Alimentation Couche-Tard

Alimentation Couche-Tard is one of the largest company-owned convenience store operators in the world with around 15,000 stores across Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Japan, China, and Indonesia.

Alimentation Couche-Tard

Connecting 120,000 employees across 15,000 organizations using the world’s largest and most complex Drupal intranet.

ACT is currently in the process of rebranding their chain of convenience stores as Circle K. By consolidating a number of their store brands worldwide, they’re on their way to becoming a global player in the market.

Over the next 5 years, OPIN will be working with Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT), one of the largest company-owned convenience store chains in the world, to implement the Inner Circle, a global intranet spanning 4 continents and connecting 120,000 employees.

ACT is currently in the process of rebranding their chain of convenience stores as Circle K. By consolidating a number of their store brands worldwide, they’re on their way to becoming a global player in the market.

Previously, their newly acquired brands all had their own internal systems for managing communication within each respective company. Following the acquisitions, this meant ACT had numerous intranets to work with when all they needed was one.

Objectives

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wanted a global intranet solution that would allow ACT employees, franchise operators, and others to access a single global solution that would improve communication, improve best practices and knowledge sharing and standardize operation support to the stores worldwide, all while reflecting one consistent brand.

This custom solution will serve over 100,000 users across the world. The OPIN team created an intranet to serve the needs of many different business units with varying business rules in a way that harmonized the ACT Intranet experience.

OPIN worked with ACT to incorporate a number of collaborative features to the platform to encourage user engagement. These features include:

  • Team Pages and Spaces: Create communities for teams, departments, and projects with security and approval process for managing content.

  • Ideas Exchange/Suggestion Box: Post a topic and ask for employee input, ratings, and security approval process, with the ability for anonymous postings.

  • Forums and Message Feed: Start discussions, ask questions, submit ideas and solve problems; sortable and searchable.

  • Employee Timelines and News/Social Feeds: Employees add own content to give status updates, share link and files (images, documents, embedded videos) and highlight team wins and successes.

  • Social Sharing and Tagging: Like, comment, @mention, #tag, follow, share, rate content.

  • Gamification and Employee Rewards: Digital “high-fives” where employees can assign points and badges to reward and recognize their peers.

  • Wikis: Store policies and procedures (e.g. HR forms and policies) – a central point of reference so people can look up project and knowledge areas alphabetically.

  • New Starter Page: Facilitates employee onboarding with targeted content (relevant text, videos, news, documents).

  • Polls and Surveys: Collect employee views anonymously.

  • Content Recommendations: Promote popular content, make content recommendations.

In addition to the collaborative and interactive aspects of the platform, administrators could also track basic metrics including user participation, a number of idea and comment submissions, as well as branch and geographical location of the users, participating.

Drupal was chosen as the system to build on for its scalability, security, and robustness that would facilitate their goals of an intranet that will grow with the company while working with OPIN to deploy an intranet designed with strong usability to maximize user experience and engagement of the solution that is responsive across all devices.

"Satisfying the operational requirements of a business this size meant we had to always be on our toes and be really careful while conducting our business since any small change would impact thousands of users."

- Sami Malik

OPIN Web Developer who worked on ACT's intranet

Goals

  • The intranet will accommodate a number of mutually exclusive roles, such as Site Administrator, Published, Executive Support Office, Store Employee, Store Manager - Dealer and Store Manager - Company Owned to be assigned to specific users, that will determine their access to specific content.

  • The intranet will be extended to a set of common mobile devices so the primary capabilities of the site will be available to mobile users. Expected mobile compatibility with Microsoft, Apple and Android systems.

  • The multilingual intranet will accommodate the assignment of a language to each user, and users will be able to self-select and change their individual language.

  • The intranet will be accessible to mobile users connecting over a public network.

  • The intranet must include a high-level search engine that can connect to the various legacy document repositories and return results from the repository that are applicable to the current user business unit.

  • The intranet will allow nesting of a calendar application that displays upcoming activities that can be filtered for relevance to an individual store.

Solution

ACT chose Drupal 8 for its customizability and flexibility as it will allow the system to grow as the organization continues to go through changes. OPIN’s experience building intranets paired with our solid understanding of ACT’s goals, plans, and international team, helped ACT maximize the use of Drupal 8 in creating a system specially tailored to the organization. The result will streamline their internal communication for years to come.

It was important to both ACT and OPIN that they collaborated diligently for the full duration of the project to ensure all goals were met in a timely manner.

The companies used two approaches to tackle the project:

Phased Launch

Rather than deliver a “finished” product that cannot be guaranteed to fit ACT’s needs, OPIN and ACT agreed to roll out the intranet in four different phases.

The first phase was a pilot that was rolled out gradually across regions until it ultimately spread across the organization. This is especially important since the way the service would be used would certainly vary across regions.

As the intranet was gradually deployed, ACT was able to make changes based on their findings. This approach provided the best of both worlds: the continuous improvement led to a unified, global intranet that was fully optimized for local users and regional differences.

Agile methodology

OPIN’s commitment to the Agile development methodology was especially important to ACT for project alignment. Following the mantra “done is better than perfect,” the OPIN team would consistently check in with their clients at the end of each two-week development sprint.

A constant feedback loop, the Agile method ensures that development remains aligned with the client’s vision, and resources are not needlessly consumed - keeping costs and time to completion low.

ACT was able to test OPIN-designed components in real-time, making suggestions for the OPIN team to prioritize and deploy in future sprints. Everything learned in collaboration with their client allowed the OPIN team to bring the product closer to their vision, creating the most optimized user experience possible.

"Agile’s iterative approach gave ACT and the developers flexibility to improve on areas that may have only been identified in the development cycle."

- POD 2

OPIN's development team that build ACT's intranet

On ACT’s pilot launch, nearly 6,000 people in North America used the system. This number grew exponentially after the system’s full launch, garnering over 100,000 users across North America and Europe.

Between June 12, 2017, and July 25, 2017, the site had over 58,000 sessions, over 290,000 page views and an average session duration of 7 minutes and 43 seconds.

OPIN will be continuing to work with ACT on this custom project with a final worldwide roll-out in late 2018. Couche-Tard is growing to be a top brand, and an effective intranet that best aligns, and will continue to grow with and serve, their internal teams throughout the world will be a huge part of their continued success.

"Best Return on Investment"

OPIN's Intranet Solution a Finalist at Acquia Engage Awards!

It’s not hard to see why. Between an efficient development methodology, the use of the low-cost, open source Drupal platform and the unmatched expertise of OPIN’s team, OPIN’s dedication to total customer satisfaction is unrivaled in the industry.

The official results will be announced at the event in November.

Meet the Team

Choung Chao

Project Manager

Sami Malik

Web Developer

Rajbir Singh

Web Developer

Rebecca Dagenais

Graphic Designer

Blanca Esqueda

Product Owner