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Awash Wines' Digital Transformation: Enhancing Efficiency and Sales with FieldPro App – A Case Study
FieldPro Sales Expert
Sector: Wines & Beverages
Product: FieldPro Sales
Established in 1936, Awash Wines emerged from nationalization in 1974 to privatization in 2013, thanks to a strategic alliance with the private equity investor, 8 Miles LLP. This transformative journey has led to Awash solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the Ethiopian wine industry, accounting for a staggering 90% of the market share in terms of volume.
Awash presents an alluring selection of six distinctive brands that cater to diverse tastes and budgets. These span from value to premium segments and include the names: Awash, Gouder, Axumit, Kemila, Dankira, and Gebeta.
Production is meticulously carried out at two state-of-the-art wineries in Lideta and Mekanisa, while a primary distribution hub finds its home in the bustling city of Addis Ababa. Their vineyards unfurl across 225 hectares of their sprawling 517-hectare farm at Merti Jeju.
Boasting a team of 750 dedicated employees, with a laudable 30% female representation, Awash has overcome considerable obstacles on their path to success. Before the adoption of FieldPro, these challenges were manifold:
An absence of suitable reporting dashboards and KPIs for effectively managing the sales force.
Outdated manual methods of data collection, reliant on pen and paper.
A lack of a comprehensive customer database, inclusive of geolocation and contact details, which hindered optimal customer segmentation.
In addition, Awash struggled with a lack of oversight over their sales force activities, including field presence, reporting times, and work durations. There was also an information gap regarding retail audits, encompassing both their product and branding presence, as well as crucial insights into competitor activities.
Introducting the Retail Landscape in Ethiopia
It can be broken down in several key channels
Kiosks and Small Shops
: These are the backbone of the Ethiopian retail system. It's estimated that over 90% of FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sales occur through these traditional trade channels.
: Ethiopia has a strong culture of open-air markets. Addis Mercato in Addis Ababa is often considered the biggest open-air market in Africa.
: There's been an expansion of supermarkets and shopping malls, particularly in Addis Ababa and other large cities. Though modern trade was estimated to be less than 10% of the total retail market in 2021, its growth rate was projected to increase substantially over the coming years due to urbanization and increasing middle-class consumers.
: Prominent chains like Safeway, Shoa, and Fantu supermarkets have started to create a more organized retail structure. Belayab Foods and Franchise PLC also partnered with Pizza Hut to open outlets in the country.
While still nascent compared to more developed markets, the e-commerce sector in Ethiopia has been growing. The internet penetration rate in Ethiopia was estimated at around 15% in 2021, providing potential for the e-commerce market to expand as internet accessibility improves. Companies like Deliver Addis and others started offering online delivery services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specialty Stores and On-premise Consumption:
Alcohol and Beverages
: For businesses like Awash in the wine and beverage sector, on-premise consumption locations like bars, restaurants, and hotels are crucial. The hospitality industry, especially in Addis Ababa, has seen growth with an increasing number of international tourists and a burgeoning middle class.
: Infrastructure development, particularly roads, remains a challenge in many parts of Ethiopia, impacting the distribution chain.
: Import restrictions, duties, and a somewhat complicated regulatory environment can sometimes hamper more streamlined retail operations.
Preference for Local Products
: Ethiopian consumers have traditionally shown a preference for local products over imports, partly due to higher costs associated with imported goods. However, there's a growing middle class with exposure to global brands, which can influence purchasing behavior.
How FieldPro Sales has helped Awash in their Sales Force Automation effort
Awash Wines, in its pursuit of innovation and efficiency, was on the hunt for a modern, easy-to-use technology solution that would address their operational challenges and seamlessly integrate with their field teams. In January 2023, they identified and selected FieldPro, a comprehensive platform designed to augment field operations and provide actionable data insights.
The initial approach involved a trial run with one distributor before gradually expanding to others and incorporating additional operational use cases. The first task was the precise identification of their diverse customer base. Awash, as a beverage industry player, caters to various customer segments, each with distinct needs and preferences. With FieldPro, a customized list of attributes was implemented, tailoring the information collected based on both the type of customer and the role of the mobile user. This was crucial as time constraints vary between roles - a Van Sales team member, for example, has less time for identification tasks compared to a dedicated Awash staff member.
Awash's sales structure is reliant on these varied roles, which include:
Van Sales Men (VSM) - Accountable for customer acquisition and direct sales to stores, under distributor management.
Sales Representative (SR) - Responsible for customer acquisition/editing, pre-orders, and retail audits, under Awash's management.
Store Manager - Charged with stock allocation from the warehouse to the vans.
Area Sales Manager (ASM) - Overseeing the management of the SR/VSM teams.
Administration - The central control at Awash head office, running the system and monitoring reports.
As the customer base was appropriately segmented, the next step involved the implementation of workflows. Several features of FieldPro were leveraged for this process, including:
Conditioning of workflow questions based on customer attributes.
Geo check-in, ensuring the mobile user is at the correct customer location.
Workflow accessibility based on mobile user roles, regardless of team affiliation.
Automated calculation of product sales values.
Two primary sales workflows were deployed: direct sales and indirect sales (orders and deliveries). Given Awash's business model, this included the sales of both filled and empty bottles or crates.
The third workflow focused on Retail Audit, an exclusive role for Sales Representatives. It gathered data on product, branding, and asset presence for both Awash and its competitors. Key SKUs in Awash's portfolio were identified for auditing, varying based on customer type. This audit capitalized on FieldPro's filtering feature to track SKUs based on customer attributes.
Finally, a workflow focused on Stock Management was implemented. Filled by the warehouse manager, it tracked product allocation to the vans for distribution and logged the closing stock upon return. This enhanced the reconciliation process, making it simpler and more efficient.
All collected data feeds into real-time dashboards, accessible via web and mobile, empowering sales analysts and management to make informed business decisions based on live performance metrics.
Impact and Roadmap
After an initial trial phase with a single distributor, the FieldPro system was gradually adopted by 4 other distributors, eventually reaching a total of 100 users. The aim is to delve deeper into the digitization journey, with an ambitious roadmap that includes:
Comprehensive integration with the existing ERP, Syspro, enabling distributors to place orders directly through FieldPro and visualize their purchased stock and net stock in real time.
Optimization of territories and routes for sales representatives based on the identification of new customers.
Use of QR codes to track assets deployed in the field.
Implementation of automated segmentation for shops, leveraging their profiles and field data.
FieldPro has markedly boosted Awash's distribution efficiency and sales performance, in terms of sales growth, number of visits per day per sales representative, strike rate, etc.
According to their Sales Consultant, Pierre Chaumont, 'With the aid of FieldPro, sales managers can now effectively monitor the activities of both Awash and Distributor field sales teams, based on well-structured, systematic data. It's become effortless to track individual sales performance with simple KPIs like the number of visits, strike call rates, and time spent in the field. This provides a clear basis for setting measurable quantitative and qualitative targets. Any areas requiring improvement can be quickly identified, allowing for swift corrective measures. FieldPro also aids in building and daily updating a robust customer database (addition of new customers, removal of closed outlets, geolocation, segmentation/prioritization, etc). Regular tracking of both Awash's and competitors' brand performances within outlets (numeric and weighted distribution, share of space/shelves, etc.) provides the trade marketing team with vital insights. They can assess the strengths and weaknesses of their brands versus competition in any given territory or outlet type. This critical information sourced from FieldPro helps in driving the most suitable market activations.