Microsoft SMB Blog

Featuring business and technology insights from Cindy Bates
05/14/12 Posted by Cindy Bates Small Business Spotlight: ‘wichcraft

As National Small Business Week approaches, Microsoft is highlighting small businesses who’ve harnessed the power of technology to drive their businesses forward. If you’ve been hesitant to delve into the world of technology simply because your business isn’t tech related, you’re missing out on what many small businesses have already discovered: implementing the right technology can help you overcome challenges and transform your business – making you more productive and profitable. One technology I cannot say enough about, especially because of its transformative power, is cloud computing. If you’re not sure if cloud is right for your business, or how to get started, take a page out of ‘wichcraft’s book.

Founded in 2003, the unique sandwich shop has grown to 15 locations in three cities. In addition to its dine-in crowd, catering accounts for about 20 percent of ‘wichcraft’s revenue, and it sees anywhere from 40 to 50 catering orders a day. However, the company was facing issues collaborating and communicating effectively and efficiently across all locations, especially when it came to organizing and delivering high-volume or last-minute orders. ‘wichcraft needed to integrate a solution that would allow multiple, remote employees to simultaneously access a centralized database in real time.

The cloud turned out to be ‘wichcraft’s recipe for success. Through an investment in cloud technology with Office 365,‘wichcraft quickly capitalized on speed and quality customer service necessary to thrive in today’s competitive, digital society. To get a glimpse into what companies like ‘wichcraft experience in the early stages of adopting a collaborative, real-time solution like Office 365, I’ve pulled together a few key insights below:

  • Collaboration – with Office 365’s ability to seamlessly integrate email and other communication modes, ‘wichcraft has been able to move all employees to one centralized email system, eliminating redundancy and saving time.
  • Accessibility – previously, the business experienced issues loading and accessing the critical documents it needed to serve customers across its many locations. With Office 365, ‘wichcraft employees can access documents faster, and at the same time as employees in other locations, while maintaining version control and consistency.
  • Analyzing Data – by creating customizable solutions to gather and organize customer data through Microsoft Access, ‘wichcraft is developing a more intuitive catering program that will enhance customer service and provide information on primary purchasers, order history and frequency.

Although ‘wichcraft has just scratched the surface when it comes to the potential of Office 365 and cloud solutions, the business has already seen great results. I encourage you to look into some of the challenges your business is facing to uncover opportunities for technology to help you overcome them and grow your business.

Want to learn more about other small businesses who’ve gotten a taste of success? I recently participated in a luncheon catered by the owners of ‘wichcraft that focused on small business growth. You can read about it here.

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