SME’s and Corporates need to keep costs at a minimum in order to survive and thrive. Looking for ways to be more time and cost-effective, Benchmark Retail Services, a group of marketing specialists who consult with major brands such as 3M and Saint Gobain on product sales performance, took the plunge and embraced new ADC technology.
Frustrated with the costs and drudgery of a paper-based system, they digitised their services in June and, in turn, made their clients happier than ever. Suddenly, with automatic data capture and mobile forms, time taken in report filling was significantly reduced without loss in quality.
Using ADC, the mobile technology also provided real-time information on reports instead of having to wait days for the information to be processed. It’s something that has transformed the efficiency of the entire business.
“Previously, everything we did was done by pen and paper before being uploaded to a portal, which was both time-consuming and expensive, because we had to pay our staff for their time taken uploading the data,” says Andrew Hulme, operations director at Benchmark Retail Services.
“The fact the data is available as soon as it has left the tablet helps clients working to tight deadlines and allows them to keep tabs on us, something we have always welcomed.”
And it’s not just the design of data capture that has been a success. “Interpretation of the data has been a huge benefit,” says Mr Hulme. “Working as we do in multiple retailers, much of what were key tasks for store staff to carry out – such as filling the shelves, stock rotation and location, promotional compliance – have fallen by the wayside in recent years, leaving companies like us to pick up the processes.
“Having a system that is so adaptable means we can capture different data each month, analyse it quickly and generate a summary of that data within a few days of the month end, giving our clients a real-world overview very quickly.”
Benchmark Retail Services found that the intricacy and personalisation opportunities of ADC are endless and prove extremely attractive to both clients and the workforce.
“It’s very efficient,” says Mr Hulme. “Everything is collated on a bespoke report form, tailored to each client and adaptable every month. However, compiling these reports is neither arduous nor time consuming.
“Furthermore, the reports have the facility to be adapted mid-month, so if a client wants more information or more detail on a specific area, we can adapt the form and within 15 minutes the team can have the revised version as a working copy on their tablets.”
Don’t be afraid of the initial outlay, continues Mr Hulme, because it doesn’t take long for the technology to make significant savings. “ADC is a huge cost saving, running into thousands, compared with the old manual system,” he says. “And it’s much greener, because we no longer send reams of paper to our field team each month.”
There is also considerable cost saving in time. Mr Hulme says: “With much more of the system now automated, the checks and balances we need to make on the information we capture are minimal compared to our old manual system.”
The company has had its own bespoke back-end portal built by WorkMobile to capture data. Mr Hulme says: “We expect to see the ROI in less than three years. Had we not had the portal built, we would have seen that ROI within nine months, even after buying 60 tablets and the licences needed to operate the system.”