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McDonald’s Uses Social Software to Manage Workforce

Global food service retailer McDonald’s is working with IBM and its business partner, Knowledge Dimension, to transform the way its almost 200 restaurants and 8000 employees communicate and collaborate.

McDonald’s will begin transforming into a social enterprise to help geographically dispersed employees to communicate more effectively, sharing ideas that will allow them to deliver better customer service.

IBM announced Thursday that McDonald’s South Africa is using IBM social business software to embrace the convergence of social, mobile and cloud – facilitating its expansion to new markets and enabling its employees to collaborate more effectively.

Established in South Africa in November 1995, this market is considered one of the most successful markets for McDonald’s international and initially opened 30 restaurants in just 23 months. The company has trained and employed almost 8000 South Africans at various levels, including franchisees, restaurant managers and crew, says IBM.

“With our intended aggressive expansion plans – growing the number of restaurants by approximately 25 restaurants a year – improved communications is undoubtedly a business imperative,” says Greg Solomon, managing director for McDonald’s South Africa. “Equipping our employees with a social network to improve communication is critical in helping us fulfill our brand promise to customers for quality, service, cleanliness, and value.”

Challenged by having to communicate across this vastly dispersed organization, the company sought a more effective way to reach every one of their crew, driving engagement and collaboration across the system.

McDonald’s SA is currently using IBM Connections and IBM Sametime instant messaging software to support internal communication and training requirements across their branch network.

The McDonald’s crew (staff at restaurant level) will access the platform via a mobile solution, supplemented by in-restaurant touch screen docking stations. This phase is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2013.

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