DMI AND Google Cloud Platform Bake Mobility into Warburtons’ Sales Process
Warburtons, the largest bakery brand in the UK, is a family-run business that values its 160 year-old traditions. But one tradition was seriously affecting productivity: the retail sales team was spending one day per week inputting retail store information into the company’s internal system from handwritten notes. That method might’ve worked in years past, but today, with Warburtons’ client base having grown from a single store to 20,000 stores across the U.K., the manual input method proved unsustainable. It was time for the sales team’s data input system to step up to Warburtons’ stature as one of Britain’s most successful retail brands.
Warburtons’ challenge was nothing less than to bring a century-old business model into the modern age of instant communication. The challenge was twofold, since many reps had actually never used a tablet or app before. This deficiency would require a detailed insight-gathering, training and launch plan to ensure successful adoption across the entire organization. Warburtons ruled out companies like Salesforce and SAP as too expensive, according to IT Manager Leah Appleton. She says it was also “hard to find a developer that met our vision,” citing a lack of developers who specialized in enterprise app development.
Warburtons chose DMI to develop a custom Android tablet application that would take the sales process mobile, making the entire inventory system real-time and efficient. DMI leveraged App Engine, Cloud Storage, Cloud Datastore and Cloud SQL to quickly build the backend and maintain all sales data. BigQuery was instrumental in quickly and cost-effectively leveraging the immense amount of data the app collected from the sales team as well as clients. Next, DMI created a concrete rollout plan with emphasis on training, pilot testing and quickly responding to feedback. The plan included a combination of classroom and onsite training sessions, with a special group of sales “stars” designated to evangelize the app to the rest of the field team. Incredibly, the average user was able to learn the entire hardware and software set in just half a day.
Front-line efficiency increased as did the efficiency of corporate backend systems, which were automatically updated. The new app cut the data entry process from one day/week to one day/month. The average sales rep is gaining one full day a week in saved time. In addition, Appleton says, “Analysis of sales data with Google BigQuery also pointed out cross-sell and upsell opportunities and led to a significant increase in sales.”