SuperValu –
Evolving Survey Methodology
"The thing we needed more than anything else was a more advanced technology, specifically reporting flexibility. No one else in the industry seemed to have as many reporting options as Zarca."

– Steve Shields,
Corporate Director of Employee Relations, SuperValu

  • Fortune 500 Company
  • Fortune Most Admired Company
  • Forbes Platinum 400 Company
  • 190,000+ Employees
  • 2,500 Stores
  • 5,000 Retail Endpoints
Executive Summary
SuperValu has been a major force in the food logistics and retail industry for over 135 years. Their vast network of over 190,000 employees, 2,500 stores and 5,000 retail endpoints is served by constant process innovation and a unique set of strategic resources and capabilities.

Recently, SuperValu found itself looking for advancement of its previous data collection method. Surveys and information gathering were implemented using standard methods but were functionally limited, costly and time-consuming for the complexity of their company.

SuperValu turned to Zarca Interactive’s On-Demand service for quick, easy and secure access to all of its survey projects. Benefits from Zarca’s ASP-based platform include a multitude of advanced data analysis tools and cross-location collaboration. SuperValu seamlessly creates, distributes, and analyzes surveys from one, centralized repository.

Survey Process Evolution
An entity as expansive as SuperValu requires ongoing observation and evaluation to identify improvement opportunities and streamline processes. SuperValu’s previous survey software provider wasn’t able to support all of their unique requirements and they began to search for higher-end solutions.

“Previously we used a technology from another survey company which just didn’t meet our unique needs”, explains Steve Shields, SuperValu’s Corporate Director of Employee Relations.

A recent example of SuperValu’s advancing methods was to streamline the manual process used for their Code of Conduct Compliance Certification. Employees were sent a paper form to fill out, stating they’ve read and understood the code of conduct and were aware of any revisions.

“The process involved a lot of people and required everyone to move these paper forms around the company”, recalls Steve. Results would come back to a central location where a number of people were tasked with checking each form and assessing if any follow-up actions were needed to be taken.

For the first time this year, SuperValu created a private, online survey using Zarca Interactive and sent email invitations to their panel list. To access the questionnaire, employees simply went online and clicked on a unique hyperlink that took them to the survey.

“Once in the survey, they filled in their code of conduct compliance certification with virtually no people involved except survey designers and a person processing reports on the back-end. There was a great deal of time, trouble and resources saved just by implementing that process this year.”

Besides streamlining the survey process end-to-end, SuperValu places a great deal of value on the reporting and analysis capabilities of the system.

“The thing we needed more than anything else was a more advanced technology, specifically reporting flexibility. No one else in the industry seemed to have as many reporting options as Zarca.”

After their due diligence, a detailed assessment of the functionality available in the industry and a brief courting that included an interactive, online product demo, SuperValu partnered with Zarca in December 2007.

Putting the Pieces Together
SuperValu now utilizes Zarca for many of its data collection needs, ranging from Human Resources initiatives such as employee engagement surveys, to best practice assessments and operational studies like safety evaluations.

Their current employee engagement research surveys an enormous workforce on various issues relating to their experience as SuperValu associates.

“We’re looking at our associate engagement results as they compare to other performance metrics; we are learning how all the pieces of our business are working together”, clarifies Steve, on how current surveys will be aggregated with other indicators.

Zarca’s software allows SuperValu to import data from other surveys into one platform for a comprehensive analysis. “The technology we use with Zarca is specific to the associate survey results, but we’ll be doing more complex, detailed analysis with looping in data points from other assessments” says Steve about Zarca’s capability for combined data analysis.

Value Added: Monitoring Survey Progress
There was a large gap in keeping SuperValu’s decision-makers constantly informed of the progress of survey initiatives with their previous survey software provider.

“Surveys have been traditionally those things that you implement as your leaders out in your facilities sit on pins and needles until results are shared sometime later”, describes Steve.

“At that point, they may feel that participation wasn’t as good as they thought it would be and wished they would’ve known sooner to take actions in correcting the problem. We had some areas of our business that very clearly said they could have promoted the survey better if they had known what the participation was throughout the survey, rather than simply getting the final report sent to them when it was all over.”

Zarca Interactive software empowers SuperValu’s management to monitor up-to-the-minute response rates and take effective steps to communicate or encourage participation if it is noticeably low. Analysts can also view survey results as they come in to become aware of developing data trends.

“To have something that can be in an emailed report; that has a dynamic link to where our leaders can click on a link and see their real-time current participation, is something that is pretty well-received around here”, explains Steve, speaking on the ability to view instant survey status updates.