Asda has introduced a satellite-based TV system to assist with staff briefings and training.
The system - 24/7 TV - is based on technology from Hughes Network Systems Europe was piloted in five stores. It has now been rolled out to all 267 stores and 25 distribution centres, as well as head office.
Asda head of internal communication Paul McKinlay has been given the task of moving Asda from a paper-based communication system to something more electronic. He sees his role as a translator who is bridging the divide between head office and the shop floor.
McKinlay explained: ‘81 per cent of people who work in head office haven’t worked in a shop. There’s an assumption that they can communicate, while talking in a different language.’
He has been to the US to study how parent company Wal-Mart communicates, but said Asda TV differs greatly from Wal-Mart TV. Whereas Wal-Mart will broadcast hour-long programmes from it’s own TV studio, Asda tries to keep broadcasts practical and as short as five minutes. Asda often films from its model store in Morley in Yorkshire, perhaps to show a new store layout.
Asda’s broadcasts can also be stored locally on a hard-drive, so training videos can be watched when required, whereas Wal-Mart TV just broadcasts live.
Asda originally tested two channels - one educational, the other more light-hearted to be shown in the canteen at lunchtime. The latter was canned after feedback suggested staff would rather watch Coronation Street.