Elephant House and Keells Foods, the two main brands under the John Keells Group, recently implemented a dealer management solution through Axienta sales force solution across 230+ dealerships.
This covered all Elephant House soft drinks, ice creams and Keells Foods distributors across Sri Lanka.
The solution has enabled business process re-engineering across key processes. These include automated dealer order placement, integration to SAP (Group ERP system) and processing, dispatch and delivery, route and itinerary management, inventory monitoring and control, outlet order tracking, customer management and debt collection, sales forecast analysis and employee performance evaluation, etc.
Commenting on this initiative, JKH Vice President/Head of Business Systems Consumer Foods and Retail Nalaka Umagiliya stated that before the automation solution was brought into practice, most of the dealer point transactions were handled manually. This lead to a number of challenges such as managing manual errors, lack of real-time information to drive sales and decision-making, limited visibility into dealer inventory and delays in consolidated reports on redistribution sales at head office.
“These impacted our ability to proactively serve the needs of a region/territory, track sales, returns, availability of stocks and monitor productivity of sales reps. There was a dire need to streamline and automate each of these processors so that we could effectively monitor and execute each of these tasks more efficiently.
Hence, we were on the lookout for a solutions provider to develop from scratch a system that served our unique needs along with an extensive experience of developing solutions for the consumer foods sector. We ultimately chose Axienta as they clearly possessed technical and process capabilities that we were looking for.
“We worked really hard on educating the distributors at many dealer conferences and meetings that were conducted. Today, they are thankful that we implemented a system that has really proved to be a very lucrative tool that has helped them carry out their day-to-day operations in a much more effective manner resulting in more profitability.
Axienta’s staff also showed a great level of attention and made a significant effort in understanding what was required to be delivered. It was a great experience to work with a company that is much focused on our specific requirements,” explained Umagiliya.
This initiative has helped Elephant House and Keells Foods in achieving uniformity in the operations and processes across all three business categories namely, beverages, ice creams and processed meats. For beverages there has been a marked improvement in automated ordering, handling of empty returns and the VAT processes.