With hundreds of employees working remotely across the country, Tactical Solutions required a means of managing its workforce efficiently in order to streamline its offering to existing and new clients.
Tactical Solutions approached Polymorph to help radically transform its primarily paper-based field sales processes, mainly handled in-store, with the use of cutting edge technology; in order to revamp the way staff in the field reported information and solved problems for the brands Tactical Solutions represents.
Lorna Davidson, managing director of Tactical Solutions, explains: “Field marketers get very excited about technology, yet I didn't want the technology to distract from my team’s key focus – selling. So when we turned to the market to find a solution, this was a key factor in deciding who to work with.”
Tactical Solutions turned to Polymorph, and in response Polymorph developed DRIVE a bespoke tablet and web technology based solution. Designed by Polymorph’s creative team, the brief was to deliver an intuitive and eye catching design so that the sales teams could operate it easily and effectively when on the road. It was designed to replace the paper-based activities of field staff, who travel to various stores to make a difference for their clients' brands in each store, making sure the agreed POS material is in place and that the supermarket is running agreed promotions during a particular time, for example, the tablets were developed using Microsoft SQL reporting services and .Net. The former provides a server-based report generation software system that ensures work done in the field is relayed back to Tactical Solutions' headquarters. The latter provides a framework for Polymorph staff to design an application that looks good and provides seamless and secure communication.
The DRIVE tablet software also enables real-time updates as soon as they enter a store. In addition, it also shows how a brand should be displayed within the context of what had been agreed with that store, so that the sales manager can address any issues directly with the supermarket manager. All of this information is then sent directly to Tactical Solutions' headquarters for analysis.
The DRIVE tablet software has been initially rolled out to over 120 field sales users, who carry out over 2,700 in-store visits every week. The easy-to-use software has significantly helped to increase reporting and reduce manual inputting, allowing Tactical Solutions to focus on its core business.
The project was very much an integrated one-team approach, with Polymorph embedding themselves with the Tactical Solutions team to understand exactly what was required. Once the software was designed, members of Tactical Solutions divisional trainers held training sessions for the field sales users across the country. With software designed to run on the Android 3 operating system, it can be used on any Android tablet with this system.
This technology has already improved Tactical Solutions’ efficiency in the field, providing tools such as live data and photo capture so ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of agreed branding material can be taken, for use when reporting back to clients in case of a breach of contract.
Davidson continued: “Polymorph has been a supplier of Tactical Solutions for a number of years, and really understands our business. They were able to take the understanding of what we do, and what we needed, to develop a bespoke product in the shape of the DRIVE tablet software, which allowed us to work efficiently and effectively in-store".
Tactical Solutions is a field sales and marketing company that works for world-class clients across the UK and Ireland. With over 300 sales professionals operating nationally, its staff are tasked with helping retail brands market and sell their products in the fast moving retail environment.
Its key role is to ensure that its clients (who include major Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands) are properly represented in-store, via Point of Sale (POS) material or promotions agreed with specific supermarket chains.
In effect Tactical Solutions ensures that supermarkets are promoting its clients in the agreed manner ensuring maximum sales across the many retail channels.