How Whites Foodliner used OurPeople for communication and building team rapport.
White’s operates in central and western Kansas with seven full-service grocery stores. Each store is approximately 20,000 to 25,000 sq ft and they have around 250 employees. Their stores are well-established in their communities and generate between $ 4 million and $ 9 million in retail sales annually. Having been in business since 1953, they pride themselves on staying up-to-date and on the cutting edge of retail while maintaining a customer-focused approach.
Phillipsburg, Kansas, USA
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Adopting a communications platform for the family business wasn’t something that Jordan White, a third-generation grocer, had ever considered. However, whilst attending a business networking group about two years ago, communication tools came up for discussion. White was intrigued, Googled communication platforms and found OurPeople. Since then, his company hasn’t looked back. His employees are a disparate group, spread across seven locations often geographically hours apart from each other. Many of them have never met face to face but, by adopting OurPeople into the fabric of their company communications, they are now closer than he could ever imagine.
No Need for Email
White’s as a company does not rely on email anymore. OurPeople is now their chosen method of communication. Previously it has always been a challenge to take vital staff members off the store floor to access a back office to read emails. Nowadays, all staff can communicate in real-time on the app from their phones, sending relevant information to everyone who needs it. They can ping a message using the OurPeople app there and then and no time is wasted. As White describes, expecting a ‘meat man’, who has been running the meat section for 20 years to check email in an office is almost impossible. Instead, he wants his staff on the sales floor, doing what they do best and dealing with customers.
Staff members, particularly supervisors and managers are using OurPeople multiple times a day. They have utilised the Chat function and created different manager groups for each section of the store – such as produce, medicine lodge, point of sale, deli bakery - so section specific managers can communicate with each other across stores. Again, relationships have been developed through this function, regardless of distance and it has encouraged friendly competition between stores as they share results. Sales results can be easily communicated between the leadership group keeping everyone up to date on performance and growth. Broadcasts are a feature they use monthly communicating in-store events, letting employees know about updates on the website and even ensuring every staff member was aware of the seasonal time change so everyone showed up for work on time. At OurPeople we listen to our clients and regularly take on feedback. This was the case with the feedback we received from some of the team at White’s. They wanted to be able to add multiple images to the Chat function. Having taken this feedback on board we will be rolling out this upgraded function in the next week.
Quick and Efficient Communication:
What is apparent with the employee structure of White’s is that it doesn’t have universal adoption across all staff. Part-time checkers and shelf stockers are not utilising the app but this doesn’t concern White. He is more than impressed that the app has enabled quick communication between all people who work in the corporate team, core leadership, or supervisory roles. He needs his store managers and corporate heads to be communicating and that’s what OurPeople facilitates. Another great resource built into the functionality of the app allows for previous information to be stored for future reference. At White’s, they’ve found it particularly useful to go back to recall a certain piece of information such as a recipe that has been shared previously. This repurposing of information saves them time and money.
Enabling Team Rapport and Camaraderie:
The constant communication and sharing of ideas have built a rapport between stores that wasn’t there before. The camaraderie that has developed has only benefitted the company, bringing it closer together and more efficiently. For example, a frozen food section manager can take a picture of the frozen food section in their store and share it with all the other frozen food managers in the different stores using their group Chat function. Each manager can then give valuable feedback, whilst also replicating ideas in their store. The simplicity of the app is what adds to this success.
Average Content Engagement
Chat Topic Groups
"The OurPeople app is a great tool if you use it correctly. It is the most effective way to communicate with everyone in your organization with quick concise messages. As a company you need to be all in and get adoption companywide especially with the leadership team and managers. It creates a sense of competition amongst teams that encourages them to get better and it has made our company a tighter knit group.”