Flick2Know has built Field Assist, a cloud-based sales tracking and management solution on Windows Azure platform. The cloud-based solution lowers entry barriers for customers and at the same time meets their demand for scalability. It gives managers access to up-to-date sales data and daily sales reports. Overall, it meets customer needs more effectively and equips them with facts and figures that make them more productive, proactive, and organized.
Founded in August 2010, Flick2Know is India’s only end-to-end Quick Response (QR) codes or 2D barcode solution provider. It is a one-stop shop for QR generation, management, tracking and printing. The company’s mission is to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds using pervasive smartphones and innovative e-tags.
The company has offered services to both national and international clients. With its exponential growth trajectory, Flick2Know needed to overcome the existing challenges in automating the sales tracking process. As most of the customers were start-ups, it was difficult for them to do so in-house or to use some high-end technology to streamline the same.
Traditionally, on-field salespersons would visit the point of sales every day, check the requirement and deliver the demand on credit or cash. The company also needed to know how their competitors were doing in the field and validate the presence of Point of Sales Material (POSM) provided by them. These salesmen would collect all the data from the field and at the end of the day or week, they would enter it in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. “The problem was how to track the salesperson on the field,” says Apurv Gupta, CEO, Flick2Know. “No manager can authenticate the punctuality of the salesperson or the consistency of the sales data submitted.”
Also, customers want to identify stores with slower sales, to effectively up-sell or cross- sell the products. In addition, they wanted to identify the time spent by a salesperson in each store and the prevalent brand presence. Overall, customers were looking for solutions that provide real time data to the management.
In 2012, Flick2Know built a new solution called Field Assist by using Windows Azure, the Microsoft cloud services development, hosting, and management environment. Field Assist is an authentic automated on-field sales tracking and management solution that uses QR technology. “We knew that cloud services are the simplest, fastest, and most cost-effective way to run our solution,” says Parv Sharma, Product Architect, Flick2Know. “Customers don’t have to spend money on hardware and software and could take advantage of the pay-as-you-go pricing model of Windows Azure.”
The solution captures data at the point of sales. Each store has a Flick2Know tag (unique QR code), which serves as the identity of the outlet and provides every bit of information about the retail outlet, including its name, address, and geo coordinates. In addition, every salesperson has a handset that runs the mobile application.
“We have created a solution that is easy to use both for field salesmen and also for the management,” says Puneet, Head- Products and Strategy, Flick2Know. “The application can also be customized to enter sales data, point of sales information, and collect competitor data from the outlets. This helps consumer companies improve overall sales processes based on ground realities.”
The field sales force scans the Flick2Know tag present at the outlet to register their attendance. They then enter the sales figures of that particular outlet using the application on the mobile device. The data is stored on the cloud application, which gives managers access to real time information.
“Windows Azure is the backbone of our solution,” says Apurv. “It is the information hub that brings all data together. Additionally, it provides richer, deeper, and better analytics that we customize to meet the specific needs of our customers.”
Field Assist meets the growing demands of customers to automate sales tracking processes. Flick2Know customers gain scalability, flexibility, and a predictable cost structure. With the popularity of Field Assist, Flick2Know is strengthening its leadership position in the market.
Provides Authentic Real Time Data
By using Windows Azure, Flick2Know was able to deliver a full-featured solution to customers. “Earlier, because data access was slow, all actions took place a week or two after the event had occurred,” explains Puneet. “With Field Assist, managers get live updates on the whereabouts of the salesperson and their performance, which allows them to react immediately in case of an anomaly.”
Improves Business Insight
Managers have easy access to information on activity, which includes daily sales, outlets visited, time spent at each location, orders placed, sales analysis, and account details. One of Flick2Know’s customer, Great F&B, has been using Field Assist since September 2012. Its CFO, Alejandro Nieto, says, “We can run extensive queries to evaluate and analyze customer behavior using real time data. Live daily sales reports are far more reliable and authentic than handwritten attendance reports. Overall, we have increased our sales efficiency by 21 percent.”
Reduces Costs, Provides Greater Scalability
By taking advantage of Windows Azure, Flick2Know customers do not have to invest time and money in an on-premises development and hosting infrastructure or management staff. “Our customers can easily save 20 percent of the initial IT investment by using our cloud-based solution,” says Puneet. “The only investment they need is in buying the handsets.”
With Windows Azure, Flick2Know also offers greater scalability to handle the large volume of data as well as spikes at customer locations. Customers can simply add new salespeople, shops, and markets to the application when needed.
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