Sainsbury's helps people to "Live Well" through digital innovation
(Image Credit: Sainsbury's)
Retail giant Sainsbury's doesn't want the creative ideas of their employees going to waste, and therefore invited 161,000 colleagues across their business to submit ideas on how technology can help make the lives of their customers and staff easier – regardless of technical background.
Over 100 ideas were submitted, and the best six were put forward to be turned from concept into a prototype within 24 hours during a hackathon at the Sainsbury's digital lab in London.
Sainsbury's has made it a company focus in recent years to ensure it doesn't fall into becoming a "traditional" retailer which doesn't move with the times. The digital lab was created to provide a space where everyone can be co-located and put forward their innovative concepts which could be turned into customer-facing technologies.
Experts in our Digital Lab in London will be developing new ways of digital shopping
The hackathon was seen as being so important that both the CEO and Chairman of Sainsbury's attended, plus the company's Food Commercial Director who couldn't attend the event physically so joined via a video link on a remote-controlled segway which he used to visit each team and have a discussion about their ideas.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, said: "The shape of our business is changing and digital and technology is a core part of our future growth – the Technology Hub in Coventry will keep our systems running smoothly and experts in our Digital Lab in London will be developing new ways of digital shopping to give customers the best access to our products, services and offers."
Sainsbury's won't share with us the ideas pitched and the prototypes created during the hackathon in case it's decided to roll them out across the brand – but we're told the ideas were so good it beats the story about the founder of Nike coming up with the idea for the bottom of their running shoes from waffles his wife gave him one breakfast.
Should more companies gather their employees' ideas for hackathons? Let us know in the comments.