We needed a software solution that could grow with us
Atlanta, GA (Vocus) September 29, 2010
With service being the hallmark of The Hillman Group, the company employs today’s largest factory direct sales force in the market of fasteners, keys, letters, numbers, signs, and engraving. How do 700 sales personnel, field representatives and managers market, package and sell approximately 50,000 SKUs? How do they maintain consistent call cycles that ensure proper stock levels and inventory turns for more than 25,000 retail customers, large and small? They execute these merchandising and in-store tasks with the help of a proven mobile software system.
Hillman’s experience with strategic partners Quofore and Motorola was the subject of a September 21 Webinar.
Through a detailed presentation, The Hillman Group’s Chip Church, sr. vice president of national accounts sales & service, and Kirk Townsley, applications service manager, explained their search for a mobile solution that satisfies specific KPIs: an increase in call coverage, distribution rates, promotion compliance, new-item introduction, share of shelf, and orders; a decrease in out-of-stocks and point-of-sale-material inventory.
“We needed a software solution that could grow with us,” said Townsley. This meant that the solution had to provide a large data plan for up to 750 reps comprised of e-mail, expense logs, orders, and tens of thousands of real-time, in-store photos each month.
“Add surveys, and you have a lot of data that none of our prior vendors could handle.”
Over the course of a year, The Hillman Group evaluated various hardware, software and mobile carriers, quickly realizing that their choice would have to consolidate three software platforms and six hardware devices into one. Hillman’s project team chose Quofore’s software platform that includes 36 modules for optimizing field sales, merchandising, promotion and delivery actions. Townsley described the first six modules they’ve deployed as “a perfect approach for much less down time in the field and instant business intelligence.”
Even with plans to increase their sales force, Church said that The Hillman Group will save 40% in costs over the course of five years with this mobile solution, which also incorporates Motorola’s MC 75 handheld device and Verizon as carrier. Ultimately, the strong technological support is helping The Hillman Group expand into Mexico, Canada, Australia, and South America – yet another criterion for being chosen as their technology provider.
Words of wisdom to other sales and merchandising teams
Quofore’s Scott Foernsler, senior vice president sales, Americas, advised webinar attendees how all of these results are capable through mobile innovation and best practice in the field. “Make sure the application is highly intuitive, has high functionality, is suitable for your industry, and fast. It should also have security tools, reporting architecture and analytics for full decision making. With all this, you must be able to remotely manage the solution.”
Motorola’s John Pomerleau, director, Field Mobility Industry Solutions Group, recommended additional metrics for providing best-in-class field service. Considering that the webinar’s case in point was The Hillman Group, whose customers include Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Walmart and many other retail giants that have tall expectations and track Hillman’s performance, Pomerleau’s advice reflected the precise expertise needed from a hardware provider.
“A mobile field service solution ensures your company is set to better serve your customers,” said Pomerleau, “but make no mistake — to optimize, you need to approach the transition smartly and with a plan.”
Did The Hillman Group’s original plan succeed?
Church’s short answer was simple. “Buyers’ biggest concern is what will happen to that product once it hits the store. We can reassure them now.”
He concluded, “Quofore has provided us with timely responses to all of our needs. They have supported us every step of the way during this most important integration. We are confident we made the right choice by selecting Motorola and Quofore as our field tech providers.”
Download the pre-recorded webinar at http://www.quofore.com/hillmanwebinar and find out much more from The Hillman Group, Quofore and Motorola!
Founded in 1998, Quofore is recognized as the international leader in mobile software solutions for field representatives in consumer products companies. Companies using Quofore solutions are able to drive competitive advantage through their management and execution of field sales, merchandising, promotion, and direct delivery activities. Incorporating world’s best practice, Quofore solutions reflect the experience and domain expertise gained from over a decade of specialized industry focus, working with customers in more than 20 countries in both modern trade and emerging markets. Quofore markets its software worldwide through its regional offices in the Americas, EMEA and the Asia Pacific region, and works closely with its partner ecosystem to service and support its customers worldwide. Quofore has delivered solutions to customers across six continents including leading global corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Cadbury, Brown-Forman, Dyson and Black & Decker, as well as numerous small to midsize companies. For more information, visit http://www.quofore.com.