Editor's note: Whether it's in the factory, warehouse or office, manufacturers need to work efficiently to bring their customers what's needed. This week we're focusing on how companies in the manufacturing industry are using Google technology to work better and stay connected. Today we'll hear from Mike Ellerton, Head of Service and Infrastructure at Premier Foods, the UK’s largest food manufacturer. Watch our manufacturing webinar and see what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

In a traditional industry like manufacturing, it’s tough for big companies to be innovative. With more than 35 locations and annual revenue of around £1.5 billion, Premier Foods is amongst the UK’s largest food manufacturers. We recognise the need for constant innovation agility and collaboration. Moving to Google Apps did exactly this for us, as you can see from our Story Builder. We upgraded our email system and introduced tools to allow our teams to work better together and break down silos

We’d been on Lotus Notes for more than 12 years and, as Premier Foods changed, it stopped fitting our needs. We evaluated Google Apps, IBM® SmartCloud and Microsoft® Office 365. We found the tools in Google Apps were familiar and enabled employees to easily work together. They also gave us the ability to seamlessly sync everything to mobile devices, a previous pain point. After a short pilot, we launched Google Apps to 4,500 users and enabled 1,000 company-owned Android devices in just two months.

By switching to Google Apps from IBM Lotus Notes, we saved 50 percent on our email operating costs. In an investment heavy industry like manufacturing, any money that can be invested in revenue driving parts of the business like marketing and sales instead of on infrastructure like servers, is a huge benefit. Plus, as a company that has grown through acquisition, the ability to easily add or subtract users as needed allows us to scale our business with very little expense.

By connecting people and information, Google Apps has helped us build a sense of community inside the company that wasn’t there before. We’ve just started using Google+ Hangouts and they’ve already been fantastic for connecting employees across departments and locations. I personally have about 10 Hangouts a week which has cut down my travel dramatically as well as engaging and connecting the individuals that previously switched off during traditional voice conference calls. We’ve even created Hangout “kits” with webcams, headphones and “quiet” flags (to let fellow employees know you’re on a video conference), so people can grab a kit and try it for themselves.

Staying fresh can be a challenge for big food manufacturers, but with the help of Google Apps, Premier Foods is able to do just that. It’s fun to hear people say, “Wow, Premier Foods does video calls? That’s pretty cool.” It validates our focus on using technology that helps us stay one step ahead. And this is just the beginning – as Google continues to innovate, we'll continue to grow with it.