When craft beer is your business, the thoughtful steps put into ensuring proper delivery to thirsty connoisseurs can be quite a process. With so many important details to track across distribution, the methods utilized to capture the valuable relationship and product data needed increasingly more attention.
The organization never had a centralized contact database. Efforts to manage the relationships and track the touches were inconsistent and siloed via rolodex cards and spreadsheets, so visibility, sharing and reporting were impaired. To complicate matters, the company had just been a part of a multi-company acquisition and sales teams, territories, and distribution channels were in transition. PSC’s discovery sessions revealed additional opportunities for data access and process improvement tied to quality control and marketing measures.
Brewers across the U.S. depend on Vermont Info Processing (VIP) subscriptions as the most trusted third party resource for distributor logistics in the alcohol and spirits industry. VIP expertly tracks the movement of product and distributor shipments to retail. The client relies on VIP to report product depletions and monitor aging of product across channels. Unfortunately, they didn’t always know who a retail location’s exact distributor was, and the data had to be accessed separately through a data warehouse populated via reporting from the VIP platform.
Additionally, surveys used to collect pricing, marketing, and quality control information about the product at thousands of on and off-premise retail locations (stores, bars, restaurants, etc.) were not mobile enabled and had to be entered via web-based forms in a separate system back in the office following visits. It equated to hours of administrative data entry required after physical visits to visually observe each of the sites.
Some of the process issues would later be compounded following acquisitions because of the lack of a central relationship database to properly manage each company’s distribution relationships and product survey data. And secondary to the original project scope, separate sales and marketing databases interfered with marketing efforts and alignment of targeting and messaging between sales and marketing, making it difficult to execute consistently.
Through the collaborative discovery process that included elements of Microsoft’s Deployment Planning Services methodology, the client decided PSC would deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM to become the single point of truth for the company’s sales relationship data. A client-defined sales process was being implemented and sales management needed to be able to provide the tools and reporting to make this viable. PSC’s team began by deploying CRM and then imported the account records.
Salesperson visibility of VIP data is a key component of the CRM system, so PSC created a nightly extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) package that populates CRM with VIP data from a data warehouse. This makes CRM the single point of reference for salespeople to go to for information. The advantages for call prep and planning are dramatic and the ability to get to the insights while on-site at retail locations has been an impactful win for the client’s team.
PSC built a way to create custom call reports and plans for each week’s visits. The CRM based solution surfaces recent VIP data for each client and adds the ability to sort by brand, campaigns, history, etc. Each report includes call objectives and highlights timely, relevant point-of-sale features, special pricing, and promotions on demand.
The third deliverable was to create the mobile enabled surveys. The surveys captured draft/tap inspection data from the bars and restaurants and package related data at retail liquor, grocery and convenience stores to audit product age, packaging, pricing, delivery and stock in real time during each visit. The Dynamics CRM based solution also enables the client to report on the survey data with less manual compiling required.
In addition to deploying a valued CRM solution, PSC developed a train the trainer session and documentation to help onboard users and drive Dynamics CRM adoption across the business. It was the perfect final step to the successful and complex engagement, so the client could spend more time delivering its expertly crafted beer to market insightfully.