Improving Sales Efficiency for Bakeries

                                                         

The bakery business is exclusive and different, owing to the shorter shelf life of the products and the need for better expiry management. The products have simple packaging and no hype, yet the business poses many challenges and requires you to rethink and innovate your route-to-market strategy. In this blog, we talk about one of the most complex implementations we have ever done as a team for a global bakery brand and share some interesting facts and insights. This blog’s think tank is Pankaj Patil, who headed this implementation for Ivy Mobility.

Our team helped this bakery redefine its route-to-market strategy, and our solution was customized to fit their requirements. This blog is the recount of a massive go-live that Pankaj’s team made happen amidst an unprecedented pandemic of the Covid-19. Despite being in different continents and time zones, our team implemented a fully functional system that helped this bakery giant achieve efficiency and a reduced cost-to-serve.

In the beginning

The pandemic failed to disrupt the manufacturing of bread in bulk. Not one day had gone by when bread manufacturers shut their factories. The annual per capita expenditure on bread in Mexico is expected to amount to 407 USD by 2023.

Our customer, with their presence in more than 30+ countries, happens to be the world’s largest baking company took up this opportunity to go digital during the pandemic. Ivy Mobility helped them take their Mexico market live with their solution in less than 18 months. Mexico is their largest global market, with 800 sales centers and over 35,000 users.

This feat truly felt like a mission impossible. A great team on the customer’s side who assimilated user data helped us migrate the data successfully. They provided all the reps with our standardized devices, tested those devices, and trained them on these devices. The Change Management team worked with us closely throughout the project and helped us with iterations.

Learnings

The first step of our project was collecting data. There was so much data that needed to be validated, cleaned, and fed into the Ivy system. Historic data migration alone went on for days with about 4-5 rounds of implementation. With such a vast company, data duplicates and redundancy were at the highest. So many products came and went from the market over the years.

Once we completed the master data setup, we had to get the current stock information for the different products from the distributors. Since we followed agile methodology for the implementation, we had to go through multiple collaborative iterations across several day steps.

Our team had 16 hand-picked members who were not just brilliant but experienced at what they were doing. They were responsible for  planning, upskilling, migration, client approvals, hyper care, and support. This team achieved maximum results with minimum number of people. They were constantly improving the product. Also, sharpening of the system’s learning with regular data happened on an everyday basis.

We had to plan, analyze and accumulate information specific to different Sales Centers (SC). We created Daily charter tables, readiness tests, implementation tests, RAID Logs, and templates for each sales center. Upskilling the client representatives was a significant task as they were not used to the cloud environment. After years of using Oracle as the primary sales ERP, the transition still took time for these representatives.

Data Migration or cutover activities happened only over the weekends to avoid disrupting the daily working of these sales centers. After the success of our first 5 sales centers, we increased data migration exponentially. The Sales centers being migrated doubled to 10 in the second week. Third week saw a 5X growth and by the end of the 5 th week we onboarded 30X sales centers in a singleshot.

For every migration, data needs to be vetted by the client-side. We ensured double data validation. Managing multiple activities and getting timely approvals were crucial for the completion of the project at the promised time.

Challenges

Each market is a different ballgame, and the Mexican market was a whole new experience. The client’s previous system wasn’t on the cloud, and migrating such vast volumes of data was going to be tedious. Ivy implemented upload utility which helped to ease the load of data migration. The use of extraction tools allowed for seamless data validation. Regular volumetric testing was performed to ensure that our system could bear the load as our clients had many employees.

There was an immense need to develop an Elastic model for managing the server capacity. There were times when the entire workforce was online, and there were other times of the day when only minimum employees were available. We identified and installed enterprise-level servers coupled with a single-point database for approximately 35 thousand users.

Learnings

Visibility
When companies use applications that are on-premises, they have limited visibility upon their data. Cloud solutions give them the ability to make informed choices. While using our applications, the authorized person across the organization has access to information from every system at every level. Increased visibility led to increased accountability of employees, helping improve the overall performance.

Synchronization

With this project, we understood the scale at which huge companies miss out on operational data. An abundance of asynchronous data flows across the systems. Also, the time consumed for updating the entire system ranged from days to weeks. With our cloud system, the data updates in real-time or near real-time, with minimal discrepancies.

Budgeting
We realized how much our client was spending on IT infrastructure. A large amount of money is involved in setting up individual servers across every on-premises setup. Ivy helped reduce costs by almost 75% because of the cloud. The only spending that they now incurred was to procure devices for each rep and the subscription costs.

Predictability
Predominant usage of on-premises systems led to adverse malpractices within the organization. The company was facing losses because of these instances. Moving to the cloud, using Ivy’s system provided authorities with accurate data. The client uses this data to study patterns to quickly identify malpractices or data mismatches when they see one within the system.

Analytics
Having asynchronous data paralyzes the efforts of understanding the data for the greater good. With Ivy, the bakery giant was able to integrate with readily available analytics software. Using accurate data helps the predictions to work more effectively.

Workforce
On-premises systems require multiple roles to run the show at each location. Additional staff led to added operating costs. With Ivy’s system, each employee had a specific position. They were required to perform actions and activities assigned to them.

Successful Go-live

Our first Sales Center went live in San Juan del Rio in 2019. By 2020, amidst the pandemic, all of Mexico went live with our application. Our success in the Mexican market helped us prove Ivy’s mettle. We are now implementing our solution for the customer in other markets across the globe.

 

Published by January 16, 2022 by Ivy Mobility

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