Monarch Beverage has grown from serving one product in one county to serving the entire state of Indiana with over 4,000 products and is now the twenty-fifth largest beer and wine distributor in the nation. Monarch attributes this growth to their ever-escalating standard of customer service.
As a distributor operating in a competitive marketplace where people are trying to steal market share, Monarch identifies technology as a key asset in driving efficiencies. Monarch differentiates itself from its competition by focusing on customer service. Realizing that their disorganized sales process was impeding reps from being an effective, mobile workforce, they set out to transform the sales experience.
A new way to sell
Once-a-month giant paper shuffles, otherwise known as general sales meetings, and frantic day-to-day searches through out-of-date binders for pertinent information had Monarch's sales process in a bog.
It was time to ditch binders of outdated paper. And so began the launch of a new way to sell focused on mobility and customer service through iPads equipped with information to help drive business.
With typical sales conversations only lasting minutes, an intuitive platform was necessary so reps weren't wasting valuable time fumbling around with the tool.
"Monarch prides itself on world class customer service. We recognized the need to leverage technology to free up our reps time, provide more accurate information to our retailers and to make sure we are executing to the best of our abilities," stated Director of Technology, John Wolff.
Monarch was looking to deliver real-time information in the marketplace. To achieve this, they needed a mobile environment that facilitated collaboration between their sales reps and management team. Coming to terms with the inadequacies of their previous paper approach, Monarch knew the fastest way to disseminate information and keep it up-to-date was to digitize the process.
Looking to drive improved profitability with their technology solution, they outlined the following metrics for the product to measure:
Intuitive, data-driven design
As a starting point to categorizing the old paper sales process and deciphering how it could be served up to customers and reps in a usable and consumable way, Monarch and Apparatus sat down for an initial design session. The session led them to SharePoint as the collaboration solution that would effectively meet their needs of being touch enabled, working cross platform and being easily usable.
"SharePoint can do so much, from external websites to intranets to presentation layers for reports and dashboards. This can be a struggle for some clients as they have so much to look at that they don't know where to begin. That's the value Apparatus brings, we have the experts that can see the thousands of small things that bring a project together and make it shine," stated Apparatus Business Development rep Kevin Harvey.
"The design session was a crucial step in the process that helped us establish the foundation for a platform that would meet our needs today as well as tomorrow," stated Wolff.
Technology for the long run
Reps have data at their fingertips allowing them to keep tabs on how they are performing with the new collaboration platform. They can help customers make data driven decisions with accurate information.
"To drive efficiency, we are leveraging technology to give our reps more information in a timely manner, and get more accurate information to our consumers so they know what the hottest products are that they should be carrying," stated Wolff.
Reps are actively using the new mobile solution in the field and continually bringing in insights on how to improve the experience. Monarch will continue to gather feedback and work with Apparatus to keep the solution evolving to meet user needs today, tomorrow and into the future.
"Rarely as an IT guy do I get praise from the sales team, but this solution brought about a whole round of applause. The tool has transformed how we go to market and our strategy to address our customers. We have great information on a mobile platform in real time, which is exactly what we were looking for," stated Wolff.
Quick solution run down