The Snowfox Group rolls-out SharePoint intranet to support growth plans

Written By:
Paula Darch
21 March, 2024
Snowfox Group intranet case study Yo sushi staff new

The Snowfox Group is a leading international, multi-channel Japanese food business comprising ten brands including Yo! and Bento. The Group, which is looking at expansion opportunities, recognised that to fulfil its plans, it needed a better way to communicate, collaborate and share best practice between employees and franchisees. In partnership with intranet specialist, Sorce, The Snowfox Group began rolling-out a SharePoint intranet, which is now used by 3,500 U.K. employees and 100 U.K. franchisees. The plan is to make the intranet accessible to all 7,000 global employees and 2,500 franchisees by the end of 2024, helping to support the Group’s growth ambitions.

Communications challenges

The Snowfox Group had become reliant on email for sending communications and updates to all its employees and franchisees. The problem was that this came with its challenges, and employees were struggling to locate up-to-date information and documents.

“We’d been communicating news and updates via email which was creating issues. Email inboxes were quickly getting full and bounce backs were common. Plus, employees at our retail sites were struggling to store and locate key documents via their company tablets. We realised that we needed a better way to communicate and interact with our people while supporting collaboration between teams.”

Dan Grantham,
Group Engagement and Communications Manager

Rolling-out SharePoint

The Snowfox Group decided to invest in a SharePoint intranet and so went out to tender, approaching a number of intranet providers, before choosing to partner with Sorce. As well as being a specialist in SharePoint intranets, Sorce had come recommended to The Snowfox Group and had experience of implementing similar projects.

“We liked the fact Sorce would act as an extension of our team and was familiar with our industry”, says Dan.

The teams worked together to provide a ‘soft launch’ of the platform in early 2023, making it live to all U.K. employees and franchisees in Summer 2023.

To engage employees with the new platform, SharePoint was rolled out region-by-region and Grantham set-up a working group of intranet users who were encouraged to feedback their ideas on what should be included on the new platform. Employees were also given intranet onboarding sessions over Zoom followed by one-hour training sessions. Checking in on the employees following the training allowed the intranet team to answer any outstanding queries and review intranet adoption rates.

Communication, collaboration and innovation

All U.K. teams now see the intranet as soon as they log into their company devices, and receive news and updates instantly via SharePoint. Everyone can quickly see what’s happening across the Group, and access the latest documents and information, from policies and health and safety guidance through to sustainability advice, menus and training videos. It’s also proving an invaluable platform for sharing knowledge, best practice and innovations. In fact, intranet log-ins for the past 30 days has already hit 24,000.

“All U.K employees with a company or site ID can now access the intranet via laptops, in-store tablets and mobile phones. Everything they need is easily available and we’re confident that all key information is now getting through to our kiosk workers rather than getting lost in email inboxes. This has taken a load off our regional operations managers.”

Dan Grantham,
Group Engagement and Communications Manager

Collaboration and sharing best practice through the intranet is now commonplace, for instance the factory teams regularly share their ways of working, details of new equipment and innovations.

“It’s great to see how willing our teams are to share their learnings with others”, says Dan. “This could be an intranet post about an innovative salmon cutting machine or a blast chiller that chills faster than other models.”

A number of shared services and Group functions also have their own intranet pages, from marketing and finance through to the group sustainability team; charity team; and diversity, equality and inclusion committee. This allows employees to gain a better understanding of the Group’s purpose, values and operations while strengthening organisational culture.

Plus, U.K. franchisees are very active on the intranet, with The Snowfox Group providing them with a tailored, ring-fenced area where they can access daily reports, and share ideas and ways of working.

“Our franchisees are really keen to share best practice and revenue-generating ideas and are enthusiastically using the intranet to do this.”

Dan Grantham,
Group Engagement and Communications Manager

The foundation for expansion

The next stage of the intranet project will see SharePoint gradually rolled-out to all 7,000 employees and 2,500 franchisees worldwide, with all the brands and Group functions having a presence on the platform by the end of 2024.

The SnowFruit brand has recently been added to the intranet, and the Bento hub will soon be accessible from the site. Snowfox and Taiko are the next brands to be added.

“The new intranet is bringing all our brands and people together while supporting our growth ambitions. We are looking to franchise more and more sites across the U.K, take The Snowfox Group to Australia and open-up new pop-up factories in America. Our intranet provides a crucial communications and collaboration platform that will help us to achieve all these goals, and so much more!”

Dan Grantham,
Group Engagement and Communications Manager

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.