Stark

Stark and Wizdom customer case feature image

Toolbox for the entire STARK workforce

Connecting employees

RETAIL SOLUTION FOR INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

As the largest player in the market, you need to act with responsibility. This is something STARK GROUP has taken very much to heart. And it mirrors in all areas of their business. From the business values of STARK GROUP emphasizing care for people, over their sustainability framework, and to STARK Fonden that donates money to charity projects.

Stark and Wizdom customer case feature image

 

On our former intranet, we could push out information to the stores, but the communication went one-way, from headquarter to stores and not the other way around. With our current Wizdom intranet, we have been able to open for dialogue.

Tonya Bille Nielsen, Communications Consultant in STARK Denmark at Stark

 

Before only employees in the headquarter with editor rights could publish news and content, now we can enable everyone to contribute using the Noticeboard module. We’ve also created fora where people can join discussions, ask, questions, and help each other across STARK Denmark.

Certainly, responsibility and professionalism shine through in the digital workplace of STARK GROUP creatively named Toolbox.

Originally a local company founded in the Danish city, Aarhus, in 1896, STARK GROUP has grown over the years to become the leading retailer and distributor of building materials in the Nordic region. Today, STARK GROUP has a strong presence with more than 400 stores in six European countries.

STARK GROUP’s builders’ merchants stores are organized in four units. STARK in Denmark and Greenland, STARK in Finland, Beijer Byggmaterial in Sweden, and Neumann Bygg in Norway. For STARK GROUPS new digital workplace, STARK GROUP and all four business units each have their own separate solution. All five digital workplaces, however, offer the same framework. From this framework, each business unit has the freedom to create unique content and functionality.

We’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Communications Consultant in STARK Denmark, Tonya Bille Nielsen, who’ve introduced us to the digital workplace of STARK Denmark and how it has been designed for optimal information clarity, communication, and knowledge sharing in the unit.

Stark aand Wizdom intranet example

Designing a digital workplace for the organization as a whole

Working from the headquarter, Tonya Bille Nielsen sees the stores in STARK Denmark as her customers. Therefore, it was prioritized to fully understand how a digital workplace could provide value to employees having their workday in stores.

To understand the needs of STARK Denmark as a whole, Tonya Bille Nielsen, therefore, held workshops with key

persons from different areas of the business. On these workshops, a wish for information clarity around campaigns and the many products in STARK was uttered. Also, a need for bringing all employees in STARK Denmark closer together was recognized.

The result is a digital workplace designed to bring information and knowledge sharing out to every corner of the STARK Denmark organization.

Stark and Wizdom intranet page in a laptop

 

We are around 200 people working from the headquarter in STARK Denmark, the rest of us are working in the field – in branches, as drivers, in warehouses. If we sit in the headquarter and get a lot of ideas and thoughts without involving the rest of the staff in the decision, it simply doesn’t work.

Tonya Bille Nielsen, Communications Consultant in STARK Denmark at Stark

Sparring and knowledge sharing across stores

In an organization as STARK Denmark, the employee group is not only composed of people with diverse professional profiles. Working from, respectively, different branches and the headquarter of STARK GROUP, the staff is also spread in various locations. For STARK Denmark it is, therefore, important that the intranet can help create a connection between employees across stores and the headquarter.

Tonya explains that this communication might took place between individual employees before, but that it wasn’t available for everyone, for example because it happened in Outlook: “Now it’s out where everyone can see it, contribute to it, and learn from it, because everyone can see what is going on in Toolbox.”

“Also, it’s simpler for employees to write a news in Noticeboard than to reach out through email”, Tonya Bille Nielsen adds. “I have observed that people have used the intranet to communicate questions to products, suppliers etc. and that they are getting responses from colleagues. This means, people are starting to share knowledge with each other on the intranet, across stores, removing barriers and shortening the distance between stores in the region.”

In the headquarter they can follow the intranet dialogue. If a dialogue concerns a question that needs special attention or includes knowledge that could profitably be spread out to the whole organization, the headquarter can act on this. ”I think this creates a lot of value for the business”, Tonya Bille Nielsen says.

Stark and Wizdom intranet example

The feeling of being part of something greater

For STARK Denmark it has been important to reach all employees with communication through the intranet, also drivers and warehouse operatives, that are typically in constant movement during a workday. Therefore, it’s decisive that the intranet can be accessed from employees’ private smart phones permitting field staff to access the intranet on the go, or from home.

This enables STARK Denmark to communicate to all groups of employees. Informing of STARK’s strategy throughout all corners of the organization and making all staff members feel they are a part of something greater, a part of a market leading business. “In this way, the intranet is a tool to spread culture and pride of being part of STARK”, Tonya Bille Nielsen tells.

Stark and Wizdom intranet page example

Delivering streamlined expert knowledge through the product portal 

With a primary target market of professional and DIY builders, STARK employees are not only experts within their field, they are also on top of the latest knowledge. Offering thousands of articles of building materials within 25 different product categories, like doors - windows, gas concrete - plaster, and paint, this demands an extensive knowledge base in STARK.

Every STARK store has employees that are responsible for each product category. This ensures expert knowledge within all categories is represented in all stores.

To get a clear overview of all product categories and streamline the knowledge between product category responsibles in STARK Denmark, STARK has brilliantly designed a product portal on Wizdom’s Workspaces module. The portal offers a space of its own for each product category where STARK employees can inform themselves on all they need to know about the category in question.

On top of each space, the category and purchasing responsible from the headquarter is listed with contact information. “This enables employees to quickly see who to get in touch with in case of questions. Before, this could be difficult to figure out when you were working from a store”, Tonya Bille Nielsen tells.

FAQs provides self-help by answering common questions. “Before you pick up the phone, you can check to see if somebody else has already asked the question”, Tonya Bille Nielsen points out.

News related to the category are featured. The news are written from the headquarter, but from stores, employees can comment and react to the news. In the forum, employees can discuss questions and share knowledge with each other. Relevant documents are clearly listed.

In this way, all relevant information around a category is collected in a very manageable way.

Tonya Bille Nielsen explains how category responsibles in stores used to receive this information per email. “Instead of letting this important information land in a full inbox, today, employees can go collect the information they need when they need it”, Tonya Bille Nielsen says.

This makes it easy to understand exactly what STARK delivers within the different categories and creates a streamlined service to STARK customers that will always be services by employees carrying the newest knowledge within their field.

Stark and Wizdom intranet Product category space examples
Stark and Wizdom intranet Product space for category example

Always at the forefront of campaigns

Throughout the year, STARK runs several nationwide campaigns. These campaigns are generated in the marketing department, but very much affect the workday of the stores where employees face the sale the campaigns generate.

“When will stores need all hands on deck to meet demands generated by a campaign? When will professional staff within a certain area need to be present in stores? When will stores receive new products related to a campaign? Stores need to be prepared for campaigns in apt time”, Tonya Bille Nielsen explains.

To permit stores an overview of campaigns that allows them to plan properly, the campaign site was created. From the campaign site, stores can keep themselves completely oriented on future, present, and past campaigns.

On the landing page, current campaigns are highlighted. Future campaigns will be rolled up three weeks in advance of the campaign. The Campaign page also includes a forum where people can share advice and ask for inspiration regarding campaigns.

 

Stark and Wizdom landing page of the campaign site

 

All campaigns are listed in a campaign calendar with a color code that categorizes the campaign as for example online, exhibition, targeted at the private consumer market, at the professional builders’ market etc.

The calendar is always updated for the coming 6 months. Personnel responsible for campaigns can synchronize the campaign calendar enabling them to retrieve the full overview from their own calendars.

 

 

If the campaign includes a newspaper ad, the newspaper can be viewed from the page, if certain products are marketed in the campaign, the product list will be available from the page enabling the store to see which products they can expect to have delivered.

Tonya Bille Nielsen, Communications Consultant in STARK Denmark at Stark

 

 

Before, this information was shared with thousands of emails, allowing no proper overview, now, all the knowledge that is important to the stores regarding the campaign in question, will be available from the campaign page three weeks before the campaign goes live.

Stark and Wizdom campaign calendar

 

Each campaign has its own page where all information regarding the campaign is collected.

 

Stark and Wizdom example of an intranet campaign page

Example of a campaign page.

Keeping up high standards with Handbooks

The handbook section is a story of it own. Covering subjects like work environment, safety, value chain and daily tasks, this is a solution rolled out in all STARK units and streamlined throughout the whole organization of STARK GROUP.

All handbook pages are carefully tagged to categorize content and improve findability. Tagging enables users to find content using search filters.

Stark and Wizdom intranet example -Tagging enables users to find content using search filters

Handbook pages are tagged with a unique ID depending on subject. This enables handbook pages on the same subject, but in different languages, to be recognized across the different STARK units and supports the audit processes in STARK.

In combination with a reporting system that allows responsibles to be alarmed in case not all employees have read important handbook pages, this helps STARK keep up the high standards within work environment, safety, IT security etc. across the whole STARK GROUP.

A custom fields for page ID tagging permits STARK to keep track of handbook pages across the whole organization.

Stark and Wizdom - A custom fields for page ID tagging permits STARK to keep track of handbook pages across the whole organization
Stark and Wizdom intranet - A custom fields for page ID tagging permits STARK to keep track of handbook pages across the whole organization

STARK already has concrete plans for developing the platform further

Next step in the 2.0 version is to offer local intranet sites for stores, Tonya Bille Nielsen tells. On these sites, the stores will be able to access local content like the on-duty schedule, the store’s annual cycle of work, local news etc. A plan that further supports STARK’s digital workplace in uniting STARK employees into a space where everyone is welcomed.

Stark logo

About Stark

In 2004, it was decided that the local wood carvings in the community DDT Detail should be stronger together and have a clearer profile under the company STARK Group. The name STARK was chosen as the new total brand name for the chain. STARK has more than 2,700 employees and STARK currently has 72 businesses in Denmark and Greenland. STARK caters to professional customers in the construction industry and has a special focus on small and medium-sized craft companies. However, the customer portfolio includes everything from sole proprietorships to large contractors, while private customers are also welcome in STARK's business.