At a Glance
- Reduced travel costs
- More frequent meetings
- Increased flexibility and responsiveness
- Rapid flow of information
Polycom RealPresence Platform Reduces Costs and Optimises Business Communications for Auchan Poland
The Polycom RealPresence Platform increases and improves collaborations and communications between the Auchan Poland stores.
About Auchan Poland Ltd.
Auchan’s first store was opened in 1961 by Gerard Mulliez, in northern France, in the town of Roubaix, in the district of Hauts Champs, from which the company derived its name. To date there are 616 Auchan hypermarkets around the globe, and 235,000 employees.
In Poland, the first Auchan hypermarket opened in May 1996 in Piaseczno near Warsaw. By 2012, Auchan Poland Sp. z o.o.had 26 hypermarkets located throughout the country; the largest, in the Wola district of Warsaw, is almost 18 thousand square meters.
For the past 16 years Auchan Poland has managed to consolidate its position and become a highly rated brand by its customers. The chain is recognised as a leader in selling consumer goods at affordable prices.
Business Requirements and Expectations
Auchan operates by organising frequent and recurrent meetings between branch and division staff and its headquarters, during which experiences and insights are exchanged. The corporate culture is based largely on frequently scheduled face-to-face meetings between the management staff. While these meetings are necessary for the chain to function properly, they are extremely time and cost consuming.
Auchan searched for a solution to enable staff to meet, without having to incur the costs and time associated with travel to the headquarters, located in Piaseczno near Warsaw, where most meetings were held. They searched to find a video conferencing solution to not only lower cost of travel and associated expenses, but also increase knowledge sharing and exchange between stores. Such a solution would also serve to increase productivity as the management staff would be able to make quick decisions.
The Auchan management team in Poland knew of similar video collaboration projects in other countries and began their own investigation. Philippe Delporte, CIO of Auchan Poland explains “The requirement to deploy video conferencing at Auchan Poland, emerged from our management team responsible for the day to day business. They expressed the need to have a solution to reduce the number of trips to headquarters, while facilitate the necessity for effective communications and collaborations between stores.”
The selection and implementation of a video conferencing solution for Auchan Poland was managed by Warsaw-based company, MultiPass. As a Polycom Partner, MultiPass offers services in consulting, design and implementation of modern communications solutions audio and video conferencing, VoIP and IP telephony. They were able to recommend, select and deploy the solution responding to Auchan’s requirements. Andrzej Podgórski, General Manager at MultiPass says, “with our extensive experience and expertise in video conferencing solutions, we were able to provide Auchan Poland with a cost effective solution, tailored to their specific business needs”.
The Polycom RealPresence Platform at Auchan Poland consist of 13 Polycom HDX 7000 room telepresence solutions installed in 13 stores and a HDX 8000 for the headquarters. Acting as a unifying hub for collaboration Auchan has the Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server (RMX 2000), the Polycom Converged Management Application (CMA 4000) and the Polycom Video Border Proxy (VBP®5300) processor card – located in the headquarters in Piaseczno. All system components are connected within the Wide Area Network (WAN).
The implementation was completed quickly, within two weeks.
The Polycom RealPresence Platform is intensively used by the management staff of Auchan Poland. Auchan introduced a dedicated online booking system which allows staff to reserve the meeting rooms. This insures efficient use of the solution, in an organised and easy manner.
“The investment in Polycom RealPresence Platform was a well-reasoned decision, based strictly according to our business needs. At Auchan, we offer our customer the lowest prices on the market, to keep doing so, we only invest in necessary solutions, critical to our business”– says Philippe Delporte.
The Polycom Platform is used by managers at Auchan Poland every day. It allows them to have video meetings dedicated to reporting, planning and consulting. Employees who previously had to travel to the headquarters can now can talk more frequently, whenever it’s necessary. This allows Auchan Poland to instantly react to market changes and to conduct an effective procurement strategy and management of the merchandise. It allows them to make fast and effective decisions, which is vital to remain the leader in this fast paced consumer retail market. Philippe Delporte says, “The Polycom platform is one of the key elements which helps us minimise the ongoing costs of our business, and thus – offer our customers products at the lowest prices. Price competitiveness is a priority for our company”.
Auchan Poland began to observe benefits from the Polycom RealPresence Platform immediately after deployment. The reduction of the costs of travel was significant, and within 12 months, the solution had paid for itself. “We witnessed the full ROI within one year” – reports Philippe Delporte.
In addition to financial savings, Polycom has enabled Auchan Poland to observe series of less quantifiable, but also very important from a business point of view, as it allows meetings to be done more often, and improves communications, while enabling greater availability of key workers who no longer have lost time due to travel. Another benefit was faster information flow. Valuable data are exchanged within the framework of a company immediately, allowing stores to react to changing market conditions on the spot.
The installed platform increased the level of interactivity. Users of the system are now able to work more efficiently.
For the workers who did not travel, but entertained relationships with colleagues through e-mail correspondence or phone calls, it is enabling them to create stronger connections with the use of video. Being able to see each other changes and improves their relationships.
“The Polycom Platform is a business tool for us. It allows our employees to communicate effectively, allowing them to better understand each other and to maintain a direct and personal contact. The ability to quickly respond to changes cannot be overestimated in the retail sector”, says Philippe Delporte.
Video conferencing is also part of the sustainable development strategy of Auchan – by significantly reducing the amount of business travelling, the Polycom RealPresence Platform enables the company to reduce carbon dioxide emission.
“The requirement to deploy a video conferencing solution at Auchan Poland emerged from our management team responsible for the day to day business. They expressed the need to have a solution which would both reduce trips to headquarters, and facilitate the necessity for effective communications and collaborations between stores.”
Philippe Delporte, CIO, Auchan Poland Ltd.