Würth – Software Application Development

 

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Problem:

  • Sales reps (60-80 in number) using large waterproof binder catalogues with circa 200-300 pages with circa 50,000 products
  • Reps also carrying other paper forms with info re: special offers, debtor listings and previous orders when calling out to clients
  • Catalogues costing around 20K to update, re-publish etc.

Challenge:

  • Streamline sales process
  • Eliminate paper and pen
  • Increase sales
  • Increase margins

Objective:

Deliver solution to meet requirements within budget and within time deadline

Solution:

First phase: Gather requirements

Other than delivering a solution within the deadline for budget and time (end of August for rollout) the primary focus for HTP was gathering requirements.

Also of paramount importance is building relationships. This process took around three months via regular meetings with the client.

Background: Client using a large ERP system and operating with four broad divisions: Wood, Metal, Auto parts and Northern Ireland (NI). Sales reps were uploading sales to ERP system from field via laptop and following a structured sales process.

Second phase: liaise on-site with field sales rep to gain greater understanding of sales process and see how reps operate

HTP spent time in the field to gather crucial info regarding sales process. Intermittent connectivity / internet access would mean that an offline capability (i.e. ability to upload data via the app offline) would be paramount.

A further requirement was that the field sales rep be able to quickly search across the product range with the client and cover details of special offers, previous orders and debtors.

Third phase: Development of App to meet requirements

The App had to be developed in two phases, including testing and rollouts.

  • One requirement of the App was that it had to be developed in such a way that the sales reps could view information regarding gross margins on a product so that they had leeway to negotiate with the client.
  • It was important that the rep could view their own commission on a product without seeing the profit made by the company on a product, so a system was developed where info was given via a rating or bracket (e.g. A-E) by a calculator going on behind the scenes to advise the rep accordingly as to the value of the transaction in terms of commissions.
  • Full synchronisation between the client’s mainframe system and the app database was earmarked as another vital ingredient of the process.

Fourth Phase: liaise with other depts. E.g. finance, management and advise on hardware solution to roll out app

A few prospective hardware kits were proposed to the client and after liaising with relevant departments the advice of HTP was considered.

The solution was an Android App running on a Samsung Galaxy X3 device with full offline capability.

This allowed the reps to be able to perform their tasks with maximum efficiency and still capture relevant information as well as process and upload relevant information.

 

Fifth phase: work with third party providers and directly with reps in the field to iron out any issues or problems with deploying app

Issues with third party providers beyond control of client were causing a problem.

This gave HTP the opportunity to put the front food forward and liaise directly with that provider, thus enabling a successful resolution within the deadline. It would have been much easier and even valid to say “not my problem” because it wasn’t, but this would not have helped build the relationship with the client.

Thus, extra work was undertaken dealing with a problem to help the client, at no extra cost to the client, because it was important to the success of the project.

Results:

After successful deployment of the App, feedback has indicated that:

60% of the reps are happy with the solution
30% are still using paper-based sales process
The client confirmed that, overall:

  • Average sale time has been reduced
  • GP’s have increased
  • Debt collection has been significantly improved

 

“After deciding to produce a company App to help increase productivity in our sales force we chose Hybrid IT as our App partner.

Hybrid IT took the time to examine our working methods and made recommendations using practical solutions.

From inception to completion Hybrid IT understood and communicated all aspects of the project whilst sticking to very tight deadlines.

During our “go live” period, Hybrid IT supported our team to ensure a smooth and professional launch; which included liaising with third party hardware and software suppliers.

Overall the project was a great success and we look forward to working with Hybrid IT in the future.”

 

Jason Murphy

Managing Director

Würth Ireland Limited

January 14th, 2016 ndg1973
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