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Creating connections: Bob Evans Farms leverages Microsoft services to improve employee experience

Keeping employees informed and connected is foundational for any successful business. Discover how Bob Evans Farms used SharePoint Online, Power Automate, and other Microsoft services to connect employees and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs.

Challenge

 

Bob Evans Farms delivers fresh farm-to-table food to grocery stores all over the nation. Their employees work in corporate offices, production plants, and transportation facilities. For things to run efficiently, they need all of their employees to have ready access to relevant and current information. It was important to provide accessible and streamlined communications and a modern, but secure, way for people to stay in touch and collaborate.

Bob Evans Farms was using a “traditional” intranet for internal communications and document storage, but the system was cumbersome, difficult to search, and only corporate and select facility employees had access. They recognized the need for an updated system, with modern capabilities, to achieve their goals. Their leadership asked current users for input and based on that feedback were able to identify and quantify several key areas for improvement.

The most significant pain points included:

  • Most users weren’t using the intranet, and for those that were, it was mostly to access static HR and benefits documents
  • There was no effective search functionality, so employees couldn’t easily find content
  • The content was stale, mostly outdated, and there was no standard process for updating
  • A lack of connectivity between the intranet and other systems resulted in employee confusion about which systems to access and when they should be used

Ready to create a communications platform that was more user-friendly, provided modern content capabilities, and allowed more efficient communication across the entire company, Bob Evans Farms reached out to Fusion.

Fusion Alliance has been an excellent partner in helping us build our new Intranet by leveraging the SharePoint Online platform. From day one, the team worked hand-in-hand with our IT and Business Partners to help us best utilize our O365 applications.

Andy Norman, Director Business Relationship Management & Enterprise Reporting, Bob Evans Farms

Solution

With the primary objective of easily and quickly connecting employees to who and what they need, our first step was to group requirements and pain points into four categories that map to Bob Evans Farms’ pillars:

  • Team engagement
  • Employee resources
  • Company information
  • Community involvement

Additionally, the team established the following guiding principles for the solution:

  • Keep the first iteration simple — It was important to keep the new system simple and intuitive to ensure an easy user experience and make it more likely that employees would use the system.
  • Focus on content, not on features — One big issue users had was a lack of ‘findability’ and search options with content on the site, so we recommended paying significant attention to the content auditing, optimization, and infrastructure.
  • Develop a content governance process — Most departments expressed that they were too busy to regularly review, develop, or update intranet content. While their communications team is there to lead the content process, the departments needed a process in place to notify teams when content needed to be updated. We recommended each department come up with a “content quarterback” to lead this process.
  • Solve the intranet and 3rd party system integration issues — We suggested that they simplify and streamline how their supply chain, sales, and QA/safety teams access documents that are currently housed in different server platforms/environments.

Once the initial assessment was complete, we worked with the Bob Evans Farms team to identify their content goals for the new site. They wanted the site to include four main content themes, including: team engagement, employee resources, company information, and community involvement.

After completing the content inventory and providing our recommendations, we built a proof of concept (POC) SharePoint page to highlight their new themes and the potential that leveraging the Microsoft landscape could bring to their intranet site.

The next step was to focus on the creative development aspect of their intranet site. We completed a UX assessment to understand their current user experience and provide recommendations based on their goals for the new site. We also created three different designs for their homepage to see what best captured their brand and expressed the purpose of the site.

As a non-techie, I appreciated Fusion spelling things out in layman’s terms, and their creation of, and excellent adherence to, schedules. We always knew where we were in the process and when things were due. They made what could have been a long and difficult process easier by continuously providing insight on the upcoming steps.

Geo Money, Director of Communications, Bob Evans Farms

Additionally, we created a roadmap with recommendations on the content and features that needed to be prioritized for the initial intranet launch. This included recommendations for subsequent site updates so they can continue to elevate their site as they move forward.

The technologies implemented included:

  • Office 365 – SharePoint Online
  • Power Automate Flow
  • SharePoint Framework (SPFx) web parts and customizers
  • Modern and reactive user experience
  • Information architecture and governance
  • Modern pages and page templates
  • Page and document approval workflows

The team’s Agile approach through assessment and proof of concept demos while using out-of-the-box tactics and customized components helped us achieve our goal of keeping our employees informed and connected in today’s workplace.

Andy Norman, Director Business Relationship Management & Enterprise Reporting, Bob Evans Farms

Outcomes

The new intranet site is a welcome and attractive addition for Bob Evans Farms. They now have a private and secure vehicle for connecting employees to each other and to the information they need. Instead of only their corporate employees having access to their internal site, more than 1,000 employees across the company do. All employees are set up for better communication and collaboration and have access to the information they need to do their jobs. They can now access this information from anywhere because of the mobile-friendly setup and Bob Evans Farms knows their data and communications are secure by using Okta-enabled sign-on.

Additionally, by choosing SharePoint and the suite of Microsoft services, Bob Evans Farms was able to automate inefficient business processes, which ultimately saved them time and money.

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Nearly 1000% increase in user base
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Improved efficiency through automation
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Improved employee access to updated content tools and information

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