1. How does a company with 145,000 employees in 67 countries stay on top of its internal communications?

That’s the question Cargill approached our team with back in 2013. Our team was tasked with creating an iPhone and Android application that would streamline internal communication, while matching the diversity of Cargill’s staff, which varies in both digital prowess, device preference and content needs.

2. Discovering specific user needs and wants 

When we started working with Cargill, they were in the middle of a rebranding initiative called, “thrive”. Our job was to navigate changes that came our way throughout the process to make sure the app aligned with brand standards. In the end, our designers knew the thrive brand so well that our contacts at Cargill actually looked to Spyder Trap as being the experts for their own brand standards.

As we dug into project details, we quickly realized that much more than functionality, forms and a solid User Experience would be necessary to make this project a success. This application needed to succeed in ways past corporate communication efforts had failed. In speaking with employees, we discovered that Cargill’s commitment to corporate responsibility and community was an obvious rallying cry and point of pride. Despite Cargill's position as an agricultural and industrial products powerhouse, employees were more interested in learning about the company's commitment to reducing environmental impact and improving local communities. 

Cargill had all the necessary information for the app, but wasn't sure how to prioritize or organize it. We saw an enormous opportunity in this challenge: To improve the relevancy and frequency of internal corporate communication, thereby bolstering internal brand champions. There was a long list of features to cull down. A hugely important feature included an In The News section, which was built to flag and filter hot-button issues that mattered to specific employees. The app would then paste these stories on a user's homepage. In the end, the opportunity was building an application that not only kept employees informed, but also made them feel good about their jobs, too.

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Allowing users to manage their accounts by adding preferences, bookmarks and subscriptions

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Providing a flexible architecture so that content could be added post-delivery

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Setting a precedent for all Cargill digital projects to come

3. Solution: Producing a gold standard template for all Cargill mobile projects to come

In the end, we created an application that users could access anywhere and anytime to receive talking points on issues relevant to current news and Cargill company issues. This kept and continues to keep employees up-to-date by providing a one-stop-shop for information regarding Cargill’s views on issues important to the company and community.

The app was not only designed to function on iOS and Android devices, but also optimized for a wide range of tablets and smartphones. This way, Cargill workers could stay connected anywhere, anytime and on any device. Usage and news sharing within Cargill has increased significantly. In addition, the client has reported multiple times that this application has become the gold standard for all company-wide mobile development initiatives. 

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