Fast-Growing Startup Cuts Their Collaboration Time by 50% Using Google Apps and Nimble, While Saving the Planet
A.M. Custom Clothing is the leading environmentally and ethically certified custom clothing company in the UK. Focused not only on revenue but also motivated by a desire for a healthy planet, co-founder Alex Franklin makes it a priority to achieve certification by external watchdog organizations.
“In the cotton industry, it’s the supply chain that needs to be cleaned up. It’s easy for a supplier to look good when buyers come in, and return to bad practices afterwards. Our system is modeled to keep the pressure on with continuous scrutiny. The Fairtrade and Fair Wear Foundations are both impressive and doing a lot to insure compliance.”
Alex and his business partner, Michael Williams, do their homework to find the best suppliers, and they also give talks at universities about the benefits of a focus on sustainability in business. They’re in business to help change the world.
A recent Huffington Post article tells their story.
According to Alex, “Our typical customer is universities, which are conscious of their environmental footprint. They purchase custom-branded clothing — logo-branded or for special events.”
“Once in the door, people come back to us. The quality of our clothing is very high — from raw materials right through the design process. We believe, though, that it’s our focus on ethical practices that resonates with our typical end buyer. We’re passionate about the planet, as are a lot of people in our generation.”
Getting On Board with Google Apps and Nimble
“We switched to Google Apps recently, and it’s a massive asset — far easier than any other platform we tried. We use Google Drive, for instance, so that we can travel and work ‘on the go’ on different devices. There’s no barrier to collaboration. Now we’re all on Gmail, too, and can read our email in Nimble — and our calendars are synchronized through Google. Mike tells me we immediately saw a 50% reduction on collaborative tasks. The team adjusted to the change to Gmail in short order.”
“Nimble adoption was dead easy. We just got into it immediately and saw tremendous benefits. We’re all using it with absolutely no difficulty. The Nimble interface is self-explanatory. There was no learning curve.”
The Big Deal That Almost Got Away
“We immediately were reminded of a huge deal in our pipeline — several thousand pounds — as soon as we set up Nimble. We had lost track of this prospect. As we were entering information in Nimble’s Deals feature we rediscovered them, reached out, got the Deal moving again, and it resulted in a very big sale.”
“In the past, we used untidy, inefficient spreadsheets for different client segments. That’s a recipe for having business ‘go missing’. Now with everything pulled into Google Drive and Nimble, we look at those contacts, see the communications history, and can keep it all straight. It’s like having a personal assistant who works for peanuts!”
For A.M. Custom Clothing, It’s All About Relationships
Alex knows that business workflow is not only keeping in touch, but keeping on top of people in a graceful way.
“We’ve managed to progress a lot faster. Before, when we’d complete a deal, we’d get as far as shipping the order but the process of invoicing was inefficient. Nimble has sped up this process and made it a lot easier to keep on top of. Nimble ensures nothing can slip through the cracks while maintaining efficiency.”
“For us the most dramatic feature of Nimble is the very complete and up-to-date contact record. You see every bit of related information. There’s no confusion, you can see all the email history, and the Social Tab is right there so you can remind yourself of the context. You can add a note, set reminders, or schedule tasks then and there, so you don’t crowd your brain with information you’ll never be able to remember.”
Finding Nimble Through an Evangelist
“We saw a tweet from a friend (at a mid-size app development firm down the hall from us) recommending Nimble. We had been looking for just such a platform. We tried it and loved it. Now we couldn’t live without it. It’s made us so much more efficient and productive.”
Michelle Kawka, Photographer
Michelle Kawka is a photographer in metropolitan New York City and beyond. She photographs corporate events, portraiture, landscape, travel, and fashion photography for private and business clients. Michelle works both in the studio or on location, using photography and video to capture the spirit of a person, a place, or an event.
Michelle became aware of Nimble when her business coach Regina Bonolo from Aspire Higher suggested Michelle sign up for top CRM software and try them out. Most were either confusing, expensive, or lacked the features she needed. Nimble had a strong emphasis on making social business easier, and she also found the software intuitive and easy to implement. She found it simple to import contacts from Google. “I just kept coming back to Nimble and becoming happier and happier with it.”
A Example of Social Business Serendipity
Social interactions are very important to a photography business. Once she was using Nimble, something happened to illustrate the tremendous power of social.
“A bride I had photographed, Kate Magee, is a Sex in the City fan, and waited in line at a promotional event to meet Sarah Jessica Parker and get her Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes (the same shoes Parker’s character, Carrie, wore at her wedding) signed by the actress. A security guard sent her away before she met Parker, because she had not made her shoe purchase that day. She was very disappointed, and tweeted to Sarah Jessica Parker about what had happened. Parker responded with an offer to make things right, to which Kate replied that she would come back the next day. She returned, Sarah signed the shoes, and they even had a private conversation.”
“I saw the exchange happening, so I added to the Twitter conversation and tweeted a wedding picture that showed off the shoes.”
Nimble Works with Her Workflow
“I am an enthusiastic user of LinkedIn, and Nimble helps me keep up with my LinkedIn connections. In the contact record, I can see quickly whether I’ve connected on LinkedIn or not. It’s easy to forget to do that if you’ve started communicating through email, so I love that reminder in the sidebar.”
Deals are also an important organizational tool for Michelle:
“I can keep track of how my business is progressing through the Deals Tab. It’s easy to track quotes and agreements, see what stage the client is in. I can also remind myself of what I need to do as I enter my handwritten notes from meetings. Nimble keeps me from letting important things fall through the cracks.”
The Difference a Few Weeks Can Make
“I am definitely aware of how much more organized I am — now far advanced from the days of Post-It notes, colored star systems, calendar entries, and my often faulty memory!”
“I’m a relatively new user, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to be without Nimble. I’ve come to depend on it — and it is obviously designed to grow with my business, affordably.”
“I love how Nimble shows me people I might want to interact with up, offering me the option to make them important. I can set those reminders and Nimble remembers for me. It’s a great feeling of confidence.”
About Pravda Media
Kfir Pravda is the CEO of Pravda Media Group, a digital marketing firm that helps international B2B tech companies build a robust funnel, starting from awareness to sales. This is achieved by using inbound and outbound marketing techniques, B2B social media marketing, original content creation, and cutting-edge marketing technologies. The company, based in Israel, is focused on measuring the impact of digital marketing programs through cross funnel KPI measurement and ROI analysis. Read more ›