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McDonald's rethinks internal communication

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McDonald's SA is using IBM's social business software to improve the convergence of social, mobile and cloud communication within its restaurants and between its employees.

McDonald's is working with IBM and its business partner, Knowledge Dimension, to transform communication and collaboration methods to enhance productivity and efficiency.

The restaurant chain will begin transforming into a social enterprise to help geographically dispersed employees to communicate more effectively. This will enable them to share ideas that will allow them to deliver exceptional customer service through a mobile solution supplemented by in-restaurant touch-screen docking stations, a phase scheduled for completion in the first quarter of this year.

"With our intended aggressive expansion plans of growing the number of restaurants by approximately 25 a year, improved communications is undoubtedly a business imperative," says Greg Solomon, MD of McDonald's SA.

Challenged by having to communicate across a dispersed organisation, the company sought a more effective way to reach every one of its crew, driving engagement and collaboration across the system, it says.

The company's "Engagement with our People" initiative kicked off in 2011, intended to implement processes and tools between head office, franchisees, restaurant managers and employees to increase productivity and decision-making, giving management and staff a new way of interacting, collaborating and sharing information and expertise," says Gary Swale, director of business development at Knowledge Dimension.

McDonald's SA is currently using IBM Connections and IBM Sametime instant messaging software to support internal communications and training requirements across its branch network.

"McDonald's' decision to embrace social business is pioneering and is reflective of the need to find smarter ways of working," says Alistair Rennie, GM, social business, IBM.

"McDonald's is taking a purposeful approach, using social technologies to engage employees, empower customers and drive organisational performance to secure a competitive advantage," he concludes.

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