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Cloud proves immediate benefit for Kiwi artisanal company

A shift to cloud-based working has resulted in immediate sales growth, lower costs and significant time savings for a Grey Lynn-based artisanal ginger beer producer.

Hakanoa Handmade saw sales double in just one week after it started using Google Apps to communicate with new and existing customers.

Rebekah Hay, Hakanoa Handmade founder and managing director, says previously the only sales activity she had time for was answering a handful of inbound calls each week.

Moving that side of the business to the cloud meant she could be more proactive with clients, without sacrificing her time.

“We were able to contact half our clients in a matter of days using Gmail and by sharing our sales information on Google Drive, a job that would previously have taken me a year,” Hay says.

“The immediate lift in sales has continued and we’re now forecasting a further doubling of sales over the next six months,” she adds.

Hakanoa Handmade has also taken its distribution to the cloud, with all orders now received and processed online, cutting administration costs and ensuring ‘complete transparency’ across the business, Hay says.

“We can now review sales progress daily so there is complete accountability across our entire operation,” she says.

“This lets me focus on growth – I need to be able to see the business as a whole, but I was getting lost in details before.”

Kevin Ackhurst, Google for Work Asia Pacific managing director, says Hakanoa Handmade is one of ‘thousands’ of Kiwi SME’s boosting productivity and sales by working more collaboratively.

“The businesses we work with are saving time, cutting overheads and growing faster,” Ackhurst says.

“Virtually every small business can benefit from technology that is simpler, accessible from anywhere and more reliable. That means moving to the cloud,” he says.

Research shows Kiwi businesses got an estimated $1.1 billion boost last year from tools like cloud based documents and point of sale software, with predictions the retail and services sector could see benefits of more than $1 billion per year by 2020 if the trend continues.