Monday, 31 March 2014 17:20

Bickford’s, Vok go mobile in the cloud with StayinFront CRM


Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider StayinFront has moved further into the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market, securing a contract with Australian drinks producer The Bickford’s Group to transform the company’s sales operation.

The new FMCG contract follows on from contracts StayinFront won with L'Oreal and Vitality Foods earlier this year, and includes Bickford’s Australia softdrink business and sister organisation Vok Beverages alcohol business unit.

Chris Illman, Group Marketing Manager at Bickford’s said the group’s “sales endeavours” were being constrained by the limitations of its existing CRM application and ageing Windows Mobile devices, and required a move to the latest mobility devices for high quality in-store selling.

“A priority was to reduce the overhead of on-premise servers and software with a shift to a cloud solution,” Illman said.

The two business units will use StayinFront Edge SaaS CRM and Analytics solution for consumer goods companies and StayinFront TouchCG for mobile devices.

Illman said the two distinct soft drink and alcohol business units of Bickford’s/Vok are operated separately but leverage efficiencies from a shared infrastructure and administration.

“Bickford’s Group of Companies remains proudly independent – privately owned and managed by Australians, however we are competing with global organisations who are resource rich. With StayinFront’s expertise in the FMCG sector and its proven tools, the improved information flow through the organisation will enable better decision making and will ensure we maximise opportunities at point of purchase.

“The acquisition of the Beenleigh Rum Distillery and Inner Circle Rum Brand, Step Rd Winery and Step Rd brand, along with the Beresford of McLaren Vale brand and the recent announcement of our plan to build a Distillery in the Riverland to produce Black Bottle Brandy are indicative of the Bickford’s Group of Companies’ growth aspirations, which in turn has meant we need to streamline our information flow.”

Kerrie-Anne Turner, StayinFront’s APAC Vice President and Managing Director Australia, said reporting agility was a crucial component for Bickford’s/Vok with requirements for greater visibility of information in-field to support better decision making.

From sales offices located around Australia, Turner said Bickford’s/VOK managers have real time access to all data “for the production of timely, meaningful reports from StayinFront’s powerful Analytics capabilities.”

Turner said Bickford’s/Vok was also benefitting from increased efficiency in order processing with automated turn-in orders from the field, sent via XML and email, straight through to wholesalers.

“It is clear from the requirements of our customers like Bickford’s/Vok that the FMCG sector’s technology needs are evolving very quickly. In only a matter of a couple of years, sales teams have moved from paper-based systems to iterations of CRM.

“We are now experiencing the rapid uptake of our cloud-based ‘out of the box’ industry-specific sales force automation solutions that support all mobility devices demanded by employees.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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