THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS 1 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

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1 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS 1 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

2 INTRODUCTION Finding the right mobile apps for your consumer goods field team can be a difficult task. With so many options and places to look, it s easy to be led astray and lose sight of your original goals. This guide will help you identify precisely what you need to be looking for in mobile apps. Follow these guidelines and you will soon be empowering both your field teams and your back office to take advantage of rewarding opportunities, without breaking your budget. If you are looking at mobile apps as a way to grow your operations, your timing is excellent. Over the next 10 years, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is projected to nearly double in size from $8 trillion in 2014 to $14 trillion by That s an enormous growth opportunity your company can t afford to miss. As the global market expands, research shows that one of the best ways to grow market share right now is by implementing the right mobile app for your field reps. So, you re right to be searching for the best solution for your company s needs. By all accounts, consumer goods companies that fail to innovate at this critical time will find it increasingly difficult to compete. one of the best ways to grow revenue and market share right now is by implementing the right app for all of your field reps. DRAMATIC GROWTH FORECAST FOR THE CPG INDUSTRY 20 These days, mobile apps are no longer nice to haves but need to haves in the consumer goods industry. The most successful field reps use them throughout the day whether they are planning their route, checking inventory levels, setting up in-store promotions or sharing product information with customers. Of course, all the real-time data reps gather is incredibly valuable for management teams back at headquarters, too. Whether your company is looking to adopt an app for the first time or replacing an out-ofdate solution, this ebook will help you get it right by highlighting the factors you need to consider in making your choice. TRILLION $ YEAR McKinsey projects the CPG industry will nearly double in size by McKinsey & Company, Three myths about growth in consumer packaged goods, 2015.

3 ELEVATING YOUR GAME WITH MOBILE APPS Mobile enterprise apps can offer your company a wide range of compelling benefits, including company-wide efficiency gains, improved customer interactions, increased sales and higher profits. With a well conceived and executed mobile app roll-out, it s not uncommon for consumer goods companies to realize an immediate 30% improvement in sales productivity and a 15% reduction in overall cost of operations. Mobile applications allow your field force to gain access to real-time customer data, product data and inventory data. Having access to all of this valuable information is why mobile apps have now become essential to staying ahead in a competitive market. Mobile Apps Dramatically Improve CPG Performance 3 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

4 CHAPTER 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PARTNER Partnering with the right mobility provider will have a dramatic effect on the ultimate success or failure of your application. Here are some useful items to keep in mind when making your decision. Look specifically for a solution provider with deep industry experience and demonstrated success in managing an app from its initial rollout to final deployment. When you meet with potential partners, insist on seeing live solutions as well. Theory is great, but being able to see an app in action is where the rubber meets the road. The best way to make sure you re selecting a partner that understands your needs is to create a checklist. Here s a sample checklist to get you started. Comprehension of app features and requirements Does this vendor understand and share our vision? Have we identified essential features and requirements at every level? Solution fitness Does this vendor s solutions add value? Implementation ability Can they meet our timelines? Are they asking the right questions? Do they have the resources to accomplish every objective? What regions do they support? Look for an expert provider of optimization apps. 4 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

5 CHAPTER 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PARTNER Integration capability Security Can they integrate behavior data? Can they integrate with my CRM and ERP software? How secure is their cloud? Do they use state-of-theart encryption? Design competence Credentials Are we impressed with this vendor s UI skills? Is their portfolio full of designs that are functional and elegant? Is this vendor well respected in the industry? Do they consistently receive good feedback? Industry knowledge Cost How well do they manage changing technologies? Does this vendor have an intimate understanding of our industry? What is this vendor s estimate? Does this cost seem far too high or far too low? Scalability Does the application handle large volumes of data? Does the application handle large numbers of simultaneous users? Remember, this list is just a jumping-off point. The more meticulous you are now, the fewer headaches both parties will experience later. 5 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

6 CHAPTER 2: GOOD DESIGN MATTERS Consider how you expect your team to interact with the new technology. If you want to win the support of your mobile teams, you need to find an app with a good user interface (UI) design. By making sure you have highly engaged users, you ll be laying the groundwork for selling your project to your board. What is essential for a great user experience? You need a design that emphasizes seamless interactions. For that, your vendor needs to have a thorough understanding of processes your reps go through every day. You don t want your team wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how a mobile app works; you want an app that s designed the way people actually think. Consistency is essential if your mobility solution is going to work for your team. Some questions you should be asking are: Are screens consistent across the application? Can a user figure out how to use the app with little or no training? Can the product catalog use real images as opposed to text? Is it easy to get information with minimal clicks? If a user can do one task, do they automatically know how to do others? Are we inadvertently looking to create an interface that s identical to our current system? An organization that takes user interface design seriously will have greater success during the launch and in the long run. A friendly and intuitive user interface directly translates into happy users and easier interactions. Look for an app with a simple, rich, consistent user experience. 6 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

7 CHAPTER 3: LOOK FOR FEATURES THAT ADD VALUE Don t waste your time with apps that are just glorified transactional systems. You need a solution that will maximize productivity in innovative ways. The app you choose must be able to save your reps time and connect their activities to all your company s mission-critical processes. With this in mind, be sure to look for these capabilities: Visit management This functionality helps field reps and managers increase both the quality and quantity of store visits by making route planning more efficient and giving quick access to visit status, customer profiles, customer history and performance metrics for each store. Look for an app with features that will streamline your current processes and mine them for valuable data. Guided selling Field reps should know all of the tasks that must be accomplished in each store. The application should guide them through each task and ensure that they complete all activities in the store. This ensures a consistent process for each type of sales outlet. Social capabilities The solution should provide the ability for field reps to communicate with their managers and peers to facilitate discussion and immediate feedback on issues being seen in the sales outlets. Gamification The app should use leader boards, compensation simulation, embedded games and contests to motivate the field force. Seeing how other reps are performing is a great motivator. Voice recognition This feature allows field salespeople to use headsets for taking orders or making observations about the store shelf, instead of manually keying in the information. Image recognition The app should be able to upload images and identify stock items on a store shelf. This is useful for competitive analysis, compliance with schematics and promotional agreements, and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as your share of shelf. 7 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

8 CHAPTER 3: LOOK FOR FEATURES THAT ADD VALUE Mobile collateral sharing Managers should be able to publish and manage multimedia collateral for field and sales reps. Offline capabilities Giving a rep access to accurate pricing and product availability even when they re offline is one of the most powerful components of a mobile app. Your sales reps need to be able to conduct business when they don t have network access. In-flight analytics The app should provide insights that can be harnessed immediately by a field representative to improve results. On-demand surveys This feature enables managers to verify market intelligence and test hypotheses by creating field assessment surveys that enable you to design, publish and begin assessing collected data in under an hour. When shopping for a vendor, ask them to demo some of the features they ve created... An app that does more than just facilitate meeting business objectives will allow you to extend engagement throughout your organization and make more informed decisions. When shopping for a vendor, ask them to demo some of the features they ve created specifically to improve processes in the field and the back office. 8 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

9 CHAPTER 4: FIND A SAAS OFFERING AND PAY AS YOU GO Be wary of vendors that demand you invest huge sums in tailor-made solutions that take a year or more to come to life. There s simply no need for this approach anymore. You re far better off working with software vendors that offer apps via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. A good SaaS solution allows you to pay as you go while still addressing all of your needs: Faster flow of information Better analytics Better projections Visibility into field activities Process compliance enforcement Elimination of paperwork Offline capability Ergonomic and intuitive user experience Piloting your project in a lean and flexible way on a pay-as-you-go SaaS model will set the stage for an efficient, long-term enterprise mobility program. A tailor-made app requires enormous amounts of time and money to launch. By contrast, out-of-the-box mobile apps are significantly less expensive to launch and provide comparable productivity results. 9 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

10 CHAPTER 4: FIND A SAAS OFFERING AND PAY AS YOU GO Out-of-the-box CPG apps distinguish themselves from tailor-made apps in a long list of important ways: You re benefiting from a provider s years of industry experience they have already built an app that addresses your needs Look for an out-of-the-box SaaS app. The app will most likely not weigh down your processes with a lot of complexity Installations are typically easy You avoid paying for features you won t use There s typically a smaller learning curve, meaning a quicker adoption across your workforce A small amount of configuration can often provide you with all the flexibility and options you need Users simply log on to already upgraded services so there s no significant time or money expenditure for updating You can change your app usage at any time, evaluating as you go and lowering risk Your total cost of ownership (TCO) is typically much lower, freeing up funds to focus on core competencies. When launching a new mobile app, too many organizations spend a huge amount of resources preparing for exceptional situations or unlikely scenarios. Piloting your project in a lean and flexible way using a pay-as-you-go SaaS model will set the stage for an efficient, long-term enterprise mobility program. And don t forget technology is constantly changing. This is just one more reason why paying only for what you use is the most economically beneficial model. 10 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

11 CHAPTER 5: MAKE SURE YOU CAN MEASURE THE RIGHT KPIS It s critical to choose an app that measures the value it delivers. Tracking KPIs will indicate how your mobility solution is performing and how you can improve, resulting in both top- and bottom-line growth. Your KPIs all need to share some common characteristics. They should: Be simple and easy to understand across your organization Have a current, measured baseline Be configured on the system for real-time measurement Your vendor needs to provide guidance and insight into choosing which metrics to measure. They ll probably offer several standard measurements, which can be a great place to start. It s a real gamechanger for users to have full offline capability and then be able to quickly access updated data sets when they re back online. When talking about sales force automation tools, you may want to focus on job functions you can measure KPIs like the number of orders taken, number of visits made and time taken per order. Beyond basic accountability and transparency, KPIs should capture the dynamics of an individual market things like gathering information on your competitors, your share of shelf and your planogram effectiveness. Don t forget to include system-related KPIs, particularly synchronization speed. This measures how quickly an app can sync up the latest data when a user goes back online. It s a real game-changer for users to have full offline capability and then be able to quickly access updated data sets when they re back online. Reps who can sell and 11 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

12 CHAPTER 5: MAKE SURE YOU CAN MEASURE THE RIGHT KPIS service confidently, anytime and anywhere, are more productive and build better customer relationships. Synchronization speed KPIs are so important they ve been known to make or break a mobility application. Your solution provider should also equip the app with dashboards that give visibility to sales and performance KPIs. An actionable dashboard can help both reps and their managers perform better. Look for a solution that provides actionable insights. Dashboards challenge reps to: Improve their performance Be more consultative Remember details about in-focus products and issues Dashboards empower managers to: Make real-time decisions about brand performance Reward productive reps Monitor in-store promotion successes Identify field reps that require coaching to improve their performance By linking key metrics across the enterprise and using dashboards to make what s important obvious, you can ensure a buy-in at every level. 12 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

13 CHAPTER 6: BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR INNOVATION Companies that want to seize the commercial potential of mobile app technology need to make innovation a priority. This means choosing to work with an app provider that already is an innovator. The app you re shopping for should offer a clear, unique and valuable strategy for meeting your needs. The vendor should be able to wow you with tangible examples of apps that increased sales and enhanced productivity for well-established brands in the CPG industry. Look for an app that drives innovation. Ideally, the app is built in the cloud, allowing developers to spend time making the app more dynamic versus just keeping it up and running. An innovative app will frequently and consistently offer upgrades and added features. You want to work with an organization that is just as focused on accelerating the idea-to-launch process as you are. You need an app provider that asks for input from your field reps and actually listens and responds to your needs. This type of vendor will allow you to deploy faster and jump on new growth opportunities quickly. A well-designed app from a tech leader will also make it easier for your field reps and executive team to identify better, more effective approaches along the way. 13 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

14 CONCLUSION Mobile apps are now considered mission-critical for CPG manufacturers that want to win at the shelf. Using this field guide will make it easier to choose the app that will get your company the results you want. Here s a quick recap of what you need to look for. Partner with an expert provider that will be responsive to your needs and get you the business intelligence you need to increase productivity and revenue. Go with a user interface design that offers a simple, rich, consistent experience across all devices. Look for an app that has features you can actually imagine using to improve your sales, in-store and distribution processes. Out-of-the-box SaaS apps are easy to manage, less risky, less expensive and get you to market faster. Make sure the app has dashboards to track the KPIs that will inform actionable solutions. Look for an app provider that leads in innovation. Now that you understand the best practices for choosing a CPG mobile app, you re ready to focus on selecting a mobility solutions provider that has been through the process before and can guide you to the most productive, profit-boosting solution possible for your business. Mobile apps are now considered mission-critical for CPG manufacturers that want to win at the shelf. 14 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

15 ABOUT SPRING MOBILE APPS Consumer goods brands around the world rely on Spring to gain real-time visibility into their field operations and help their mobile teams sell smarter, serve clients better and distribute goods faster. Whatever your retail needs may be, Spring has an app that delivers precisely what you need to improve productivity, drive revenue and grow market share. Here are just a few reasons to choose Spring as your mobile app partner: Consumer goods brands around the world rely on Spring s CPG mobile apps... 9 of the top 10 consumer goods companies use Spring mission-critical apps. Spring offers out-of-the-box solutions that can be deployed in as little as 10 to 12 weeks. Field reps swear by Spring s colorful, engaging interface and friendly, intuitive user experience. Spring apps work beautifully offline and sync up all of the latest data as soon as reps go back online. Spring s pay-as-you-go SaaS model gives you innovative solutions at a fraction of the cost of custom-built apps. Spring gives your sales, merchandising and delivery teams real-time visibility into your most important KPIs. Spring mobile apps enable your employees to achieve perfect retail execution. Learn more about how Spring can solve your CPG challenges by putting actionable insights right at your fingertips at SpringGlobal.com. 15 THE FIELD GUIDE TO CPG MOBILE APPS

16 Copyright 2015 Spring Mobile Solutions All rights reserved. Headquarters: Plaza America Drive, Suite 2000, Reston, VA 20190, USA USA Brazil Colombia UK +44 (0) SpringGlobal.com

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