"We owe much of the success of our SMARTselling solutions to SQL Anywhere Studio. It is as robust and feature rich a solution as we've seen and is part of our core reference architecture."
Larry Trainer Vice President of Engineering ELEVEN Technology
The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), the largest Pepsi bottling company in the United States, needed to provide better tools to its frontline employees to increase sales and productivity. With Sybase iAnywhere technology, it created a more effective mobile workforce solution.
Instead of carrying a bulging binder full of paper into each meeting, PBG's sales representatives only need a 15-ounce Pocket PC that is synchronized with PBG's central Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise database using a Wi-Fi or dial-up connection.
Boosts up-selling and cross-selling
Increases speed to shelf for new products and promotions
Improves promotional compliance and performance
Reduces out-of-stock situations and invoice disputes
Lowers printing and distribution costs for sales and training materials
Maximizing Customer Interaction Following the enormous success of the first generation of mobile applications, many companies are considering using mobile technology for more than basic process automation. Emerging now, are solutions designed to equip sales, service and delivery representatives with smart software running on mobile devices that can positively influence outcomes at the "moment of truth."
The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), the largest Pepsi bottling company in the U.S., provides a case in point. PBG is rolling out a new mobile workforce effectiveness solution developed by Trimble Technology and powered by SQL Anywhere from Sybase iAnywhere.
"We had to provide better tools to our 12,000 sales and delivery people—our front line," says Raymond Brown, director of supply chain technologies, PBG. "Our old applications were very invoice-centric, only replacing paper forms. They didn't do anything to support sales."
For a company whose mission statement simply says "We sell soda," Paul Hamilton, vice president of PBG's supply chain group, and his colleagues wanted to provide PBG's sales representatives with a tool that would enable them to maximize every customer interaction and to sell more effectively. PBG's research led it to Trimble Technology and its SMARTselling mobile applications suite.
"It's all about having the information you need at the moment you need it," Hamilton says.
Using Trimble Technology's SMARTselling solution, PBG can push the data each sales representative needs to an application running on a Symbol PDT 8000 Pocket PC. SMARTpresell, as this particular application is called, provides PBG's sales force with route management information, real-time demand forecasting, inventory management, promotional information and even training materials right on a lightweight handheld device.
SQL Anywhere Puts the Intelligence in SMARTselling Solution "Key to our ability to deliver this vital intelligence is SQL Anywhere, which is embedded in the application running locally on the Symbol Pocket PC," says Larry Trainer, Trimble Technology's vice president of engineering.
"In developing SMARTselling, we knew we would need a very robust database engine and a reliable synchronization mechanism that could run on a very limited resource device, within the confines of a 32-megabyte RAM space, for example," he added. "In our prototype application, we used a database and synchronization technology which turned out to be very limited and very immature products. We began looking for a better solution. Once we evaluated SQL Anywhere's database and synchronization technologies, we knew we had found the tools we needed. We didn't look any further."
Working with SQL Anywhere, Trimble Technology rapidly developed the SMARTselling application.
Sales Force Clamoring for SMARTselling Instead of carrying a bulging binder full of paper into each meeting, PBG's sales representatives only need their 15-ounce Pocket PC. The reps start each day by synchronizing their Pocket PCs with PBG's central Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise database using a Wi-Fi or dial-up connection.
In a matter of just a few minutes, the reps have all the information needed to plan the day. They receive a performance scorecard that shows how they're doing on an account-by-account basis against sales plans. They also get intelligent selling prompts on special offers, which can be used to up-sell and cross-sell during conversations with store managers.
"We're in the process of a staged rollout of the system to PBG's entire sales force, but we're already receiving very positive feedback about SMARTselling from the sales representatives who have the system," Trainer says. "They tell us the application is making them more efficient, decreasing the time they spend on such activities as checking inventory and shelf displays, and giving them more time to spend with managers selling product."
Delivers Significant Benefits PBG is not the only organization that recognizes the benefits of the SMARTselling solution suite. Procter & Gamble (P&G) is also implementing Trimble's SMARTselling solution while Campbell Soup Company's Pepperidge Farm division is currently working with Trimble on the design of its next generation route sales solution.
"We owe much of the success of our SMARTselling solutions to SQL Anywhere," Trainer says. "It is as robust and feature rich a solution as we've seen and is part of our core reference architecture. Equally important, Sybase iAnywhere is a very responsive, customer-focused company.
"The Sybase iAnywhere team has been a valuable partner upon whom we continue to rely to help us push through tough technical challenges," he says. "Looking down the road at our product plans, our strategy and Sybase iAnywhere's strategy line up very nicely. We're both pushing the edge, and that's what will make us both successful over the long haul."