To develop a user friendly, modern, fresh and scalable intranet for internal employees to use as a central communications hub and an extranet, designed specifically for their self-employed remote sales force. The extranet would replace an old, out of date portal that is cumbersome to use and difficult to maintain. Anglian were unable to carry out development work in house, so costs were therefore very high. There was a clear requirement to improve efficiency and employee engagement across the organisation.
Engage is powering a fully integrated solution that is successfully meeting two different requirements for two very different areas of the business. Both the new Engage intranet for internal employees (called The Hive) and the new Engage extranet for the remote sales force (called ASTAR) have immediately improved efficiency, business processes and engagement. The decision to brand the two sites differently and not to restrict the design around use of corporate branding has really helped with creating individual identities for the sites.
“We like customisation. Sorce offered flexibility and willingness to work on bespoke solutions to best suit our business and it has been a positive experience each time we work with them.”
Hannah Abbas Ghazvinie Intranet and Internal Communications Coordinator.
The greatest improvements in communication, engagement and efficiency have been seen at head office, following the launch of The Hive, where the whole organisation has embraced the new intranet. The communications team have managed the introduction of The Hive as a new tool for communication brilliantly. They have ensured that everyone has been involved in giving feedback and any changes have been made quickly.
The Hive has brought together in one central location, an organisation where employees previously worked quite independently. Everyone now feels part of the wider business which is great for morale and engagement. Simple introductions such as employee profile pages featuring a photograph, a short bio, knowledge tags for skills and roles, clear visibility of team members, line managers and organisational charts are all playing a part in bringing everyone together.
A microblog on the home page of The Hive really is a hive of activity. Employees are now sharing news, updates, interesting facts, photos, social information, raising awareness of charity events and sponsorship plus lots more. Awareness of the microblog is continuing to grow as more and more people are getting involved.
Not a day goes by without new content being added to the site. This is fantastic for everyone and is great for engagement. Anglian Building Products is a part of Anglian Group that was historically quite separate from the rest of the group. They now have their own page on The Hive that is working brilliantly for them. They can now share information and knowledge not just internally but with the rest of the group and now feel part of the wider organisation. Employees that previously were unaware of activities within Anglian Building Products now have an improved understanding of the business.
“The microblog is great for quickly surfacing issues and highlighting problems. If several people are asking similar questions, knowledge gaps can be dealt with and technical issues can be quickly resolved.”
Peter Mathieson IT Development Manager
The Hive has digitally transformed the way everyone within the whole organisation works. The Hive is more than an intranet for news, documents and sharing information, it is a business-critical central hub at the heart of the organisation. It is an attractive, dynamic site that will continue to evolve over time as the business grows.
ASTAR has been specifically designed for a large remote, self-employed sales force and select employees at Anglian Home Improvements. It contains sensitive information that is not available to the wider organisation. Remote access is essential as the whole team access ASTAR from tablets/mobile devices.
ASTAR has replaced a glossy magazine that was designed and printed by an external agency. It was posted to 600 members of the sales team every month. The same information and news articles are now published on ASTAR. Huge amounts of time and money is now being saved every month. It was previously very difficult to understand the readership of the magazine. Now engagement is clear as it can be seen on ASTAR through likes and comments and the communications team can analyse traffic through site statistics. Managing the digital transformation was challenging due to varying levels of IT ability however the whole sales team embraced the change and have found the transition simple and straight forward.
Leaderboards provide crucial information such as individual sales figures and table ranking positions for the sales team members. They were previously updated manually, using html code. They are now kept up to date automatically resulting in the most current information being available 24/7. It is estimated that half a day a week in administration time has been saved now that the manual process of updating information has been eliminated. The sales team are far more engaged and now have confidence that the information they are viewing is up to date.
“Engage has transformed the way we work. It has opened up all kinds of channels for us that we didn’t realise were possible. It is so easy to use; it has completely changed my role here as Internal Communications Manager.”
Abi Rosen Internal Communications Manager
Weekly updates to critical information such as pricing can now be scheduled to go-live on ASTAR at any chosen specific time of day. This was previously a manual task that meant that a member of the communications team had to be available at the chosen date and time to send out the information. This flexibility in information publishing is invaluable, time constrains have been lifted but the sales team still receive the information they need at the correct time.
The microblog is saving lots of time for the helpdesk. Calls to the IT helpdesk have been reduced by 90% now that questions can be asked and answered on the microblog for the whole team to see. General questions are also asked on the microblog, employees at head office can answer quickly or refer to those who can help to provide the information needed.
A photo gallery is available on ASTAR for the sales team to use when they need to show products that have been installed in real life situations. This is far better than a static sales product brochure as images of new projects that showcase certain products can be uploaded and used at any time. This ensures that the sales team always have access to the latest images available.
“Engage has given us the opportunity to transform the whole organisation. It has touched everyone and every part of the business in some way. We feel that we are very much at the beginning of the journey with Engage and are very excited about the future. Driving more traffic to both The Hive and ASTAR will only enhance things going forwards.””
Lisa Walsh Group HR Director
Discount vouchers that are available for the sales team to use are all stored on ASTAR. They are presented as a thumbnail image that is both engaging and informative. At a glance they can see an overview of the voucher before deciding whether or not to download.
For the first time, other departments within the organisation have direct access to the remote sales force. For example, Marketing have been able to provide the team with a whole ‘social media sales tool kit’, with examples of copy and images that can be used. This information is now readily available for anyone that wants to use it to increase sales leads. The sales teams are also accessing business critical sales information such as incentives, software updates and ‘how to’ videos on how to manage their own IT.
ASTAR is a business-critical solution; essential, accurate and current information is now available at the same time, to the whole remote sales force. Huge time and cost savings have been made; engagement has improved, and efficiency increased.
Anglian have achieved outstanding return on investment and tangible improvements in a very short time period. They have successfully embedded Engage seamlessly into the group, delivering two solutions to two very different audiences with different requirements.