Tastea – a California-based beverage retailer – is providing its team members, managers and franchises with a cohesive communication and collaboration platform thanks to Microsoft Office 365.
The company wanted to standardise its operations and open up clearer lines of communication between team members. This was with the overall aim of creating a repeatable customer experience across stores.
Tastea embraced Microsoft Office 365 as the foundation of its business operations, having previously used a number of technology tools. Office 365 is now used for everything from inventory management to customer service, and the Office 365 Marketplace is used to fill specific needs through integrated third-party apps.
“There are only two of us running things, and we can’t be everywhere at once, especially as we grow,” said Ted Vu, one of Tastea’s founders. “We looked ahead and predicted some serious growing pains if we didn’t formalise our processes and create systems to help us with every facet of the business.”
Having decided to move beyond disparate tools to run the business, Vu looked into the options and settled on Microsoft Office 365.
“We wanted to streamline our processes, achieve a higher level of professionalism, enhance security, and manage document access more tightly,” he said. “The calendaring functionality in Microsoft Exchange Online grabbed my interest first, because using it would make it so much easier to keep team members in sync across store locations. Then after seeing the parade of tools that come with it, all integrated and centralised in a single service, I knew Office 365 would be perfect for our business.”
Thanks to Office 365, Tastea is now in a position to successfully grow and expand. Microsoft Lync Online is now used to hold monthly virtual meetings, and Microsoft SharePoint Online to securely share everything from recipes to human resources forms.
“In Office 365, we’ve got a suite of apps that bring it all together so that we can focus on the bigger business picture,” says Vu. “Before, I had to spend so much time and effort ‘putting out fires’ that it felt like I was just surviving. But now I have the hours and energy to tackle our growth goals – adopting Office 365 freed me up to create, which is what I truly love to do.”
The technology has also had a positive effect on Tastea’s staff, with Vu reporting a distinct upturn in morale among the company’s workforce.
“Before, when we didn’t have so many ways to both reach out and to respond, things could be chaotic and team members often felt like they were left in the dark,” says Vu. “Today, they’re more engaged and truly feel part of our success because we’re able to give them the tools and information they need using Office 365. We’re getting twice as much work done.”
Vu is also delighted that the benefits of the platform are also being felt in the company’s finances.
“The costs are astronomically low; I honestly can’t believe that Office 365 is so affordable,” says Vu. “We are getting an exceptional return on our investment, and we’ll be able to pass along that value to our franchisees.”
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