Primer Group: Transforming workflow processes through the efficiency of G Suite

About Primer Group

Primer Group is a consumer goods distributor with around 150 brands under its belt. Founded in 1985, The Filipino company has a presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It recently ventured into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning business and aims to be the leader in global distribution of goods.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: Philippines

About Kollab

Kollab is the only Google Cloud Premier Partner in the Philippines bringing digital transformation to every organization. Founded in 2014, it comprises a team of well-established Google Gurus that have led national-scale implementations of Google technologies across large enterprise, small and medium business, educational institutions, and government.

Primer Group improves communication and increases efficiency with better workflow processes by migrating its entire workforce to G Suite.

Google Cloud results

  • Improves cost savings by up to 40% with minimal infrastructure investment
  • Solves email attachment limitations, thanks to a 30 GB file sharing capacity
  • Eliminates scheduling conflicts with instant access to shared calendars
  • Improves workflow accuracy with real-time document updates

Real-time collaboration aids time savings of up to 70%

The growth of ecommerce has transformed the way distribution businesses operate. Primer Group of Companies (Primer Group) understands that in order to remain competitive, it has to embrace technology and the challenges that come its way. "The world of ecommerce is rapidly growing and changing. It’s certainly affected the way we plan the systems and tools that we need to grow our online customers," says Eric Sarmiento, Senior Vice President, Primer Resources Corp., Primer Group of Companies.

Founded more than 30 years ago, Primer Group has relied on external hard drives for file sharing and used multiple channels of communication. In October 2017, the company of close to 4,000 employees worldwide turned to G Suite to upgrade and streamline its processes.

Creating a more efficient and reliable workflow

As Primer Group continues to expand its business internationally, Sarmiento sees the need for a more reliable system, especially when it comes to communicating across the different markets. "Clients today are more demanding, and rightfully so. To meet their expectations and improve our time to market, we need a way to link our operations to work quicker and more efficiently. This is something we’ve been able to do with G Suite."

He adds, "Docs has helped us save about 70% of time spent authoring documents thanks to real-time editing. This is particularly helpful when rolling out new projects or working across markets."

Apart from working on shared documents, the capability of Gmail to send and receive large files is also convenient, enabling workflow efficiency and making sure that staff don’t have to delete emails to save inbox space. "Every employee at Primer Group now has 30 GB of storage on Gmail, which is 30 times more than our legacy email system," says Sarmiento.

This large storage space also means that emails are stored in the cloud instead of on the company's servers, so employees no longer have to worry about temporary server downtime, or not being able to find emails that were previously stored on individual computers. "There was once, our servers were down for a week. With G Suite, we no longer face this problem and will always be able to access our emails."

"Clients today are more demanding, and rightfully so. To meet their expectations and improve our time to market, we need a way to link our operations to work quicker and more efficiently. This is something we have been able to do with G Suite."

Eric Sarmiento, Senior Vice President, Primer Resources Corp., Primer Group of Companies

Standardizing modes of communication

With multiple teams across different markets, it is not surprising that employees within the company use different channels of communication. This poses a problem when teams need to collaborate. The deployment of G Suite overcomes this challenge through a single platform. "Hangouts Meet makes it easy to contact people at any time because everyone is logged in, and you can always leave messages on Hangouts Chat knowing they won't miss them," says Sarmiento. The ease of Hangouts Meet also saves transportation costs as there is less need to have meetings in person.

"There was once, our servers were down for a week. With G Suite, we no longer face this problem and will always be able to access our emails."

Eric Sarmiento, Senior Vice President, Primer Resources Corp., Primer Group of Companies

Easy-to-use applications that empower employees

More than collaboration and efficiency, the simple design of the tools in G Suite empowers employees to take initiative where the opportunity arises. "Sites is very intuitive and has made it easy for different business units to come up with their own website, whether internal or external. I think it's one of the most beneficial and most used applications for us," says Sharon Ang, ICT Head, Primer Resources Corp.

Getting employees to embrace change

As people are generally wary of change, Primer Group faced some resistance among its employees when it first deployed G Suite. "Initially, there was a lot of change management. It was just fear of the unknown, as employees were not used to the new ways of working. People also felt that there was nothing wrong with what they were currently using," says Sarmiento.

To overcome this hurdle, Primer Group worked with Kollab to develop interesting ways to motivate and engage employees. "We assigned Google champions in each department and ran regular meetings with them to identify their challenges and get feedback from users," says Ang. The Google champions are the early adopters of G Suite within the company who have volunteered to be the go-to person within their departments.

The company also runs G Suite product contests from time to time, such as offering prizes for the person who demonstrates the most creative use of Slides.

"The implementation of G Suite really helped open the minds of our key decision makers, and they are now more comfortable in trying out other cloud technologies."

Sharon Ang, ICT Head, Primer Resources Corp., Primer Group of Companies

Exploring new terrain on Google Cloud

Primer Group recently deployed Google Cloud for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and has plans to launch some of its new applications this year on Google Cloud.

"The implementation of G Suite really helped open the minds of our key decision makers, and they are now more comfortable in trying out other cloud technologies," says Ang.

"We have seen cost savings of 40% since deploying our ERP on Google Cloud. This is something we hope to see more of in the near future," she adds.

About Primer Group

Primer Group is a consumer goods distributor with around 150 brands under its belt. Founded in 1985, The Filipino company has a presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It recently ventured into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning business and aims to be the leader in global distribution of goods.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: Philippines

About Kollab

Kollab is the only Google Cloud Premier Partner in the Philippines bringing digital transformation to every organization. Founded in 2014, it comprises a team of well-established Google Gurus that have led national-scale implementations of Google technologies across large enterprise, small and medium business, educational institutions, and government.