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cheese cubes with toothpicks that have the swiss flag

Enabling better connections with shoppers

When a sales and marketing agency wanted to automate its food sales and marketing efforts, we helped create a simpler way to connect its customers with the shoppers who drive its bottom line.

Sampling stations at food retailers are deceptively simple. To the casual observer, they’re a stand, a sample, and an employee. To our client, they’re critical pieces in a greater logistical marketing puzzle. And after years of tracking those puzzle pieces in manual spreadsheets, it was clear that the solution was no longer cutting it.

Our client, a food-focused sales and marketing agency, wanted to automate and simplify its sales and marketing, event planning, tracking, and reporting. Our redesign of its capacity planning tool and optimization of its CRM system is helping to enable the company to better connect customers and clients with shoppers—and drive their bottom lines.

Needed: functional facelift

Our client’s business is to bring customers—retailers and grocers—and clients—food and product manufacturers—together. Its Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and custom capacity-planning tools are essential to its business, and both were in desperate need of a functional facelift.

Without an efficient system to simplify and streamline event planning and enable tracking and reporting, its margins were at stake.

Behind the scenes

For example, a grocery store wants to host cheese sampling events in 100 of its grocery stores, with two sampling stations per store. Before the new solution, scheduling those events was a time-consuming process that involved manually updating a complex spreadsheet. Now multiply that by thousands of stores and many more thousands of sampling stations and you’ve got a huge opportunity for error and countless hours of work.

microsoft dynamics CRM with capacity planning tool help plan the sampling stations across all retail sites

Revamped tools

Our team assessed the agency’s CRM architecture and then concepted, designed, and developed a prototype of a new capacity planning tool. Then we turned that prototype into reality. The agile methodology—which calls for incremental releases throughout the project’s lifecycle—allowed us to help provide the agency with immediate business value. Our local, on-site model made it easy for our team to work side-by-side with their team—which made the work better and more efficient.

Now our client’s employees can search availability and book event stations in its affiliated stores. The most notable enhancements include support for multiple customers and event stations. Scheduling thousands of grocery store events is as simple as entering event specifics—such as station type, preferred dates, and stores—into the capacity planning tool.

Because it supports multiple competing supermarket customers, our Dynamics CRM experts baked a sophisticated security model into the tool. The design ensures that our client’s customer data is safely secured behind team-based permissions.

“We architected a new experience design vision, introduced a new way of iterative project delivery using Agile Scrum methodology, and provided post-launch support with CRM configurations and Agile coaching for continuous improvement.”
Dan Brown, Practice Area Lead
Slalom Consulting

Better customer relationship management

We continue to support the deployments of the refreshed CRM system and capacity planning tool to our client’s customers. These updates help enable the sales and marketing agency to:

  • Expand business to support onboarding of new customers, each with unique and complex event-management requirements

  • Better manage system processes and event registrations

  • Quickly and easily develop reports

  • Meet deadlines while reducing support requests

  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Optimize system performance and improve response time

  • Improve the tracking and fielding of client requests

  • Maintain the security of its customer and client information

  • Employ a rigorous development process for creating high-quality solutions

From visioning and strategy to deployment and post-launch support, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with the agency to help improve its customer relationship management. Along the way, we’ve helped foster a stronger relationship between the business and IT, paving the way for continued success.