together packaging solutions, modern design, and advanced printing technology to make e.g. boxes, envelopes or bags look cool. Both corporate and individual clients can order custom-made packaging that will reinforce the positive image of their brand in the eyes of their customers.
Packhelp is growing rapidly. The startup was established in 2015, and in 2016, its six founders were joined by their first employees. In early 2018, the employee count was 30. Today, it’s 170. The company’s success lets it double its employee count year by year and conquer new markets.
The main challenge
Effective remote and on-site collaboration in a quickly growing company.
At Packhelp, there are no data NOT processed in the cloud. By my count, at least 90% of the current operational information is in electronic circulation thanks to e.g. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
The solution to the problem
Packhelp has been using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) since the very beginning of its existence. Over the last five years, the company tried out other solutions, but it has never been decided to switch from G Suite to something else because the user-friendliness of Google’s suite of apps is simply unparalleled.
Google’s services can be easily scaled in two dimensions – in the horizontal dimension and in the vertical dimension. At the earliest stage of development, Packhelp scaled its G Suite instance horizontally, by adding licenses for new employees, who were growing in number quickly. But when the company became globally recognized, the management board decided to go for vertical scaling – by switching from the Basic plan to the Business plan. This move gave all employees unlimited storage space in the cloud, and admins have now more control over the processes of transfer and storage of key data.
We make use of every single option offered by Google Workspace – from apps to room booking in the calendar. It’s a very good tool, one we’ve been using since the very beginning. At Packhelp, the average employee age is 28. Almost all of us come from young, modern organizations where solutions facilitating networking are highly appreciated. That’s why we decided to go for G Suite and haven’t considered any other option ever since.
Organizing work time using Google Calendar
Packhelp offers its employees flexible working hours. This convenience could have potentially been a challenge in everyday collaboration, but it was possible to make things work thanks to Google Workspace. The Calendar makes it possible to stay in control of the team’s schedule because the employees use it to mark the periods (gaps) indicating their ‘off’/’away’ time. Scheduling a meeting is very easy because the Calendar finds a time that would be suitable for all team members itself. Managing rooms using Google Calendar makes organizing meetings much faster. In Packhelp’s Warsaw office, there are several conference rooms, so everyone finds it convenient to make use of the room booking system when they work on site.
Remote online collaboration
The biggest advantage of Google apps is the possibility to jointly edit files online. Several people can work on a single file at the same time. There’s no need to send it over to each project member repeatedly, and it’s always at hand, available on Google Drive. We use it on an everyday basis to update our reports, documents, presentations or surveys, and the feature of browsing through past edits and undoing changes has saved us a lot of time more than once.
At present, the vast majority of Packhelp employees are from Poland, but many of them work remotely. Packhelp works also with individuals based abroad, and the planned expansion into new markets – set to take place in the coming year – will translate into a growing decentralization. In the times of social distancing, there are very few people at the office, but the entire team collaborates successfully – with the help of e.g. Google Workspace.
Electronic circulation of documents and integrations
Although Google Workspace can be an autonomous set of office apps, many companies – including Packhelp – use it together with other services simultaneously. Google Drive and file editors are the basis of information flow in the company but their features work well when combined with specialist tools used by Packhelp employees.
Google Sheets are successfully used at Packhelp in everyday duties, but the huge volumes of data collected by the company in the form of databases are managed using local software.
Gmail is Packhelp employees’ main tool to communicate with clients and applicants, but the company-internal communication platform is Slack. Gmail’s advanced spam filters prevent mail to be used for mass mailing purposes, so all email campaigns are sent out using an external solution.
Google Workspace instance management
Managing user accounts and all security settings in the Google console is far from time-consuming. At Packhelp, it is the responsibility of one person, who combines dealing with administrative issues and handling everyday HR duties with ease. This is thanks to the highly-optimized hiring process. New employees start working in groups every two weeks, which makes it possible to create and set up their accounts “in bulk”.
Yet, the greater the headcount, the more time it takes to add aliases or accounts – or to set up groups. Packhelp is considering employing a person to take over all administrative responsibilities. In the meantime, they can always count on the support of specialists from FOTC – a local Google Cloud partner.
Our business relationship with FOTC is going really well. What mattered to us was the reaction time. It’s easier, quicker, and more convenient to work out a service deal with a local service provider because it’s someone from a similar cultural environment, speaking the same language, and working at a similar time.