How building an app can boost your team’s efficiency

employee workflow solutions help remote employees stay safe 

Five years ago, REMA 1000 was struggling with the standard challenges of the retail industry: complexity, multiple stakeholders, and manual processes. In fact, as Norway’s only purely franchised grocery retail company, we had an extra layer of complication – how to streamline on-and offboarding and changes in ownership. 

Today, our IT landscape has changed a lot. We have an end-to-end platform, and custom apps that our people love using. How did we get here?

It all started with our goal to be a better partner for our merchants. We realized that by centralizing processes onto one system and digitalizing more tasks we could be more efficient, but we had no idea just how far our journey would take us.

Our partner Sopra Steria first implemented ServiceNow’s App Engineas a workflow engine. This helped us cope with merchant change management, monitoring and managing cases and projects, and making sure we were GDPR-compliant.

But the more we used the platform, the more we found opportunities to optimize processes elsewhere in the business and make the team more efficient. Soon we were using it in HR and the accounts team. It was so easy to use that everybody loved it. We felt like we were finally emerging into the 21st century!

Making the platform work for us

While the out-of-the-box functionality of the Now Platform is impressive, we’ve made a few additional customizations to suit our business and implement App Engine.

One of our most complex processes was merchant change management. New merchants have to sign franchising agreements with us and comply with brand regulations. They need licenses to sell medicine, tobacco, and alcohol. We need copies of all that paperwork. If they want to sell lottery tickets, they need extra security – the list goes on! 

We built a merchant change management app to automate and streamline the process. As a result, we’re saving around 1,000 man-hours a year. . And franchise owners have better access to their own data, so it’s a real win-win.

Another app we rolled out was in response to a clunky and lengthy process for local stores running promotions. With this promotion management app, the REMA 1000 team can use one app to track and manage the promotional inventory rather than the traditional approach of having to report the stock they wanted to discount by email, reach out to the service desk to clarify how long the offer would last, and make sure the product was set up at point-of-sale. We automated numerous manual processes, reducing errors and improving efficiency throughout the promotion execution process. 

Incredibly, 45% of all service desk cases were related to this one issue. Something had to be done, so we built a chatbot named Doffen that allows merchants to discount stock by simply scanning the barcode and setting the new price and length of the promotion. Doffen integrates with the point-of-sale system so customers are charged the correct price at the till. To date, Doffen and the promotion management app have handled more than 52,000 cases. Lately we’ve added more Doffen functionality to help employees run their stores better. 

We also built a custom app for quality control that’s rolling out shortly. Called ‘Red and Yellow Alarm,'. It helps merchants and our quality department flag products that don’t meet our stringent quality standards. Let's say there’s an ingredient in a jar of pickles that shouldn’t be there. Using the app, they can raise the alarm and notify other stores, vendors, and our logistics network to halt delivery while we determine how many jars are contaminated and get them out of circulation.

In all we’ve built 10 or so apps that streamline everything from digital signatures to store inspections. We have plenty more in the pipeline.

Staying ahead of the curve

Partnering with ServiceNow and Sopra Steria has pulled our business to the forefront of innovation. We intend to stay here. Our relationship is just like the partnership we aim to have with our merchants. It’s supportive, the team knows our goals and challenges, and it’s valuable to us.

It’s not just a solution you implement once and replace in a few years, it’s constantly evolving and reacting to our changing needs. Every new release brings greater functionality and more bang for our buck.

At REMA 1000, we’re all certain of one thing: once you start using ServiceNow, it drives innovation. Find out how other customers are benefiting from ServiceNow products.

Found out how others customers are benefitting from ServiceNow’s products


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