Company: MicrosoftCustomer: Egmont EntertainmentSubmitted by: ShandwickEgmont Entertainment has invested in a Microsoft® Windows® Powered Pocket PC solution to equip its outbound sales force with effective tools to increase sales in retail outlets.
By improving the quality of service to retailers and streamlining the ordering process, the company is maximising in-store promotion opportunities and sales force efficiency.
Egmont Entertainment is Scandinavia’s leading distributor of films for cinema, TV and video as well as electronic games. The company cooperates with some of the world’s biggest film companies, among them Columbia TriStar, 20th Century Fox, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) and Nordisk Film. It also holds the exclusive distribution rights for the Sony PlayStation in Scandinavia. Key to Egmont’s customer focused approach, is the ability to meet customers, demonstrate new products and take orders during visits to stores.
The company needed a way to improve its selling process, both in terms of improving information delivery to customers and streamlining the ordering process internally.
Egmont field sales people currently place orders by phone, fax or email to a central call centre manned by customer service agents who enter the data into an ordering system.”We wanted to improve our general efficiency and accuracy, while also taking advantage of changes in technology,” says Sverre Buer, IT Manager of Egmont Entertainment. The market is highly competitive, and while pricing is an important factor, Egmont wanted to differentiate themselves from competitors by providing the best customer service in the region. This meant making the ordering process as simple as possible, and providing much better access to product and sales information at customer locations.
Egmont approached ExpandIT, a Microsoft Solution Provider with expertise in the Pocket PC platform, to help it develop the mobile solution.
ExpandIT proposed a customisable application called Business Application Server to be used with Hewlett-Packard® Jornada devices. The sales force can now access detailed product information, such as price guides and web site video reviews via Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer greatly adding impact to their presentations. When a customer places an order, the salesperson can enter all the relevant details directly into the Pocket PC. This is then fed straight back to Egmont’s enterprise network to update the corporate wide accounts and sales information.The Business Application Server takes advantage of a number of Microsoft technologies including SQL Server 7.
0, Pocket PC, Windows NT® Server (and Windows 2000 Server) to provide seamless integration with back end systems using a number of connectivity options. The flexibility of the Pocket PC platform provides seamless integration with back end systems using a number of connectivity options, be it via GSM and a mobile phone or a docking station, or even when disconnected from a network feed. “If you are a business professional on the move, you need a reliable connection. Pocket PC gives us the flexibility we need to provide accurate business logic at all times,” says Lars Wilhelmsen of ExpandIT.”It’s a solution developed to meet the needs of specific customers.
We saw a gap in the market for an off-the-shelf product that could be tailored easily and quickly to particular user requirements. The important part of the solution is getting the right business logic delivered to the user. Pocket PC is the only platform that allows us to do that for any customer, without the need to develop proprietary solutions, ” explains Wilhelmsen.
For Egmont, the benefits speak for themselves. Buer says: “By giving our outlets much better access to information about our products, and improving the quality of our relationships, we are able to maximise our sales expertise and our presence within retailers. Pocket PC completely fulfils our wish list for a mobile device.
It’s small, fast and extraordinarily easy to use. Ease of integration means that we have a very cost-effective solution that will very quickly return the investment. Maintenance is low and training costs are minimal, so we’re delighted with the results.” By cutting down on data entry through the call centre by 50%, Egmont can redeploy most of its call centre staff to improve customer service. Using built-in features available for Pocket PCs such as Microsoft Reader, Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows Media™ Player, Egmont salespeople can provide customers with a more interactive sales experience.
Faster, more efficient ordering processes means the sales force can now take this improved service to 20% more retail outlets per day.