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Forty Winks

Over its 35 year history, Forty Winks has redefined the bedding landscape to grow into a trusted and widely recognised Australian brand. With 103 stores operating across the country, Forty Winks is Australia’s largest independently locally owned and operated bedroom retailer.

The Challenge

We were using a very outdated intranet. It wasn't a stable platform and we couldn't access it for a week at one point because of hosting issues. We wanted a new, easy-to-use and commercially proven out-of-the-box CMS to manage our intranet.

The layout hadn’t been updated since its inception and the interface was quite clunky. There was a need for us to deliver a better user experience and enable users to find what they were looking for easier and quicker. We wanted an improved layout and design, along with reliable search functionality which wasn’t present in the previous platform.

The new layout would allow us to structure the intranet in a way where each department had their own distinct areas and a champion from their department could manage the content on these pages without IT assistance.

It’s a strong and stable CMS platform with a great team of support staff working alongside you, guiding you through implementing the intranet you want. Chris Panagiotou, IT Manager
Forty Winks


Forty Winks Intranet Screenshot in 3 Devices

The Solution

The main stakeholders in this decision alongside myself, were the department managers, headed by our CEO.

We had 3 key selection criteria for evaluating solutions. The right solution had to:

1) Be an all-in-one solution with both software and hosting from one provider. The bonus with this was the reduced cost as opposed to using a third-party hosting company.

2) Provide the core functionality required including a marketing calendar and document repository.

3) Be a proven out-of-the-box platform with ongoing vendor support including seamless upgrades and minimal IT maintenance for our end. The look and feel was the only component we wanted to customise.

And of course, it had to fall within our budget. The other main consideration that ultimately played a major role in choosing Elcom was that the annual subscription fee was less than other solutions we were looking at.

We deployed the intranet for 180 users in head office and all our franchise stores. We now have 532 user including board members and franchise store staff. 

We have full control over who has access to the intranet and at what level, with the security permissions feature.

The intranet primarily acts as an information source and document repository where staff from across Australia can easily find their shared content and resources in a central place, from product information and the latest advertising campaigns to POS user manuals.

eLearning was the biggest activity we ran through the intranet and we used Elcom’s eLearning module for about a year after launching. It allowed us to easily deliver training modules online for in-store staff. We ran training on our bedMATCH program, an in-store diagnostic system that defines the best mattress for a customer.

The calendar module is great. It lets us display the Microsoft Exchange calendar over the intranet calendar and sync new appointments made in the intranet calendar to Exchange calendars. Users can filter the intranet calendar by appointment type such as trade fair/expo, marketing events and so on.

The corporate directory is helpful for quickly finding the direct contact details of a franchise or head office staff. Users can search for a contact by user or by department. The flexible organisation chart displays the line of reporting for users and clicks through to a profile page with their full details.

We also use the forms and workflows tool. Covering Helpdesk tickets, Annual Leave applications and Expense claims, all form part of a workflow through to a department or even integrating into third party software.

The Benefits

  • It was adopted very well. The take on was strong – the current usage compared to usage on our previous intranet shows that with the number of users increasing by 285% over the previous intranet, as well as the feedback we are getting directly from stores. 
  • It simply provides our 582 users a better user experience which is the main reason we developed a new intranet. Staff can now find content a lot easier than what they used to and that tells us that it’s delivering on our objective.
  • We have 7 different access groups setup in the system for administrators, publishers, board members, franchisees, NSC staff, store managers and sales staff. Each user group has a personalised view. Content, and to some extent the structure, changes from our super user ‘Board member’ who can see everything, down to the casual sales person who has a limited view.
  • Working with Elcom on the project was great. The team went beyond expectations in how well they assisted me. For example, we went live with the new intranet design and then a week later the business went through a whole re-branding exercise. The Elcom design and implementation team turned around the new design quickly and efficiently. Future projects include adding in event management capabilities and a dashboard integrated to our third party solution for users to track performance, as well as extending the platform to build a B2B portal for centralised purchasing management. 

  • Elcom’s trainer then delivered valuable training sessions in person. We opted for an administrator training for myself and one of my team members. It enabled us to build the content foundations of the intranet then hand it over to other departments to manage their area of the intranet internally. A champion from each individual department including marketing, product, operations and HR undertook content management training and now manage their own content. It was quite easy for them to get started.

  • Elcom offered us an all-in-one solution with all the core functionality we need out-of-the-box and hosting. There were no added complexities, cost of custom development or added responsibility for the Forty Winks IT team – which makes my life easier. 


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