Travis Perkins plc is the UK’s leading supplier of materials and equipment to the building, construction and home improvement markets, and operates market leading businesses, including Travis Perkins Builders’ Merchants, Toolstation and a number of specialists in the civils, heating and insulation markets, such as Keyline, BSS and CCF.
With annual revenues of £5bn, the Group employs 20,000 colleagues across the UK, but also in France and Benelux through Toolstation. The company has a proud heritage that spans over 200 years.
Travis Perkins plc has recently been pursuing a strategy to simplify the Group and focus on trade customers by strengthening the core of its business.
According to Gemma Mcclure, Google Adoption Lead at Travis Perkins, different skill levels and understanding of technology was a challenge that is now being addressed, “some colleagues were using Google Workspace day in/day out, others were merely dipping in for admin functions.”
Travis Perkins plc embarked on a two-year partnership with CTS, focusing on their Managed Service offerings. This included a thorough onboarding, entire domain health check, 108-point security and governance review, training services, AppSheet & AppScript development, as well as business transformation and license optimisation workshops.
Listening to the people
Ash Smith, Customer Success Lead at CTS explains the approach CTS took to implement the right solution for Travis Perkins. “We undertook a survey after some initial training sessions that went ahead remotely for new starters. These training sessions were implemented to assist Travis Perkins with new starter onboarding processes. ”
“There are great opportunities to change and improve the way we work if we have the right mindset and are willing to think differently, so we’ve been working on challenging some of those perceptions around ‘it’s always been done like that, so why change?’ By working with our colleagues to address this, and explaining the benefits and opportunities available to us, we can get the information we need, which is why we decided to do this survey,” adds Gemma.
Travis Perkins worked with CTS to build a package that enabled them to accelerate the Google culture.
“The onboarding that CTS provided was second to none. We felt CTS really understood what we needed from a managed service partner, incorporating our current ways of working and where we needed to take the business moving forward,” says Brett Jackson, Head of Client Services at Travis Perkins.
Training for all
After evaluating the data found in the feedback, it was discovered that there was a real appetite for training on Google Workspace. Internal training within Travis Perkins is now booked up for the next eight months, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re just beginning your career or have been with the business for years – it’s open to all.
Gemma explains the objectives of the training scheme, “It’s a full day of training, covering everything on Google Workspace, but at a very top level. There is some confusion surrounding Shared Drives, so this gives everyone a view of exactly how they should be using Google Workspace on a day to day basis.”
“Google is constantly evolving its products, so we have these rollouts regularly, to update people on these new features, ensuring they continue to get the best return on their investment. We now have several days a month dedicated to new starter training, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Sites training sessions to empower users with the latest tips and tricks on how to use Workspace to its full potential. We also have plans to launch an overall Google Satisfaction survey in the coming weeks, so we continue to build a holistic view of our users and their requirements, and use that data to build a bespoke training package to suit the needs of the different users within the Travis Perkins Group” Ash further develops.
What’s in a security governance review?
A security and governance review is built by CTS. This scopes out 5 key areas including; System access and authentication, Service Settings, Mobile Device Management, Response and Prepare & Monitor.
Those who are trained, can also rest assured that the platform is safe. A CTS Customer Success Manager (CSM) will complete the review, which sees CTS and Google recommend security settings on the Workspace admin console. The CSM will then look at the management of system access, service-specific settings, and management of devices. Based on the findings, an action plan is created to help achieve security success.
One of the key actions was identifying areas of technical debt such as Mail Security Gateway. Google’s world-leading SPAM Phishing Machine Learning can easily handle mail security gateway protocols and reduces the need for 3rd party tools. CTS are able to assist by reviewing the Mail Security policies and migrating blacklists into Google. This project is already well underway, helping Travis Perkins save costs and improve email security; all while using Google’s existing features.
Leaving an old legacy behind, and looking to the future
It’s true that many people begin their careers using Microsoft. Gemma highlights that for organisations, “when they come to Google, it takes time to understand how it works. Microsoft can do the same thing in five different ways, whereas with Google, you’ve got everything in one place.”
When considering future endeavors, Brett summarises that he’s “looking forward to the next few years, working with CTS to improve on our Google capabilities and to use more Google technology stack and less third-party tooling.”