Drive

Cardinal Group: How Google Drive helps us foster a more collaborative culture

Editor’s note: Today’s post is written by Cara Athmann, VP of IT and Data at Cardinal Group, a Colorado-based property management, investment, and consulting company. Cardinal Group recently deployed Google Drive and G Suite to build a more collaborative and productive working environment for their more than 1,000 team members.

At Cardinal Group, we have four distinct lines of business, each of which are critical to our overall company performance: real estate investment, third-party property management, construction management, and marketing. As the VP of IT and Data, one of my top priorities is giving each of our team members across these teams the tools they need to be productive, while also ensuring all of our company’s data is safe, secure, and properly managed. And with a variety of different business units, it’s critical that our team members are able to collaborate effectively across teams. We rely heavily on Google Drive and G Suite to help us accomplish these goals.

Prior to partnering with Google, we relied on a legacy content storage and management solution. Our team members found this tool cumbersome and unintuitive—finding the right file at the right time was very difficult, and it was challenging to collaborate and share content effectively across the various teams within our company. We also struggled with document ownership and version control. One team would start working on a contract, and then share it with a collaborator over email, who would then share it with a third collaborator, and so on. It was never clear which version of the document was the most up to date, who owned it, and who should be working on it. Our team members relied on these tools every day to get their jobs done, and the subpar experience was impacting productivity and morale. 

Moving toward a more collaborative company culture

We began to explore various solutions to these problems, and quickly realized that Google’s approach to productivity was most closely aligned with Cardinal Group’s desire to build a more collaborative and innovative culture. We worked closely with Cloudbakers, a Google partner, to migrate all of our existing content and data to Drive. And most of our team members were already familiar with Drive and found it very intuitive and easy to use, so change management was minimal and we were quickly up and running. 

With Drive, it’s easy for our team members to quickly find and access the files they need at that moment, which saves them valuable time and increases productivity across our teams. Live, real-time collaboration across Drive and our other G Suite apps is a huge selling point for us. For example, if we’re building a marketing plan, our onsite, marketing, and operations teams can all work simultaneously on the same plan, which saves us a ton of time and also eliminates version control and ownership issues. We’re also moving towards a “work from anywhere” model, and Drive is a huge enabler of this transition, with team members able to easily access and collaborate on files, whether they’re working in our main office, at home, or at a customer’s community. 

Fewer support tickets lets IT spend time on more impactful projects

Since we started working with Google a few years ago, our company has grown significantly, from 800 to 1,400 team members. During this tremendous growth, the number of productivity-related support tickets we see has remained flat; this translates to a 43% decline in the number of support tickets per team member. As a result, our team members can spend more time being productive and my IT team can focus less on resolving support tickets and more on creating business value for Cardinal Group and our team members. 

Moving to Google Drive and G Suite has been a big part of our journey towards being a more collaborative and innovative company. We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership with Google and we’re excited to see what’s next!