One of the longest-lived and experienced FMCG distribution companies in Romania, Elgeka-Ferfelis carries out traditional distribution activity at national level in over 8000 locations. With the help of over 140 sales agents, 215 cars and 12 subsidiaries, the company distributes both non-food products – cosmetics, detergents, home care (3M), lubricants (Shell) and food – sweets (Fineti), coffee, cheeses, preserves, food flavors, nuts and other commodities.
The management team is looking for a modern SFA system capable of meeting complex trade policy requirements. Learning from a few previous experiences, the team that was given the task of choosing the new SFA knew much better what the hotspots were and what details were relevant when checking out a future partner – a business software provider. In short, this time the team was looking for an experienced partner who could prove that he was able to deliver a robust and functional system, of a similar complexity to the desired one, a system that could work integrated with the existing ERP.
We wanted a reliable and up-to-date SFA solution to the market in which we operate, to cover our specific needs for discounts and complex promotions, a system that would help us improve the agility and performance of the sales team and at the same time increase the quality of the services we offer. We made sure that TRANSART has an experienced and numerous team on the development-implementation side and we checked some references. We went through the eliminatory stages and we were convinced that we could get all the functionalities we really needed, and in the final decision to implement HERMES, the quality-price ratio was just as important.
Although implementation has partially overlapped with the quarantine period since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, delays due to traffic restrictions and the adaptation of teams to work from home have not significantly affected the implementation duration.
The implementation of the SFA system went smoothly on the technical side, capitalizing on the existing IT infrastructure. For me, the most relevant indicator is that after 3 months of starting live, agents report much less technical issues related to the use of SFA, compared to SFA used previously.
The interface with the existing ERP system (Atlantis ERP), in addition to synchronizing products, prices, stocks and mapping (association) a large number of complex promotions, from the structure of ERP to the logic of HERMES BackOffice. The complexity of this mapping was not given by the large number of active promotions (over 2500 at a time), but by the large number of combinations of 3 or 4 of the 12 distinct types of promotions and discounts used.
The most consistent work done during the implementation of HERMES SFA has been on modeling trade policies. Specifically, mapping existing promotions in the ERP system to the logic of the SFA system. There are over 700 different variants of combining discounts and promotions, which results from interspersing precedence rules in mixing basic promotions. This complexity required a lot of testing capacity, but together with the Transart team we managed to successfully complete this stage, all our promotions being now available on the agents' tablet, in HERMES.
After completing the modeling and interfacing aspects, the “pilot” followed, a live simulation in real conditions, in the field, made with a small group of users (key users) – more experienced agents. Following the feedback provided by them, the final adjustments and configurations were made and the procedures to be followed by the agent teams were defined.
Our sales representatives have quickly adapted to the intuitive interface of HERMES SFA, and the visibility on order history, prices and discounts is very good. We appreciate the fact that we can use the HERMES mobile application offline in areas where there is no GSM signal and mobile data cannot be used, but also that agents have real-time stock information. The time required to take an order by the agent was shortened by an average of 5-7 minutes, depending on the complexity of the order. Moreover, in the context of the complex promotions we have, due to the fact that all discounts are now sent automatically and are visible in the order proposal in the SFA, the customer can see the final value of the order and can intervene with adjustments before placing it.
Moreover, the agent now has detailed information about uncollected invoices, can operate receipts for the first time – with receipt of receipts on mobile printers and can make returns directly in the HERMES application. These automations significantly reduce operating time, minimize the risk of human error with a positive impact on cash flow and inventory optimization, respectively.
Throughout the implementation, the Transart team has shown us that it is a professional team. What they assumed, they fulfilled, fulfilling our expectations. For me, Transart is a quality supplier, a supplier with whom we want to expand our long-term relationship.
HERMES is the mobile sales and merchandising solution developed specifically to increase the productivity of field agents.