Case Study

Oper­a­tional Excellence

An agri-tech man­u­fac­tur­er opti­mis­es effi­cien­cy and saves $450,000

May 4, 2021

Key results

10%

Improve­ment in productivity 

50% 

Increase in sales  
meet­ing effectiveness 

$450,000

Bot­tom­line sav­ings achieved 

Our client was a lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­er of elec­tric fence sys­tems, live­stock scales, elec­tron­ic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion prod­ucts and milk meter­ing equip­ment for farm­ers in over 100 coun­tries. The com­pa­ny designs, man­u­fac­tures and mar­kets prod­ucts and solu­tions to increase effi­cien­cy and prof­itabil­i­ty in the agri­cul­tur­al sector. 

The chal­lenge

Although the company’s retail sales team had been achiev­ing its annu­al tar­gets, the client want­ed to improve fur­ther. After a detailed analy­sis, we dis­cov­ered that: 

  • Area sales man­agers were large­ly self-directed, with min­i­mal guid­ance from nation­al man­agers, espe­cial­ly regard­ing sales pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. This led to incon­sis­ten­cies for required num­ber of sales calls and types of activ­i­ties dur­ing sales visits. 
  • Dai­ly activ­i­ties between sales man­agers, retail key accounts and high-value end users also lacked vis­i­bil­i­ty, increas­ing the risk of ser­vice inefficiencies. 
  • The Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment (CRM) sys­tem was also under-utilised, pro­vid­ing lit­tle vis­i­bil­i­ty of the sales activ­i­ty history. 
  • There was low vis­i­bil­i­ty on the time tak­en up for prod­uct trou­bleshoot­ing and oth­er non-value-adding impairments. 
  • There was a need for bet­ter key lead indi­ca­tors that could be man­aged to max­imise month­ly sales performance. 

What we did

In order to eval­u­ate the cur­rent state of sales per­for­mance and iden­ti­fy poten­tial areas for improve­ment, Renoir and the com­pa­ny worked togeth­er to: 

  • Con­duct inter­views across the organ­i­sa­tion to cap­ture sys­temic gaps in the plan­ning and report­ing used to con­trol sales performance. 
  • Iden­ti­fy best prac­tices used across the sales team. 
  • Cre­at­ed a cross-functional Man­age­ment Action Team (MAT) to ensure resources were prop­er­ly man­aged and pro­posed changes were suc­cess­ful­ly implemented. 
  • Held pre­sen­ta­tions and field coach­ing ses­sions with sales man­agers to ensure the suc­cess­ful uptake of the new oper­a­tional changes. 

Fol­low­ing this, a 20-week project was start­ed to track the sales activ­i­ties across the company’s retail clients. The project was split into three stages: 

Opti­mis­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and efficiency 

Stores in the sales ter­ri­to­ries were eval­u­at­ed and clas­si­fied accord­ing to his­tor­i­cal sales and growth poten­tial. Var­i­ous KPIs and report­ing mea­sures were imple­ment­ed to man­age sales pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and sales tar­gets, while also iden­ti­fy­ing indi­vid­ual stores that had not been vis­it­ed with­in the tar­get cycle. 

The result of this Focus Process® was a “Best Prac­tices” toolk­it that includ­ed train­ing on prod­uct knowl­edge, pro­mo­tion­al tech­niques and a sales vis­its check­list that cov­ered all the key sales drivers. 

Results of the check­list were matched against store month-on-month sales to ensure that the new sales activ­i­ties were deliv­er­ing improved results. Clear guide­lines were estab­lished to man­age min­i­mum expec­ta­tions and suc­cess­ful tac­tics were reg­u­lar­ly shared in the fort­night­ly sales con­fer­ence call. 

This val­i­da­tion process ensured con­tin­u­ous eval­u­a­tion of sales process and sales behav­iours to dri­ve ongo­ing sales effectiveness. 

Improv­ing report­ing and busi­ness intelligence 

Mobile report­ing sys­tems were devel­oped and inte­grat­ed into the exist­ing CRM sys­tem to mon­i­tor and ver­i­fy data integri­ty. As a result, sum­maries of sales vis­its – and the cor­re­spond­ing dash­boards – could be updat­ed in real time. 

Reports also fac­tored in KPIs that were pre­vi­ous­ly not mon­i­tored to give clear vis­i­bil­i­ty of mar­ket demand. The report­ing was rolled up and down in more detail for all lev­els of man­age­ment, with the appro­pri­ate KPIs being includ­ed for each lev­el of account­abil­i­ty in the organisation. 

Sales man­agers also gained access to more infor­ma­tion on indi­vid­ual store per­for­mances, lead­ing to an increase in the effec­tive­ness of their dis­cus­sions with their sales staff, and the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of oppor­tu­ni­ties for sales growth. 

Results

Along­side the key results that were obtained after just 10 weeks of imple­men­ta­tion, the sales approach also under­went an upgrade. With a well-designed Sales Man­age­ment Con­trol Sys­tem (SMCS) in place, sales man­agers now had access to bet­ter met­rics for plan­ning and a method of deliv­er­ing sus­tained sales ben­e­fits to the busi­ness. In short, the SMCS becomes a method to mon­i­tor per­for­mance effec­tive­ly and dri­ve con­tin­u­ous, sus­tain­able improvement. 

What the client said: 

“With­in the short time­frame of the project, the Retail Sales Team achieved a sig­nif­i­cant rise in sales vol­ume and mar­gin and cre­at­ed the frame­work for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment to deliv­er fur­ther increas­es.” – CEO 

Learn more about build­ing well-designed man­age­ment con­trol sys­tems in our white paper, Prim­ing Busi­ness Process­es for Excel­lence: Digi­tis­ing Man­age­ment Con­trol Sys­tems. 

We take client con­fi­den­tial­i­ty seri­ous­ly. While we have kept the brand anony­mous, the results are real. 

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