"Keeping up with changes and staying on trend is essential in retail, and Yammer helps us do that. It allows people to share best practices, even across functions and geographies.
— Andy Hedges
Director, Shopping Center Management
Empowering an Enterprise
Yammer lets Westfield employees discuss everything from forecasts to fashion trends and quickly collaborate on solutions when issues arise.Watch Now
With multiple shopping centers, Westfield employees connect and engage across locations using Yammer Groups.Watch Now
Learning in Real Time
Westfield team members share updates about activities and events to improve the customer experience – all in real time.Watch Now
The Westfield Group owns and operates shopping centers across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Brazil. It manages all aspects of shopping center development, from design and construction to leasing and management. That’s a huge task—which Westfield Australia cuts down to size with teamwork fostered on Yammer.
“Retail is a very dynamic environment,” says Andy Hedges, director of shopping center management for Westfield Australia. “Keeping up with changes and staying on trend is essential, and Yammer helps us do that. It allows people to share best practices, even across functions and geographies.”
Employees use the network to share everything from SharePoint tips to fashion advice. “Each of our centers has a stylist who’s available to give consultations to shoppers, in line with what you see on popular TV shows,” Hedges says. Now with their own Yammer group, stylists are no longer lone arbiters of taste; they’re part of a community of experts. “They use the group to talk about trends so they can stay current and help shoppers do the same,” he adds.
One reason Yammer is such an effective tool for Westfield’s workforce is that it’s available on the platforms they use, both in and out of the office. “Yammer’s mobile apps are very useful for my team,” Hedges says. “We have lots of events in our shopping centers, and Yammer’s mobile functionality makes it easy for staff on the ground to post updates and videos, giving the rest of us a feed of activity as it happens.” When the winner of The X Factor Australia did a tour of several centers, “The team did a live feed of photographs and videos from various locations,” Hedges says. “That was phenomenal not only as a way of sharing the excitement, but it helped us learn and improve each appearance based on the one before.”
Crowdsourced feedback also allows Westfield to hone employee training. When it rolled out a new application to all customer service desks, it sent a team to each location—and set up a Yammer group. “From one center to the next, Yammer helped us refine the program, improving it for the next delivery,” he says. “It was fantastic for those doing the training—plus it increased the sense of ownership and buy-in among those on the receiving end.”
The network is a powerful resource for trouble-shooting—and time saving. When there was a design flaw involving the magnetic strips on some gift cards, Westfield learned of the issue—and addressed it—on Yammer. “As soon as I saw posts about this, I was able to say, ‘Help me understand what’s going on,’” Hedges explains. “Then, with the appropriate input from a broad group of employees, we solved the problem, saving us at least six weeks of headaches.”
As Westfield’s Yammer network expands, it’s cementing ties with its constituency of retailers. “Yammer lets them give us feedback on things they’d like to see us do to deliver a better outcome for shoppers. It’s a tremendous platform for building community engagement inside our centers.”