Artisan Cheese Maker Triples Output With Help From Smartsheet
Cypress Grove Chevre wanted to expand its operations and triple its output. Smartsheet helped the artisan cheese maker increase productivity and collaboration to reach its goals.
- Small (1 - 49 employees)
- North America
- Event Management
- Marketing Launch and Campaigns
- Standardize Business Operations
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at an event somewhere around the world and found I needed a sales contact or campaign detail. It used to be buried back in the office on a file server. Now I just look it up in Smartsheet from my iPad. We couldn’t do as much, or as well, without Smartsheet.
Cypress Grove Chevre, a 30-year old cheese manufacturer and retailer, was expanding its operation to triple its output. It needed a system to record and plan maintenance, design efficient operations, ship its products and monitor quality from facility to customer.
Cypress Grove decided to take a more progressive approach, leveraging the power of the “cloud.” The shift would align with their corporate philosophy of empowering teams to focus on making and selling the best cheese in the world, instead of spending time managing software licenses, infrastructure and connectivity.
“Just because we make goat cheese doesn’t mean we don’t have legitimate business needs,” says Ian Ray, Information Systems Specialist at Cypress Grove Chevre, Inc. “It’s a highly competitive market and we have real requirements to drive efficiencies.”
Finding the Solution
Ray came up with a “short list” of requirements for the company’s technology solutions. The tools must:
Work across departments–from marketing to quality assurance.
Be instantly usable and easy for the entire staff to learn.
Be accessible wherever team members were and on whatever devices they used.
Help them focus on making and marketing great cheese.
Cypress Grove had once been steadfast in its loyalty to Microsoft Excel and related Office 365 products. However, the winning combination for their modern needs was pairing Smartsheet with Google Apps. The tools seamlessly integrate to run a majority of the burgeoning business.
A Smartsheet form allows creamery workers to make requests regarding safety, efficiency, and quality concerns. The requests show up for managers and assistant managers. They are commented on, approved (or not), assigned to other department managers, and completion dates and employees responsible are recorded.
“Smartsheet has created a central location to assign tasks and record communications for a one stop accountability system,” says Operations Manager David Estes.
The Maintenance department uses Smartsheet to record ongoing maintenance to key systems. Smartsheet's ability to track cell history is useful in mapping past commentary and observing the long-term status of equipment. Green/Red symbols are used to quickly assess if tasks such as oil changes and gear inspections are on, or behind schedule. Employees use their smartphones to enter data directly into Smartsheet from the manufacturing floor, allowing Estes to view updates at his desk as they occur.
Before using Smartsheet, the team investigated several expensive maintenance-specific programs. “Smartsheet was intended to be a stop-gap solution until we found the perfect maintenance tracking program, but now we believe Smartsheet is the perfect program for our needs,” adds Estes.
Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing use Smartsheet to track all facets of upcoming sales events and marketing programs. From task lists to shipping logistics to contact lists, their teams have all pertinent information at their fingertips.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at an event somewhere around the world and found I needed a sales contact or campaign detail,” says Janne Rasmussen, Sales Manager. “It used to be buried back in the office on a file server. Now I just look it up in Smartsheet from my iPad. We couldn’t do as much, or as well, without Smartsheet.”
Executive management uses Smartsheet to organize the overall company strategy. “Smartsheet’s Gantt charts are extremely useful as they keep projects in one location. It also ensures that team members keep commitments and allows project leaders to reprioritize,” says General Manager, Pamela Dressler.
File Storage and Management
The company uses Smartsheet to allow others to upload large files. “Many distributors and retailers have fiddled with YouSendIt, Dropbox and other services to send us large files. Smartsheet works better than these systems by allowing large files to be uploaded directly to rows. It’s far better organized than random emails and unstructured Dropbox accounts,” says Ray.
Teams at Cypress Grove use Smartsheet to capture meeting agendas and related tasks and notes in Smartsheet. “We have weekly conference calls and from wherever we happen to be that given week, we open up Smartsheet to see the agenda, the progress, and immediately focus in on any trouble spots. It’s a real time-saver,” says Marketing Manager, Jason Baxter.
Today, Cypress Grove Chevre runs a state-of-the-art sustainable business, keeping tech costs low and collaboration at an all-time high. Combining Smartsheet with Google Apps, such as Google Gadgets, Google Docs and Google Sites, reinforced the company’s corporate philosophy of keeping it simple, being efficient in everything, and promoting personal responsibility, says Baxter.
“They’ve been at the heart of helping us achieve our business and manufacturing goals,” he says.” They help us be the company we want to be.”