Where Retail meets Tech

September 18, 2017

How mobility simplifies field forces' work

Written by Lexane Sirac

On October 17 and 18, Paris will be hosting "Mobility for business", a must-attend trade show if you're looking for new opportunities to boost your field forces' efficiency and productivity. We thought it would be the right time to share this chat we had with Eric Devos last year at the IFM trade show about how mobility simplifies field forces' work at Danone.

Eric Devos shared great insights about Danone's mobility strategy and how Planorama's Image recognition solution for retail is instrumental in enabling field sales reps mobility.

Video is in French, with English subtitles. Full transcript in English below.



If you are interested in following the footsteps of Danone and using image recognition to improve your sales forces' performance, talk to us.


PlanoCheck : Collect shelf data in real time and realize the Perfect Store


Here's a full transcript of the webcast above:

Jeanne Baron: Hello everyone and welcome to the IFM trade show. I'm Jeanne Baron. With me today I have a very interesting guest. Eric Devos, many thanks for being with us. You work for Danone, as Retail Stream Leader in the Business Transformation Department. But before we get to grips with our topic, I let you introduce yourself.

Eric Devos: Hi Jeanne, lovely to meet you. I joined Danone four years ago. I decided to take up the challenge of working in sales. Danone is a very interesting multinational with almost 100,000 people around the world and several business lines: Fresh Dairy Products, Waters, Medical Nutrition and Early Life Nutrition.

JB: There's also a well-established mobility strategy at Danone.  Can you say a few words about it?

ED: Yes, there's been an established mobility strategy for a number of years. First, every employee now has a VPN to work from home as if in the office. We’ve also considered mobility in the overall context of the digital transformation of the company.

JB: Yes, I can imagine.

ED: More specifically, through the introduction of an enterprise social network solution. We’ve implemented Facebook at Work, known as Workplace. In terms of applications, we're going to roll out other solutions, in particular One Drive - this is still being discussed, it’s Work In Progress - so that every employee in the group can access the cloud for document storage.

JB: But will the field sales forces be impacted by these developments around mobility?

ED: They're the first population to be impacted. At the moment, I feel that this population is completely disconnected. They work on the ground or from home and don't spend much time at the head office. For this reason, it's important to give them efficient tools, and enable them to feel connected to their colleagues in the same area.

JB: I see. So can we say that mobility for the sales forces is about making their lives easier while responding to a clear business goal?

ED: Yes, that's exactly what it is about. Today, market managers – commonly known as sales reps –visit stores. What we're trying to do is not only saving them time during their visit but also making their job as pleasant as possible. So we try to equip them with the tool which suits their needs best and is also the most efficient in their day-to-day work.

JB: PlanoCheck? Is PlanoCheck part of this mobility strategy?

ED: Absolutely, yes, it is!

JB: You look pretty convinced.

ED: Yes, I am convinced. I've known Planorama for three years now. PlanoCheck is a solution that's truly mobile. First, it's available on any possible device, you can work with PlanoCheck on tablets, PCs, iPads and smartphones. But, before anything else, it works in offline mode so it is extremely mobile. Why? Because it means you can work while in-store, you can take photos… without connectivity

JB: OK, offline is no connectivity. That's what it means?.

ED: Yes, offline is no signal, no connectivity.

JB: No signal.

ED: But you can use the application as if you were connected.

JB: I see.

ED: And as soon as it automatically picks up a signal, it will synchronise with what we call a central server. Planorama is a cloud solution, or SaaS. So it will synchronise with the Planorama servers to retrieve all the data collected by the sales rep. That is a truly mobile solution. Today it’s wrong to say that a mobile solution requires to be connected 100% of the time. It's not possible. In some stores, in some hypermarkets, there is Wi-Fi now but there are many stores where there's no connectivity at all.

JB: So it's important to be able to work without connectivity. But I imagine you must be connected to be able to upload data, mustn't you?

ED: At some point, sales reps will leave the store, return to their car. car and immediately pick up a 3G or 4G signal.

JB: So they'll be able to send data.

ED: [With PlanoCheck] they'll be able to send data automatically without having to do anything.

JB: I see.

ED: Today, I am saying it again, you can't talk about a mobile application for sales forces if it doesn't have these offline mode and synchronisation mode with either a SaaS server or a server hosted at Danone.

JB: Thanks very much, Eric, for talking to us today. It's been very interesting.

ED: Thank you Jeanne.

JB: You work for Danone, as Retail Stream Leader in the Business Transformation Department. We'll be back here in an hour live from the IFM trade show with many more interesting chats. So please stay with us.

If you are interested in following the footsteps of Danone and using image recognition to improve your sales forces' performance, talk to us.

PlanoCheck : Collect self data in real time and realize the Perfect Store

Topics: retail execution