Nestlé sells an extensive range of grocery products through its own sales force, and distributors' sales forces. In their daily visit to the customers, the sales teams are expected to perform a number of different activities such as market surveys, asset tracking and merchandiser audits to gather customer and market intelligence. However, most activities have traditionally been carried out manually using pen and paper. This resulted in lost time and was prone to data entry errors. Manual processes also often lacked checking mechanisms. As a result, the accuracy of secondary sales data has always been a key concern.
Another challenge was with the way information was managed. When a sales person was on site with a customer, he or she often lacked the necessary information on hand to respond to basic questions such as stock availability, product information, order status or current pricing. What they needed was a tool to sell the right product range at the right outlet, in the right channel and with right promotional activity.
"To enable us to scale our operations efficiently and cost-effectively, we needed to look for new technology and solutions that would increase productivity manyfold, without necessarily increasing cost," said Patrick Goh, Sales Project Manager, Nestlé (Malaysia).