Slack today announced that H-E-B, one of the largest privately owned retailers in the U.S., provisioned more than 100,000 Partners (employees), from manufacturing plants and warehouses to stores and order selectors, with Slack.
“Slack helps us solve an issue that many retailers face: how to securely reach and connect to dispersed employees who don’t have access to traditional workplace communication tools,” said Gavin Gallagher, CIO of H-E-B. “With Slack, we can quickly communicate with Partners across our 400 stores, plus provide a place where Partners can meaningfully connect with each other regardless of their physical location.”
How H-E-B rolled out Slack in 72 hours
For H-E-B, people always come first, so with the Slack rollout, the company wanted to ensure that there were no interruptions to the normal course of business. Working around the clock over a weekend, Slack and H-E-B pre-provisioned more than 100,000 employees in over 116 locations on Slack so that when Partners opened their mobile application on that first day, they would have a custom experience—each person was pre-populated into channels relevant to them, such as their specific store channel, a help channel, a people channel and an announcement channel.
On day one, when Partners opened Slack, they were welcomed with a message from H-E-B leadership introducing them to their tailored Slack workspace. This was where they would receive important updates from their store manager or facility leader and have an open dialogue to communicate with decision makers and their peers.
“The way we work has forever changed, and customers in every industry are looking for a new approach that reflects this new reality,” said Robert Frati, SVP of Sales and Customer Success at Slack. “The office is no longer the life force of a company; Slack is the new headquarters. H-E-B is very familiar with having a dispersed workforce, and deployed Slack to securely connect and engage their employees. We’ve been inspired by their commitment to the people of their community, customers and employees and look forward to our continued partnership to support their ongoing success.”
Reaching and connecting dispersed employees in Slack
From the corporate perspective, Slack acts as a critical and secure communication channel, which is especially important during emergency updates and shifts in processes. Slack provides managers with a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in stores, allowing them to offer support even when they’re not physically present. With the ability to send photos and videos to groups in real time, Slack can also be used for visual inventory updates, store display checks and employee engagement programs.
For instance, on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Partners posted heartwarming pictures with their moms and dads. And while graduations were virtual this year, many student Partners came to work in their caps and gowns, and those photos were shared and celebrated throughout the H-E-B community. For the first time, Partners have a platform where they can openly communicate directly with one another.
Slack is a meeting place for H-E-B Partners across their 400 stores in a way they’ve never experienced before. One of the company’s largest channels, #heb-tribute, has approximately 119,000 members actively posting everything from kudos on a retirement and thank-yous to truck drivers to beautiful store merchandising images and community service events.
Please note that Slack recognizes revenue on a straight-line basis over the term of a contract, and H-E-B’s purchase of Slack is immaterial to Slack’s third-quarter fiscal year 2021 financial results.
Images: Anonymized versions of the Slack user interface at H-E-B, based off real Slack examples.
Slack has transformed business communication. It’s the leading channel-based messaging platform, used by millions to align their teams, unify their systems, and drive their businesses forward. Only Slack offers a secure, enterprise-grade environment that can scale with the largest companies in the world. It is a new layer of the business technology stack where people can work together more effectively, connect all their other software tools and services, and find the information they need to do their best work. Slack is where work happens.