Turtle Top Takes Teamwork to the Next Level

Turtle Top is a closely held multi-generational family business that started manufacturing automotive products in 1962. What began with recreational vehicles has grown into a reputed provider of transportation solutions with sales and service locations across the USA and Canada. They make buses and specialty vehicles designed according to the requests and requirements of a wide variety of customers. There’s a good chance that the shuttle bus you grabbed at the airport was one of their vehicles.

For years they ran their business on a Windows file server, lots of loose Microsoft Office documents, and an ERP system. Turtle Top approached TechKnowledgey, Inc looking for ways to help their team work together better. Like many companies running on dated tech, individuals did their own work and then shared it on the F:\ drive or via email attachment. The only teamwork was the share of an end result; they really weren’t working together as a team.

Turtle Top’s management team envisioned their people working together better with real time information presented in simple dashboards. Everyone would have access to the same accurate information. Over the past couple of years they’d looked at CRM products like SalesForce.com and others but nothing seemed to fit. The canned packages just did not feel right to them. Being a successful fifth generation business, they had developed a lot of processes that worked for them. They just wanted to speed them up and democratize them instead of conforming their business to how an external software company thought it should run.

Early last year we converted Turtle Top’s old POP3/Outlook-powered email system to Google Apps for Business. The implementation went well and their team members, especially the younger ones, were enthusiastic about using Google products in their daily work. The basic Google Apps foundation was set in place.

Late last year we met with Turtle Top’s management team. They shared their vision with us, so we carefully listened to their needs and went to the white board. Two weeks later, over lunch, we presented a plan on how we’d build a set of apps to run their business using Google Apps for Business as the platform. One of the things we love about Google Apps is that it revolves around people, and they liked it too. Instead of a boring conversation revolving around servers and databases, we were talking about individuals, teams, what information they needed, how the information would flow, and how all of their activities would be presented in easy to understand dashboards they could use on any device.

They enthusiastically endorsed the vision. Inside of 90 days their sales team was quarterbacking the entire company: engineering, customer service, and production using their new system built on Google Apps for Business. Nobody was in the dark. Everyone knew what their teammates were working on. Information was centralized and easy to find from just about any device with a screen connected to the Internet. The inside sales team did not have to wait for the salespeople to get back from their road trips, and the double entry of the old Microsoft based systems had been eliminated.

The Turtle Top team works differently now. Sales and management meetings have a different feel now that  everyone has access to factual real time information. Communication between teammates is clearer now that requests are assigned in a uniform way. Workloads are more balanced as it’s easy to see who’s got a full plate and who has room for more. With TechKnowledgey, Inc’s help, Turtle Top has gone Google and they’re ready for the challenges of the next generation of business.