UCS Solutions Official Blog

Making a case for use of mobile field sales solutions in FMCG and Distribution companies


In the past few years, mobile technology has been impacting the lives of nearly all individuals from third world to first world countries. Each individual, irrelevant of the socio-economic status, is familiar with mobile devices in one form or other.

Businesses also have seen a growth in employees gaining experience and value through use of smartphones, tablets or mobile computers. The learning curve to introduce mobile technology to enhance business processes has been reduced by several steps such that a business can no longer feel that its employees may reject a new mobile initiative or react adversely to it. In reality, employees are proactively looking for “apps” and solutions to make their daily tasks simpler.

For forward thinking businesses, now is probably the best time to increase the use of mobility in the enterprise and look for innovative solutions to support its sales force to simplify their daily tasks, boost productivity and reduce costs.

Field sales software coupled with improving communication channels and availability of a wide range of customer friendly devices offer a solution to deliver improved efficiency and reduce costs for large FMCG and distribution companies.

Add-ons, singular components or piece-meal and disconnected solutions cannot provide the efficiency and reliability needed for an organization to gain advantage and in a fast moving and demanding market.

Only a completely tested, flexible and fully integrated solution with industry tested and proven business processes can deliver the required ROI (Return on Investment) and business benefits.

Barriers to going mobile

As with any new initiative and implementation, there are always challenges and hurdles that affect management decisions. Implementing an enterprise level mobile solution also has its barriers; some may be related to technology and others to business processes or culture.

Some barriers that may affect rolling out a mobile field solution include:

Cultural resistance – Field sales force may not be willing to move towards a mobile solution with the feeling that the new technology may make their position irrelevant or that the technology may be difficult to adapt to.

Hardware cost issues – Management may feel that the cost of the solution may be prohibitive and not provide the desired ROI.

Wireless data cost issues – Cost of GPRS and 3G data connectivity may negatively affect the implementation by reducing the cost savings gained by removal of paper and voice calls to conduct field activities.

Complexity of Solution – The solution may not meet the business requirements or may be very complex to implement and rollout.

Most of the above noted barriers to rolling out a mobile field sales solution can easily be overcome by selecting the right solution and right partner to implement the solution.

With improvements in technology and availability of easy to use mobile devices, a sales person should not have difficulty in adapting to using a new application on a device they are already familiar with.

Usually star performers on the sales force take to the new solution like ‘fish to water’ with the clear understanding that the solution is meant to help their daily business processes and afford them additional time to connect with the customer.

Management also starts seeing the immediate effect on sales performance within 3 to 4 months of roll out of the solution which easily outweighs the cost of implementing the solution.

Also, cost of devices and data connectivity is constantly dropping with telecommunication and data service operators offering cheap data packages and data bundles.

Why go Mobile?

In the current environment, where mobility is becoming crucial to FMCG and distribution business success and customer responsiveness, many companies acknowledge the urgent importance of leveraging new technologies in order to improve sales force effectiveness.

Businesses are seeing their market share erode due to cut-throat completion, counterfeit products, waning customer loyalty and an underperforming salesforce.

By implementing a mobile solution, a business can show that it is forward thinking and meeting the challenges of the day head on.

Going mobile not only gives the business the ability to serve its customers faster, it can also ensure that no customer is left under-served or un-served.

Sales persons can gain more knowledge from the field and feed the business intelligence pipeline with time critical information such as customer stock levels, competitor pricing, changes in customer profiles or product requirements to help the forecasting and analysis processes.

Production and warehousing can relay up-to-date stock information to sales persons so that they can better commit quantities to customers when taking orders.

Logistics can be given sufficient advance notice to improve their delivery planning and ensure that shipments are dispatched accurately and returns are minimized.

The accuracy of information moving through the organization’s ERP pipeline is enhanced with real-time information on products, stock and customers being relayed to the sales person, who can better engage the customer and help the customer’s decision making process as well as capture information from the customer in form of orders, returns or payment collections at the site of sales activity so that the collected data can be updated back into the system ‘just-in-time’ for financial and logistics processes to move ahead efficiently.

Performing these activities in the field not only provides benefits for the entire supply chain but also creates new opportunities and capabilities at each level for enhancing the customer relationship and increasing the organization’s value.

A Mobile Field Sales Solution to meet the needs

SalesWorx mobile field sales software from Unique Computer Systems, is a fully integrated collection of software which provides the right mix of mobile and server components to support FMCG and Distribution companies at each operational step and make the most efficient use of their existing resources.

SalesWorx provides capabilities for:

Efficient route management – a server based module provides for planning and approval of sales force routes and visits with the option for time based planning. Routes can be planned for specific dates or even copied en-masse from one month to the other. Once approved, routes are relayed to each sales person’s mobile device based on their synchronization schedule. Management reporting is available to provide real-time status on sales visits, orders taken and customer interaction notes.

Dynamic Data Capturing – Order management becomes easy when the sales person has built-in templates for fast order taking and access to stock, bonus, FOC (Free of Cost) and lot/batch information. The ability to quickly put together an order, save it, review it at a later time for discussion or modification and on-the-spot confirmation with signatures and printing, gives the sales person the confidence to execute his daily sales activity professionally. The customer also gains assurance that his order will be processed speedily and deliver lead time will be maintained. Sales persons can also take returns, collect payments and conduct field surveys to gain ground level information for management decision making and business support.

In-field decision support – Information on customer locations, available credit limits, real-time and offline access to order history, customer statusinformationis shared with thefield sales force to empower them to make the right decisions independently and with the assurance that their orders will not be rejected and that customers will honor their purchase commitments. Ready access and knowledge on new product introductions, warehouse stock levels, discounts and bonus structures gives a sales person the ability to offer advantages to his customers to better build a relationship with them.

Centralized or distributed stock information – products and stock information can be regularly updated to the mobile application for up-to-date information for sales activities. Stock data and lot information can be retrieved from a centralized location or can be distributed to branch locations for specific sales teams

Ability to access information remotely – With improving connectivity in wireless, SalesWorx takes advantage of all forms of connectivity to provide multiple methods of synchronizing data with the server software. Data may be synchronized over WiFi, GPRS, 3G or even using a wired connection. Well coded processes make sure data is never lost in communication and securely maintained on the mobile client till receipt is confirmed by the server.

Enterprise Integration – a business process focused system like SalesWorx, needs to integrate well with popular ERP products to receive updated information and send data to other business modules for billing and stock updates. SalesWorx has been integrated and tested with leading ERP solutions such as Tally, Oracle Applications, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics. It also offers the ability to connect to a wide variety of other ERP or accounting systems which provide options for collaboration.

Benefits of SalesWorx

Any new system introduced to an organization carries the responsibility of delivering on its promises. SalesWorx, when implemented in its entirety, provides a series of benefits that enhance the productivity of the sales team, the responsiveness to the customer and the increase in value for the business.
Increased Sales-cycle efficiency – Empowered sales persons have the ability to create and close sales orders quickly and have the ability to immediately send orders directly to the server for processing. This also eliminates the time-consuming activity of double entry when orders are taken on paper and sent to a data entry operator. The sales person also gains an advantage when his visit is enhanced with customer history, open order status, customer payment status and product related information. He is better able to serve his customers and independently decide the best course of action for each sales call. If needed, orders can be printed and invoiced on the spot and delivery can be instructed to logistics immediately.

Customer responsiveness – With the increase in sales person performance and responsiveness, customers tend to gain the assurance that their orders will be processed swiftly and correctly and that their deliveries will be error free. Customers are happier to work with efficient sales persons who can accurately give them information on stock availability, new product introductions, discounts and bonuses to help them plan their purchases.

Increased visibility of field sales activities, productivity and profitability metrics – Management requires regular oversight on field activities and performance of sales people to make sure their customers are being served well and opportunities are not being missed. Managers are regularly updated on the ground reality of the market when competitive research is relayed to them first by their own sales force. Business intelligence can be fed into forecasting and analysis to plan purchasing and production more accurately and generate more profitability from the same resources.

Why use Unique Computer Systems to deliver your mobile field sales solution

Unique Computer Systems has been developing and implementing innovative field sales and service solutions for over 12 years. It has gained experience through studying a variety of business processes and applying mobility best practices to these to ensure that its customers gain value from investing in their solutions.

Unique Computer Systems understands the challenges and requirements of going mobile and has worked with its customers more as an advisor rather than a technician. UCS’ team provides the knowledge and support needed for an organization to comfortably get their team initiated into the new solution and continue to gain value from its implementation.

UCS has a greater focus on business processes and usability of the solutions it implements and it assists its customers to step effortlessly through the evolutionary process of designing, deploying, managing, analyzing and enhancing their solution implementation and at the same time improving the ROI from its existing investments in systems and manpower.

Our team is experienced in integration with ERP systems such as Oracle, SAP, MS Dynamics as well as smaller accounting systems such as Tally, etc. We also have a dedicated support team to provide post-implementation support.

About SalesWorx

Mobile based Sales Force Automation is a key requirement for fast-moving businesses today. Unique Computer Systems’ integrated mobile Sales Force Automation tools can increase your field sales representatives’ effectiveness and productivity while reducing their downtime, by providing faster, easier and up-to-date access to their business critical information on enterprise systems, corporate databases and applications.

SalesWorx from Unique Computer Systems is a top quality mobile sales solution that offers customizable customer and product information and customer visit management – a complete tool optimized for field sales professionals.

SalesWorx addresses the needs of your mobile sales and distribution workforce by putting critical customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) data in the hands of mobile sales representatives and empowers them to conduct effective field sales and distribution activities in an efficient and accurate manner.

SalesWorx enables your mobile sales professionals to be more responsive to customers by conducting activities such as checking inventory, quoting prices, and accessing current product information during the customer meeting.

SalesWorx supports the workflow of the field sales representatives and meets the reporting needs of management through a number of highly integrated functional modules:

· Contact Profile Management

· Contact History Management

· Product Data Management

· Stock Data and Purchase History Management

The solution is flexible and can be easily integrated into any Enterprise Resource Planning or Supply Chain Management solution for immediate and up-to-date access to business information.

About Unique Computer Systems

Unique Computer Systems (UCS), is anISO9001:2008 certified company, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. UCS offers world-class e-transformation solution to the GCC market being a complete Internet and wireless business solutions provider & Microsoft Certified Partner based in theUnited Arab Emirates.

Since its inception in 1993, the company has matured into a software developer, application integrator and solutions provider for corporate, customer-centric web and wireless solutions for specific business requirements.

The portfolio of clients includes local and international companies such asKLMRoyal Dutch Airlines, Sony Ericsson, Air Arabia, Alphamed, Ebn Sina Qatar, Del Monte Foods FZE (UAE), Del Monte Saudi Arabia, Al Seer Trading Agencies, Planet Pharmacy, Terraco, Dubai Industrial City, Abdul Lateef Jameel – KSA, Dubai World Trade Centre, Commercial Bank of Dubai, MashreqBank, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Motivate Publishing, Eros Group, Qatar Airways, Pinctada Pearls, Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharaf Foundations, Johnson Controls, Emaar Malls Group, Samsung Electronics and others.

Unique Computer Systems, over the years, has accumulated a wide array of expertise in the area of wireless software development and business processes. With its certified professionals specialized in various areas of information technologies, Unique Computer Systems has implemented numerous solutions that catered to its clients varied needs, from strategic consulting and system analysis and design, to development and deployment. Unique Computer Systems’ staff experience is strongly witnessed in providing technology wireless solutions correlated with business analysis and project management experience, we offer knowledge and experience that is truly unique in the technology market. Our company is known for its outstanding customer service and our financial stability. Our management team is committed to the philosophy that customer satisfaction is the key to growing and maintaining our business. We further supplement our years of experience with a commitment to on-going training.

Unique Computer Systems has maintained a reputation for excellence in the field and we’re confident that you’ll join our group of satisfied customers who have come to enjoy an unbeatable combination of outstanding service, quality products and competitive prices.

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