Kimberly-Clark field force stays in front with CRM

Friday, 14 May, 2010

Kimberly-Clark Australia (KCA) had committed nearly six years to developing a highly successful instore business model for its consumer products field services team and was ready to drive productivity gains and increase sales opportunities with the support of a sophisticated CRM system.

Craig Chiplin, National Field Activation Manager at Kimberly-Clark, said: “We have one of the best field strategies in the industry so our goal in selecting the StayinFront platform was to add value and efficiency to our proven methodology.”

KCA had relied on a paper-based system for its field team, with manual spreadsheet recording to track activities and results. Reporting was done by fax and the weekly mail-outs the team received were often out-of-date by the time they made their calls.

The new KCA StayinFront system began rolling out to the national field force in early 2010, with plans for further expansion across the Asia-Pacific region.

“The StayinFront implementation has taken our instore customer relations to a new level, from the execution of marketing initiatives to full national sales management,” Chiplin said.

With the StayinFront CRM for consumer goods, KCA created a core solution that exactly matched its business processes. “Our customers, including the likes of Coles, Woolworths and Metcash, have high expectations of their suppliers. We are leveraging StayinFront CRM Consumer Goods’ rich functionality to improve visibility of customer tracking and reporting, optimise order placement and fulfilment, and streamline our operational activities,” said Chiplin.

The seamlessly integrated, single customer view provided by the StayinFront CRM for consumer goods means all critical customer information and interactions are now visible throughout the business. And management is benefiting from the data mining and decision support tool StayinFront Analytics.

“StayinFront Analytics is excellent. It’s very easy to drill down to team members and results. We’re saving significant amounts of time now with the information instantly available through Analytics,” said Chiplin.

KCA recognised that accuracy and timeliness in the monitoring of all customer-related activities can lead to increased sales. Field staff can now proactively assist their customers in promoting Kimberly-Clark products and services. It is also easy to measure and record instore stock levels and shelf space.

With the allocation of ruggedised mobile devices, the KCA field staff will have their heavy paper-based sales cards and folders, which weighed as much as 4 kg, dramatically reduced. “The team is now physically and mentally uncluttered, clear to make the most of the entire opportunity of each instore call,” Chiplin explained.

The greatly improved access to critical data has translated into real business opportunities for KCA’s field force. Chiplin was able to quantify that “our territory managers are averaging an extra 2.5 calls per week because of the reduction in administrative workload. And, in the first six months, displays in NSW have increased 53% over the same period last year.”

He is very impressed with the ability to target individual information needs: “All information used to be included in the same weekly updates. Each staff member had to search for information pertinent to his or her territory. Now, there are clear messages and actions for each team member. Once they’ve completed a task, it’s taken off the to-do list. It makes for very efficient sales calls.

“The guys have had quite a few wins with customers because they’ve had up to the minute information with them on their mobile devices. The return on investment is clear,” said Chiplin.

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