Melbourne-based company The Heat Group, has reached an agreement with O4 Corporation to implement its mobile sales force automation solutions for retail execution.
One of the largest distributors of cosmetics and personal care products in Australia, The Heat Group works with major retailers and pharmacies like Target, Kmart, Myer, BigW, Coles, Woolworths and Priceline, and is responsible for putting top cosmetics brands on shelves including Max Factor, CoverGirl Bourjois, Elite Red Earth and Ulta3.
 “O4’s retail execution software means we can assess in-store activities and base sales and relay ‘live’ information to Heat’s marketing teams, sales account managers and display teams in head office for immediate action,” said John Simcocks, sales director at The Heat Group.
“By eradicating the time-consuming tasks of writing down and faxing orders, manually capturing display and point of sale information, and hunting through manual files for latest pricing, we can place and process orders within 24 hours to ensure in-store activities are generating best revenues.
Simcocks said sales teams make around five or more store visits each day, so each sales team member relies on accurate, efficient, easy-to-use mobile support.
“We needed to upgrade the system we had, to help minimise the time required in each store. This time can now be spent with retail customers themselves, identifying the correct cosmetics stock, and ensuring the best promotions strategy. O4 is vital in making this all happen.”
In December 2008, IBIS Group estimated the Australian cosmetics and toiletries retail industry to have grown by 4.2 per cent on the previous year with revenues of around $2.1 billion. However, with the credit crunch hitting Australian retailers hard – retailers experienced a two per cent slump this February – promotions, pricing and orders management has become business critical.
“Stimulus packages come and go in a blink so you only get one chance at making a sale as consumers become increasingly budget conscious. Suppliers must ensure the right product is on the shelf at the right time, with the right promotion and the right price,” said Angela Lovegrove, O4 Corporation managing director Asia Pacific.
“O4’s mobile device and software solution enables an agent to access and manage data on-the-ground with optimum impact on the business bottom line,” she added.