Case Studies

Retail

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Marks and Spencer Group plc (M&S) is one of the UK’s leading retailers selling high quality, value clothing and home products, as well as outstanding quality food.

The Group has 78,000 employees across the UK and 42 territories across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2007, the Group introduced ‘Plan A’, an initiative to find new ways of combating climate change, reducing waste, using sustainable raw material, trading ethically and helping customers lead a healthy lifestyle.

Delivering a first-class service to the board

The challenge

The Groups hold 10 board meetings a year, for each meeting 16 board packs are prepared. Each pack contains some of the company’s most confidential information. For each meeting a great deal of paper was used and a considerable amount of the team’s resource was needed to produce the packs. The secretariat team were keen to find a more efficient, fast and secure delivery method which would provide an improved service to the board.

The solution

The M&S secretariat wanted to find a secure, portable and fast alternative to distributing paper documents. M&S had two key objectives, the first was to find a quality solution that would allow them to securely and quickly distribute electronic papers to the board. The second was to ensure that the solution would benefit the board. It was, therefore, essential that the system was easy-to-use and directors were able to efficiently read and annotate papers.

From a director’s perspective

The secretariat team at M&S wanted to find a secure, portable and fast alternative to distributing paper documents. The company had two key objectives, the first was to find a quality solution that would allow M&S to securely and quickly distribute electronic papers to the board. The second was to ensure that the solution would benefit the board. It was, therefore, essential that the system was easy-to-use and directors were able to efficiently read and annotate papers.

The Group evaluated a number of products and decided to choose BoardPad. It was the most intuitive system of all the products reviewed. The solution implemented synchronised well with Blueprint OneWorld, ICSA Software’s governance and compliance solution; and had a high level of security and a fully integrated annotation function which was very important to M&S.

From an administrator’s perspective

The secretariat team were very impressed with the speed and efficiency of BoardPad when creating and distributing board packs to director’s devices. “The fact that the solution is hosted by ICSA Boardroom Apps means that all software maintenance and updates are handled automatically for M&S, leaving the directors with uninterrupted access, anytime and anywhere in the world”, says Mr Green.

The simplicity and usability of BoardPad has provided the secretariat team the confidence to very quickly make the transition to paperless meetings, backed up by the knowledge that we could rely on the support of a dedicated account manager. Mr Green summarises, “we have greater control of the papers; we know where they are and who’s got access to them and we are confident that it enables us to keep the board better informed. Additionally, BoardPad has assisted us in playing a part in delivering our Plan A objectives”.

Conclusion

The Group’s board meetings are now fully paperless. This is a very significant step forward for the secretariat team. Not only has BoardPad helped M&S achieve “Plan A Objectives”, but has also enabled a first-class service delivery to the board.

BoardPad helped us make significant time and paper saving as we no longer produce any paper board packs.

Andrew Green, Assistant Company Secretary, Marks & Spencer

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