Social Business

A&W Canada moves to online collaboration, restores weekends

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Innovating on the run

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is the second largest hamburger restaurant company in Canada, with mobile teams across the country. Like all competitive companies, we are driven by innovation. But we need to innovate on the run, evolving our tools and processes while still meeting daily commitments.

We’re starting to get a little theme running throughout the organization, which is, “How can we use technology to allow people to actually have their weekends off?

Collaborating everywhere

Mobile is really important to our work force. Our people are traveling a lot. And we have always wanted to provide them access to their collaboration tools right on their mobile devices. We want to give people an opportunity to bring their work into more community-oriented, and more social, workplaces—virtual places. And we’ve seen that happening with IBM Connections.

Our business managers are out in the restaurants every day and it’s a real timesaver to be able to take a picture on their phone and upload it into a Connections Community with very simple steps. This ability connects them instantly with the team back in the office who are able to use those images to complete their work without delay. We’re seeing that Connections really helps manage projects more efficiently. And, we’ve also implemented IBM Connections Docs, which has been a game-changer for our people who need to do collaborative editing.

Creating online collaboration activities streamlines work

Our marketing and purchasing teams transformed the process of producing and distributing coupons and promotional materials for our restaurants. Shortly after implementing IBM Connections, a member of the marketing team started exploring how her team might use a Connections Activity to replace the spreadsheet that was historically passed back and forth between the two teams to relay coupon and promotion production and distribution status.

Moving to a shared Activity reduced email traffic and brought some added discipline and visibility to the process, as well as a current, centralized source of information that everyone could count on. People now know when they are expected to have tasks done, and where their work fits in the process. Furthermore activity owners get immediate alerts that a to-do item is complete. In addition, when the two teams invited our design agency partners to also use the collaboration tools, the value of the new process multiplied.

Moving toward work-free weekends

As a result of moving to Connections and Docs as our online collaboration tools, and enabling use on mobile devices, our teams can save time. They can do more while out at our restaurants and they spend less time following up with each other about the status of projects. They can easily share and see the information they need online. So, I think the entire team would see the improvements as a big plus. Working efficiently makes everyone happy. And who doesn’t like work-free weekends?

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A&W Canada collaboration tools

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Manager, Business Systems & Solutions - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

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