Problem

In 2015 one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company (henceforth referred to as “CPG”) approached Compliantia with a problem. They had reached an agreement with a major quick service restaurant group (henceforth referred to as “QSR”) to have their products listed at 3,200 restaurants, in place of a key competitor’s products. They needed to manage a merchandising conversion at 3,200 restaurants, in a matter of  weeks. How could they collect information at store level ahead of time, implement the conversion then inspect all stores again when done? How could they ensure that every store got converted and every merchandising activity took place, in time, in full, in all locations?

Requirements

Time to market was critical to the success of the program. The CPG was particularly interested in deploying a field-ready solution, within days, using their own team and their existing equipment (a mix of bring-your-own and company-owned smartphones, tablets and laptops). It had to work and scale right out of the gate, across 6 time zones and 3,200 stores. While “in-house” solutions (Excel, email) and generic survey solutions (SurveyMonkey™) had been contemplated, they were deemed too slow, too labor-intensive and too error-prone to meet the business requirements around speed and accuracy of merchandising execution.

Solution setup

Upon receiving the CPG’s registration, the Compliantia team scheduled a web conference to demo the software and workflow to the project’s stakeholders. Based on the demo, the CPG determined that the solution was a good fit for their needs. Compliantia provided a yearly “all-inclusive” quote which came within budget. CPG asked for a free 30-day trial. Within hours, the CPG had, largely on their own:

1. Uploaded over 3,200 locations to the system using Compliantia’s built-in upload capabilities. The locations were automatically geo-coded.

2. Created a complete national hierarchy of regional managers and field sales representatives assigned to specific locations and ready to sign-in to their Compliantia accounts.

3. Implemented their own business rules, workflows and labels.

Solution execution

CPG proceeded to create a number of forms to collect store-level information, at various phases of the program. The program consisted of 3 phases:

Phase one
In-store survey and fact-finding in each of the 3,200 locations. The objective was to collect data ahead of the conversion. This consisted in verifying the store’s staff contact information, equipment, parking and delivery options. Tens of thousands of photos were taken and attached to each visit to document each location’s environment and merchandising setup. This phase was aided by Compliantia’s built-in maps, geo-location and the ability to zero-in on nearby stores that haven’t been visited yet.

Phase two
Phone survey by head-office sales representatives to each of the 3,200 locations. Based on the data collected in phase one, the objective of phase two was to confirm the details of the upcoming conversion, such as the equipment to be swapped and the actual date of the conversion.

Phase three
Post-implementation survey at each of the 3,200 locations. The objective was to gain feedback and insights into how the conversion process went. Was the conversion done well, on time and in the least disruptive manner possible? CPG was able to use the built-in reports to find out what worked and what didn’t work, where and when, in both raw and aggregated form.

Conclusion

Using a mature, modern and field-ready software tool made it easy for a large consumer packaged goods company to prepare for, and analyse the results of a key merchandising program at 3,200 stores in 6 time zones. They visited thousands of locations, conducted thousands of audits, captured tens of thousands of photos and had this up and running in hours and days, not weeks and months. The cost was nominal. Results came in immediately. It allowed the CPG to bring a key merchandising program to market in record time and with great accuracy.

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