Music Retail Holding, the largest wholesaler of music-oriented devices in the Nordics, chose Happeo to improve the information flow between the headquarters and its geographically spread store network.
Music Retail is Scandinavia’s leading music appliances chain with 34 stores and around 400 employees spread across Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The group has two sales branches, 4Sound Retail & Luthman Scandinavia.
Music Retail estimates its internal communications to be four times more effective now than it was before Happeo.
As anyone that has worked in the retail industry will know, the head office has different working hours than the brick and mortar stores. The difference in working hours is one of the things that makes real time communication between the headquarters and various stores difficult. Previously the sales department would visit the stores frequently, but as Music Retail moved to a more efficient operating model, face-to-face visits began to decrease and sales would increasingly be in touch with the stores via email and phone.
Peter Felldin, the Marketing Manager at 4Sound explains the difficulty of the situation: “The store managers felt frustrated because they didn’t know who to turn to when their staff needed support with marketing campaigns or when they couldn’t find sales information relevant to them. The sales and marketing departments at the headquarters also felt frustrated because they used a lot of time and effort in communicating with the stores, but no one saw it.”
Quickly the headquarters realized that the traditional communication tools such as phone and email were not supporting their modern way of working. In the busy store environment, the staff often did not have easy access to a computer or have the time to take a phone call. The headquarters recognized that an easy to access mobile solution could help them beat the communication breakdown. And so the hunt for the perfect solution was on.
Finding an alternative
The Music Retail team looked into many different kinds of collaboration solutions such as Facebook Workplace and Slack. However, most of the solutions they tested did not feel very intuitive or easy to use from the end user’s point of view.
“For us the main concern was to find a solution that would be extremely intuitive and easy for the end-users. A solution that everybody would understand in 30 seconds. So when we saw Happeo, we immediately thought this could be it.” says Peter Felldin.
Happeo partner, Avalon Solutions, helped Music Retail to move forward. Ronald Haagensen, Business Development Director at Avalon Solutions, believes that Happeo brings real value to companies that use Google’s G Suite: “There’s an increased demand for better intranet solutions. Customers that have moved to G Suite often find that the next step is to look at replacing their legacy intranets, which are difficult to use and cost a lot. We recommended Happeo for them because of its intuitive user interface and advanced features.”
The Music Retail team decided to start testing Happeo with Hans Bratt, the Lead Sales Manager at Luthman Scandinavia. The headquarters launched Happeo use with some light communications, sharing short news pieces and pictures. After a successful start they expanded the solution’s use to the stores: “I was in my car on my way home, when I taught the first store manager how to use Happeo. I did the teaching via a phone call – the solution was that intuitive” Hans explains.
“Happeo was a solution that everyone understood in 30 seconds.”
Modern, transparent management
Before implementing Happeo, Music Retail stores had a communication culture that could best be described as top-down. This meant that in order to reach the store staff the headquarters would always have to go through the store manager.
Even though inside the headquarters, Music Retail was already a very transparent organization, changing the stores’ culture felt like a challenge. It needed to be clearly communicated to the stores that openly sharing information was not a threat, but rather a modern way of operating. Luckily, the change was well received and now the Music Retail team feels that the benefits of the new transparent way of communicating are evident.
Hans Bratt explains that communication between the headquarters and the stores has been seamless now that Music Retail has moved to Happeo. He highlights that with Happeo, the employees not only find information more easily but they have also started to communicate more frequently.
“The warehouse employees have started informing the stores through Happeo about changes in delivery times. The exasperating calls to the headquarters wondering where the inventory is has completely stopped now that the store staff have started checking Happeo. Essentially they can read from their own “morning paper” to find delivery statuses.” “It used to be difficult for our staff to filter out the important pieces of information from the constant email flood. Now everyone in the organization knows that all the important updates are in Happeo,” Hans elaborates.
Peter Felldin is also happy about the changes that Happeo has brought to Music Retail: “As a Marketing Manager, my biggest concern is our campaigns. Only 20% of the stores used to have a good idea about the marketing campaigns. With Happeo the situation has completely turned around, and 80% of the stores are well-informed of what is going on. It’s quite a remarkable change!”
Music Retail employees don’t just use Happeo for keeping each other informed, but also for inspiring each other. In the “Inspiration” channel the stores share best practises and successful ideas with each other.
Both Hans Bratt and Peter Felldin think that Happeo has made everyday work easier and helped their organization to increase and improve communication between people in the field and people in the office.
“We communicate with our store managers and staff the same way you would communicate with your friends on social media today. And it feels good, instant, and comfortable.” Peter concludes.