What Cervera did to increase collaboration, reduce e-mails and get a more efficient workstream

The retail chain Cervera needed a more efficient, simple and secure way of informing and communicate with and between their 77 stores from Skellefteå in the north of Sweden to Malmø in the south. With their new intranet and digital workplace they now have a common platform for communication that enables them to focus on the right things.

- We used to work in a dated version of Sharepoint, but it acted more like a document repository. There was no searchability so a lot of time was spent on looking for the information needed, this led to unnecessary printing and filing of information, says Karolina Collins, former Head of IT at Cervera.

Not only can we work more efficiently, the amount of emails are also reduced within the organization.

- Now, everyone knows that the information is available online, this way the number of emails are reduced and it's no longer needed to answer the same questions from multiple stores. Now we can work more efficiently and secure, quite simply, says Karolina Collins.

Our own searchable and relevant “Facebook”

Before the new intranet, the most important source of information was a weekly newsletter that was distributed to all employees at a specific time every week. It was time consuming to create and the information came from multiple sources and it created a lot of questions from the organization.

- With the intranet we now have relevant, correct and updated information from the beginning, this has created an increased trust to the intranet as a source for information. When we started using the new intranet we also made sure to place the responsibility for information at an editor in every department, Karolina Collins tells us.

That the intranet is searchable has made work easier and more efficient

- The intranet is built with a focus on functionality that supports the actual needs from the business. You can search for absolutely everything, all the way down to content in specific PDF-documents. The search results can be filtered on the channel type, whether it's a fil, article or wiki, says Karolina Collins.

When the intranet reminds the user of Facebook, the communication becomes a bit more spontaneous and doesn't always need to be as formal.

- Since the intranet is interactive and social, we have an easier, faster and less forced communication. There is not the same need to be articulate and appropriate, and there is a low threshold to share information and ask questions. When everyone can contribute with answering questions, we have saved valuable time and even gotten closer to each other in the organization, says Karolina Collins.

Better communication and increased engagement

Another benefit with the intranet is that the employees feel more involved than before and therefor more engaged.

Thanks to the intranet we no longer have one-way communications, but multiple-ways of communication. And it is so easy, everyone knows how to post on social media, says Karolina Collins.

It's also become easier to communicate and integrate between the stores, which has led to a more open climate.

- Since it is so easy to use the intranet it is now a lot faster to communicate with the other stores. The employees help each other, share tips and tricks and pep each other. In my experience it seems like a lot of people were relieved when the intranet went live, no they can focus on the right things. We have more dialogue and a more open climate, says Karolina Collins to round things up. We use groups as idea boxes for various kinds of improvements or new ideas for products in our stores.

Tips from Cervera to make the intranet fly in the entire organization

- Use time in the beginning to figure out what is important for the recipients

- Time spent on creating a logical and user-friendly structure is won back when the information reaches the intended recipient in the best possible way.

- Maintaining the information. A relevant and updated content from the beginning creates an increased trust in the intranet as a source of information.

- Have clear ownership and maintenance of the tool, and a plan for how to keep information relevant and updated over time.

- Prepare the organization for change and support with implementing the intranet to achieve the desired effect. A new tool requires a new behavior and engagement from all departments.

5 benefits with the intranet according to Cervera

- That it is searchable and thereby easy to find what you're looking for.

- That it is accessible and can be reached from mobile and tablet.

- That you can work with targeting information to the right groups.

- White label solution. I.e. you can brand the intranet with your own identity.

- That it is an “of the shelf” product and thereby you don't have to develop anything yourself.

Spintr has been a supplier or Cerveras digital workplace and intranet since early 2017.