Marks & Spencer (M&S) is a major British retailer with almost 1,000 stores in the UK, and more internationally.
As part of its international operations, local marketing managers were reliant on using spreadsheets to create and share their plans with Head Office. Unfortunately, this way of working meant plans needed to be collated centrally, and were often out-of-date.
It not only caused delays, but meant that key strategic decisions often had to be made based on incomplete information.
The M&S team therefore began looking for ways to improve visibility across its stores, and cut down on the delays in communication that were costing them time and money.
The team selected Concrete to create a centralized account of current, planned and historical activity across all business areas, and give managers at Head Office greater visibility into activities being implemented across international stores. This ensured comparisons could be made easily, risks and opportunities identified quickly, and key business indicators tracked.
Concrete has since reduced the amount of time and resource spent collating information and helps to avoid the pitfalls of planning off-line, such as duplicated effort and out-of-date information. By connecting the international and domestic teams, activity can now be planned in synergy rather than isolation, leading to improved efficiency.
Today, the use of Concrete has grown across M&S. Not only does it act as a hub to connect all teams and employees online, but social planning lets the brand plan and manage activities across departments. Tasks are also being used through Concrete to gather staff feedback and compliance on important initiatives, and an engagement hub gives Retail and HR teams a central place to share key operational and training materials with store managers.