Fast-Growing Startup Cuts Their Collaboration Time by 50% Using Google Apps and Nimble, While Saving the Planet

Cotton Farm

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.m. huff post

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.”