Headquartered in Melbourne, Witchery Group is a leading fashion retailer operating throughout Australia, the United Kingdom and Asia Pacific. The group’s interests include more than 180 Witchery-branded women’s, men’s and children’s wear retail outlets, plus the Mimco online and retail premium accessories business.
The group wanted to create a staff portal that would help to remove some of the growing pains arising from its rapid expansion and geographic spread. Specifically, Witchery was looking to improve internal communications, break down information silos between departments, bring greater efficiency to collaboration and document sharing, and improve visibility of internal processes. In doing so however, it needed to address the separate information needs of two entirely detached organisations – Witchery and Mimco.
In 2010 Witchery had already identified Microsoft SharePoint as a suitable tool for its portal but the group lacked the internal expertise to build the solution. Professional Advantage was appointed to manage the project and build the portal after creating a proof-of-concept that demonstrated to group management exactly how the collaboration tool could be put to use.
Professional Advantage led Witchery management through a series of workshops, gathering requirements and mapping out the development of future intranet services. SharePoint has become an essential communications tool for the group. Every day hundreds of users log onto the home page to view fashion industry and company news, and to access the latest informal departmental or social updates. Everything from footy tipping competitions to car park plan changes and new staff appointments can be found on the portal.
SharePoint has also become the central source of human resources information, policies, processes and forms. It is used for project management, providing document management, task allocation and workflows that support the group’s business processes. It also provides a customised IT help desk solution which allows users to submit service desk requests and view product information and frequently asked questions.
An attractive but neutral design caters for both the Witchery and Mimco sides of the group’s business, bringing them together under the one look and feel at the same time as retaining their distinct and separate information identities.
- SharePoint has removed the need to distribute a significant number of notifications, attachments and files throughout the organisation. Rather than hard copies or email, material is simply promoted and made available through the portal.
- The replacement of paper with digital processes such as online forms is saving the company time and reducing the costs of copying and distribution.
- Management always have access to the latest up-to-date human resources material, and process documents.
- The portal allows information to be shared instantly and easily.
You can read more about Professional Advantage and SharePoint here.