SPAR reaps cost savings due to video conferencing systems

High street grocery chain SPAR claims to have benefited from huge cost savings following the deployment of its new video conferencing centres, reports

The firm had looked to video conferencing technology with the hope of this reducing the number hours its executives spent travelling around Britain.

SPAR has distribution centres in Cornwall, Belfast, Dundee, Preston and the West Midlands which oversee the running of its 2,400 stores. Executives would formally travel to these sites in order to meet face-to-face around 50 sites per year, with this having a huge impact on travel expenses.

The company had looked to get around this by implementing a video conferencing technology project. However, a delayed response at boardroom level had left the plans in limbo for over two years.

Now, after parting with £200,000 to deliver the technology at all five distribution centres, the company has slashed its travel and accommodation costs whilst reducing the time executives spend out of the office by half.

Of course, funding this project wouldn’t have been a stumbling block for a large business like SPAR, but smaller companies might like to consider renting out nearby video conferencing facilities to reap the same benefits.

This could be seen as a compliment to face-to-face meetings, as has been the case at SPAR. The company’s IT controller Roy Ford told “We don’t see this as replacing meetings. That was never our intention. What we want to do is make our meetings we have to have more efficient.

“Some areas of the business believe in face-to-face meetings as being the only way of doing things and for that reason we will always have in-person meetings.”