Learn about the challenges that Super Bock, one of Portugal's most iconic brewing companies, faced with their intranet and how they created a unified, employee-centric digital workplace experience that truly reflects their unique and exciting brand.
Super Bock is featured in the Summer 2019 edition of The Record.
The Super Bock Group is a brewing company headquartered in Leça do Balio, Portugal. It is the largest beverage company and beer brewer in Portugal, exporting to more than 50 countries. In addition to selling the best-selling Portuguese beer in the world, Super Bock also produces bottled water, soft drinks, cider and wine. Super Bock also owns two high-end tourist properties: the Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park, a 4-star eco-resort located in the northern interior of Portugal, and the Vidago Palace Hotel, widely viewed as one of the most famous and historic luxury hotels in Portugal.
A frustrating search for content
Super Bock’s communications team employs a variety of tactics and communications vehicles to connect and engage with a workforce that has grown to number over 1,300 employees. They maintain several social media sites, an internal magazine, a newsletter, and a corporate TV channel. They also have a SharePoint on-premises intranet that should have served as a central hub of their communications strategy. Unfortunately, it had an outdated layout that was frustrating to use and did not match their corporate branding or visual aesthetic. “Updating the intranet had become a top priority for us. This is the default page in everyone's browsers,” Patrícia Crispim, IT Architect for Super Bock explained. “It's the first thing they see.”
Since their intranet had been designed several years earlier, it was not mobile-ready. Super Bock wanted to introduce new functionalities that would make it easier for employees to find the tools and assets they needed whether they were in the office or on the road. For example, the new site would make it possible for employees to quickly find everything from the Super Bock logo, to design assets and recent presentations as well as the addresses for Super Bock’s various facilities, offices and manufacturing plants.
When Super Bock decided that the time had come to update the intranet, the IT department along with the communications team agreed that, although they wanted (and needed) a site that could accommodate certain custom functionalities, they did not want to hire a developer to custom code a new site. Their previous experience with custom development had left them wary of taking that route again. Instead, they focused on identifying a solution that would offer more flexibility and control. Specifically, they wanted to be able to make changes to the site on their own whenever they wanted.
“We were not happy with the development process of our previous site. It took far too much time to develop, had too many bugs and was not easy to configure afterward on our own. When we learned about BindTuning’s pre-built web parts, we felt that we had finally found a solution that would meet our needs.”
Super Bock wanted to create a visually engaging, mobile-friendly intranet that could achieve the following outcomes:
- Improve employee productivity.
- Increase awareness of Super Bock corporate initiatives and sponsored events.
- Create new avenues to increase employee engagement.
- Create cost savings opportunities.
A plethora of great ideas
Over the next four months, BindTuning worked closely with Super Bock’s IT and Communication teams to identify their top priorities and business needs. The new intranet needed to be easy to use and navigate when accessed on mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones.
Like many large beverage companies, Super Bock sponsors a number of public events, including expos and music festivals, throughout the year. Since the communications team maintains a highly active social media presence, they were also looking for the ability to display recent videos, posts and photos from their various social media feeds.
Since everyone in the organization would be using the new intranet, Super Bock held a contest to encourage their employees to submit suggestions for how to improve the usefulness of the site. Suggestions poured in from every corner of the company, in both informal settings as well as via a dedicated focus group that formally reviewed employee feedback. Several employees requested one popular suggestion that was added to the new intranet. The new car-sharing feature enables employees to discover who else in their location is planning on traveling to Lisbon. This way, employees who work in the same building but in different departments can travel together, thereby reducing the expense of renting multiple cars.
“We wanted to create an intranet that would be more relevant to our employees, one that could spark a two-way conversation. We didn’t want to just push out information. We wanted our people to interact with us as well as each other.”
A flexible solution that allows for easy customization
Super Bock utilized several customized applications that they wanted to have recreated for the new intranet. BindTuning brought in DevScope, an experienced BindTuning development partner, to recreate these apps so they would seamlessly match the new layout and design of the site.
The custom web parts developed by DevScope for Super Bock included a number of functionalities that improved employee productivity and provided easy access to frequently requested information. These new web parts included a custom image gallery, a specialized employee directory, and a display of the daily menus being served at all the Super Bock canteens throughout Portugal.
A great design elevates the impact of corporate messaging
Once the redesign was underway, the Super Bock communications team realized that one of the core sections of the intranet—containing their corporate values, mission statement and vision—also needed to be updated to match the new design and layout created by BindTuning. Embedding these new areas into their intranet provided Super Bock with an invaluable opportunity to emphasize their importance. “We want people to feel our values and try to put them in practice,” said Patrícia Crispim. “Innovation and sustainability in particular are two subject areas which represent an integral part of our group, of our world.”
The newly updated corporate pages now have a similar look and feel to the rest of new intranet. BindTuning also designed separate submenus for each of those new sections and added several areas throughout the site where employees can offer suggestions.
The new intranet has already begun to offer tangible benefits. Employees no longer need to ask the Communications or IT teams where they can find key information on the intranet. The Communications team has added a new blog where they share current news. Employees can like or dislike the posts, make suggestions about the content they’d like to see, and send texts for future posts.
“We had not intended to update all the areas of our intranet. That was not part of the original scope. But once we saw how BindTuning had created these beautiful pages for us, the comparison between the old content and the new was too great. It was important for us to draw attention to our corporate values, like sustainability and innovation, and have it look attractive so our employees would want to engage with our content.”
Super Bock - Looking towards the future
Super Bock anticipates that their intranet will eventually provide the basis for increasing productivity across the organization. While they’ve already added links to several applications that employees frequently use, they are looking forward to making the intranet a centralized hub, one that serves to not only promote greater employee engagement but streamlines critical workflows.
“We’d like this to be a hub for our other applications, the starting point for everything else in our daily jobs, so that when someone has to do something in one of our applications, they come to the intranet to start there. We’ve already taken a small step in this direction, creating a page with links to several applications. But we would like to make the intranet even better, even more tightly integrated.”
Although their intranet continues to reside on SharePoint On-Premises, Crispim hopes to migrate to SharePoint Online at some point in the future. To this end, she is pleased that their investment with BindTuning will continue to pay off.
“This is another advantage of using BindTuning. When we decide to jump to SharePoint Online—because we will, it's just a matter of time—we will already have the SharePoint online web parts from BindTuning. This has been a good investment and one that we’re very pleased with.”
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