Mother Dairy deploys Distributor Management System for its businesses
“One or two applications are not enough, every business process needs to have a mobile interface which is the primary touch point for any user” Annie John Mathew, CIO, Mother Dairy remarked.
Mother Dairy one of the big guns in the dairy industry, has equipped its distributors teams with Distributor Management System and associated Sales Force Automation. A single DMS runs across the five businesses across India, with each business having a different go to market strategy.
The Company has a diversified range of products in milk, dairy products, edible oils, fruits & vegetables, pulses, processed food like fruit juices, jams, etc. to cater to the daily requirements of every Indian household.
Mother Dairy distributors take orders, pass-on the schemes and sell their products at the retail stores across India.
“The distributors have multiple roles in the market, so it is absolutely necessary to identify the productive roots. We also wanted visibility on the secondary sales and schemes that Mother Dairy passes on to the market” said Mathew.
Lot of time was also getting exhausted in the claims process, as it requires validation and then reconciliation of the claim with the manual data. Hence the organization wanted to facilitate the distributors’ claims process.
Her team rigorously evaluated the software vendors that were used by the industry and finalized a Bangalore based company Ubq for its product called Ubq Outreach. They ended up doing some amount of customization in the product as their business needs were very specific.
The Business Heads for Dairy Products and Edible Oil along with their teams were the champions for the project and had to work on convincing the distributors and ensuring continued adoption.
The company digitally empowered the distributors with android tablets. Since the company has assorted market models, the solution is running on multiple device formats. The distributor sales men have been provided smartphones to influence the selling process.
Mathew believes that there are many places where mobile can prove itself an effective solution for any business process. They have selected the platform to build their mobile applications and now the solutions are in the development phase. These will complement the DMS and SFA systems currently deployed.
With the team of two IT members, Mathew took 3 months in evaluating the solution. After technical assessment, they got the business teams to run pilots with different software and selected the one the users were most comfortable with. And then gradually rolled out to first fifty distributors and then continued the process in short bursts.
“There is no point in rolling out in large numbers, we make sure that it is being used effectively and then continue the implementation process. Otherwise the solution does become the system of transaction but you don’t get to understand the real benefit realization from it. That real benefit realization becomes fundamental before rolling out in larger numbers” she further added.
The idea was to get into Auto Replenishment Mode across the multiple stages in the supply chain. And whenever the stock levels are depleted there should be an Auto Replenishment Trigger which is generated from the system itself.
Mathew established that a DMS is one of the most difficult systems to deploy mainly because it is operated by the third party and secondly, the system faced some amount of resistance from the distributor’s environment for adoption. “Before we actually went into the software we scanned the environment to see how many companies in similar industries have successfully managed to deploy Distributors Management System and discovered that the success rate varied depending on the nature of industry. We still went ahead with the project as we were convinced that visibility of secondary sales and the utilization of schemes would help us tailor our schemes more intelligently” Mathew shared.
The solution gives the entire visibility to the parent company. They can now keep a track on the ground activities, selling pattern and right intervals of ordering.
DMS encourages the influenced selling process, as the distributors get the suggested list of products that they should sell to a particular retailer. The suggestion can be modified depending on the history of buying and the new products launched. It also ensures that the schemes are correctly passed on to the retailers.
It has facilitated the Distributors’ claim cycles, so the distributors turnaround their capital faster.
The solution, Mother Dairy Distributor Management System is presently live in Delhi and Mumbai, and the company plans to cover the entire country by the end of 2016.
Source : Economic Times