Corporate Eye

Ahold’s Website — A Communications Gem

Many companies have their “corporate jewels”. In the case of Netherland’s based Ahold, an international group of quality supermarkets based in the United States and Europe, their website is a gem.

First the Homepage is loaded with information —

You have access to news, stock price, corporate responsibility and access to their companies. Note the Interactive Calendar this is a unique tool that permits visitors to view a wide variety of corporate events. When you click on an event, you access more information about it. This is an effective communications tool for stakeholders.

Next a visit to the About Us section indicates that the robust display of information is extended. The use of graphics adds to the friendliness of the site.

Far too much to cover in one post. I will focus on two areas Ahold Structure and Our Strategy.

Click on Ahold Structure and you are taken to a page that describes Ahold’s vast corporate reach. The company provides a well organized array of in formation links and a corporate interactive diagram

Note how Corporate Governance links are integrated with operating units. Click on the Board section and you see images of Board members and a short background. Nice but not unique. Click on any of the operating units to access more information. This is well organized and allows drilling down to more detailed information all the way to the website for each unit. This chart with its integrated navigational structure provides visitors with an effective communications tool.

Click on Strategy and you will see a benchmark display of a company’s strategy–

Many companies either do not disclose their strategy or provide a skeletal outline. Perhaps this is due to a concern about divulging competitive intelligence. However, investors need to understand where the company is headed. Ahold does an admirable job in communicating their strategy. Note the comprehensive navigation menu —

Financial targets and Value Improvement Program provide measures related to strategy execution. Highlights and Downloads provide ongoing information about the company’s strategy.

Other companies could consider using Ahold as a model to disclose their strategies and for effective stakeholder communications. What do you think?

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.

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