Bilia stood before a formidable digitization process, which was kicked off by a new group-wide intranet. Niclas Carlsson, Solution Architect for Fellowmind, shares his experiences and tips from our collaboration with Bilia.
The concept was to build a group-wide and sustainable platform to simplify daily operations for all employees while also reinforcing a strong team spirit and helping Bilia's employees provide customers with the best service. Aiming to create the best possible platform for today's digital workplace, the project began by defining requirements and developing Bilia's new intranet. The intranet had to be modern, responsive and in line with their corporate identity and the "One Bilia" concept. This is where Fellowmind came in.
An effective intranet delivers the right information to the right employee
Cutting-edge technology is not enough on its own to build a united team and a platform for fantastic collaboration opportunities. The ability to balance and scale global and local information management is just as important. Norwegian employees do not always need access to the same information as their Swedish counterparts, for example, and vice versa. Therefore, target group adaptation with respect to navigation and links was an important aspect of the project.
The focus was on creating an intranet for Bilia as a whole, regardless of which business unit or region the employee belongs to. This structure now enables Bilia to work with global and consistent information while still including local variations on a single platform.
"The Bilia Group's new intranet will be the hub of our 'One Bilia' strategy. With the intranet as our meeting point, we will get closer to each other and strengthen our collective efforts," says Anders Rydheimer, Head of Communications at Bilia.
How Bilia's communication hub was built
Even before contacting Fellowmind, Bilia had started working on impact mapping, but ended up with a technical solution that did not feel optimal for the organization. Given the desire to consolidate and work together on a single platform, Bilia wanted to build the intranet in Microsoft 365.
Fellowmind's expertise in the Microsoft platform proved ideal with this in mind. With the help of solution architects and SharePoint experts from Fellowmind, the new requirement profile could be created before the solution was then developed and assembled.
The first step was to set up the structure according to the requirement profile. Everything from the global start page, information pages, menus, and navigation to target group-specific pages were set up by Fellowmind.
Once the structure was in place, work began on populating the intranet with the right information for the right employees, migrating data, and testing to ensure that everything worked properly from day one. This creates dependability and contributes to increased use of the intranet after go-live. It also creates the right conditions for rapid onboarding in the new solution, without excessive changeover time.
A living intranet requires structure and ownership
The most critical thing was to establish a clear organization for Bilia's intranet. A large organization such as Bilia requires structure and ownership. If the intranet is really to function as a true communication hub, it must be living and constantly updated. This requires clear organization and management of the intranet. It must be made clear how information is updated and who owns each page.
“The organizational structure we helped Bilia create is one of the most critical factors in making sure the intranet is a sound investment for Bilia," says Niclas Carlsson, Solution Architect for Fellowmind. "The pages are governed by a clear structure and ownership. It is no longer just the communications department that works actively with the intranet. Instead, information owners and content managers from the entire business are now involved in keeping the intranet alive."
Increased intranet usage rates are the real return
Today's digital workplace must be designed to facilitate collaboration. It should be easy to get the information you need, share documents, and collaborate with colleagues. Fellowmind has helped Bilia make this a reality. The result was a completely new intranet with a focus on collaboration and fellowship.
Successful implementation of modern solutions for today's digital workplace requires a deep understanding of modern collaboration tools, such as SharePoint and the entire Microsoft 365 suite. In addition to knowing the technology and all the functionality, you must be able to help the customer derive maximum business value from the investment: the business value lies in ensuring actual usage of the implemented solution.
Early promotion of user adoption is one key for success when it comes to getting usage up where it needs to be. This means focusing not only on the technical solution, but also putting thought into training and the user from an early stage. This makes it easier for the organization to increase the utilization rate and use of the new intranet from the start. Working actively with user adoption helps reduce the initial dip in productivity that a change of system or tool usually brings.
“This project has marked the starting point for Bilia to be able to use the entire platform that Microsoft 365 offers. It lays the foundation for our continued journey in the digital workplace,” says Niclas Carlsson.
Three tips for success with your new intranet
Have a clear “why”
The purpose and goal of the project have to be clear. What is a new intranet intended to help the organization achieve?
Set up an internal organization
Establishing an internal organization with a clear structure and clear ownership of the intranet is one of the most important parameters when it comes to successfully creating a living intranet that lasts.
Do not underestimate "user adoption"
Invest in training and user adoption right from the start to derive the maximum benefit from the solution.
The group company Bilia AB operates from more than 100 locations in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Bilia's business concept is to offer car sales, service, and optional services that provide lasting added value for customers. Bilia makes the customer the focus of everything they do and invests in having the most satisfied customers in the industry. Bilia is one of Europe's largest retailers of passenger cars and transport vehicles.