Furniture Village Brings its Workers Together with Modern Intranet

Written By:
Paula Darch
12 December, 2023
Furniture Village

Family-owned British furniture retailer – Furniture Village – has transformed its internal communications and brought all 1,200 employees together thanks to its ‘Village Life’ intranet from Sorce. Previously reliant on email and a shared drive for sending out communications and storing documents, Furniture Village needed a more efficient and user-friendly way to share news, connect its people and manage its documents. Its intranet, which is now accessible from PCs and mobile devices including company tablets, has created a central hub for everything while helping to bring all its office-based employees, store workers and fulfilment staff together.

Tackling comms issues

Established in 1989, Furniture Village has 1,200 employees who work across its 55 stores, Group offices and 15 warehouses. To keep everyone informed, the company relied on email communications and a shared drive on its server for storing key documents, from policies through to marketing materials. However, this was proving limiting, especially as not all sales staff have individual company email addresses. Plus, finding documents relied on individuals storing them in easy-to-locate areas on the server. And there was always the risk that the documents located weren’t the most up-to-date versions.

“We wanted to streamline communications and ensure everyone had the opportunity to read our latest news and provide feedback, not just employees with individual company email addresses”, says Peter Reynolds, People development, content and media manager from Furniture Village. “We also needed to improve our document management and the obvious solution to our communications challenges was to introduce a modern, agile intranet.”

Furniture Village chose the Engage intranet from Sorce due to its ease of use, going live with the system in March 2018.

Strengthening community

Information and latest news are now instantly available on the intranet, and are accessible by all 1,200 employees on PCs, company tablets and via sales terminals in store. The knock-on effect is that internal email traffic has also been considerably reduced.

Village Life has become the ‘go to’ for everything, with intranet pages for a range of departments and services including HR, IT, customer care and health and safety. The product and multi-channel pages are particularly useful for store staff if they need to check product specifications or which marketing campaigns are currently running. Plus, there are quick links to various useful resources including internal vacancies, store performance reports and marketing bulletins.

Reynolds says, “We now direct staff to the intranet for anything and everything they may need, whether it’s to log a problem with IT equipment, to book a train ticket or to locate the latest policy documents. And regardless of whether our staff are in an office, in store or on the road, there’s always a means for them to stay connected and updated with what’s going on.”

Document management has also considerably improved with all documents easily searchable and accessible from the intranet. And thanks to the strict version control, it’s clear which is the latest document, reducing internal queries and the risk of using out-of-date information.

Importantly, all employees now feel far better connected to one another and closer to the Furniture Village community. New starters are welcomed on the home page of the intranet and employees who have achieved long service awards are recognised and celebrated. Plus, employees are regularly spotlighted to help bring everyone closer together, and staff contributions and feedback are encouraged, including blogs, photos and comments.

“The intranet has successfully brought our people together, from Plymouth and Exeter through to Gateshead. And regardless of whether they are sitting in the office, behind a sales terminal or in a delivery lorry, every employee can contribute and feel a part of the Furniture Village community”, says Reynolds.

Constantly making improvements

Furniture Village doesn’t see its intranet project as ever coming to an end as it’s constantly finding ways to improve internal communications and engagement.

Reynolds adds, “Our intranet has reshaped how we communicate and engage with employees across the company, and we’re excited to see what further improvements we can make. We already have some new content contributors lined-up, and there’s so much more we plan to do to further strengthen our Furniture Village community and culture.”

About the Author

Paula Darch
Paula Darch

Paula manages the marketing here at Sorce. She is an avid blogger and is passionate about intranet engagement.