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Together, Accenture and Heineken Spain have developed the in-depth insight required to better respond to shifting customer needs and market conditions.
Heineken España S.A. (Heineken Spain) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heineken N.V. Holdings. With 2008 revenues of over €14.0 billion (approximately $20.1 billion) and more than 50,000 employees, Heineken N.V. Holdings makes, sells and distributes more than 200 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers, making it the owner and manager of one of the globe’s leading portfolios of beer brands. Further, the holding company, which enjoys the widest international presence among global brewers through its worldwide network of distributors—and 125 breweries in more than 70 countries—is also one of the world’s leading brewers in terms of sales volume and profitability.
Heineken Spain is a leading company in the Spanish market and is continuously challenged by strong competitors and changing market conditions in the hotel, restaurant and catering market. This market is especially competitive, with a high annual churn—15 to 20 percent—among the main brewery groups at the point of sale (POS). Heineken Spain set out to support its clear strategic vision for positioning its brands as the favorite beer supplier and preferred choice for customers.
The company has always regarded service as a clear differentiator for customers and operated an extensive sales, distribution and technical network focused on servicing, developing and maintaining customer loyalty. But Heineken Spain realized that continued success required a significant ongoing investment that targeted key customer service areas with the greatest value and potential.
Determining the correct customer relations path, however, was a painstaking task. So, Heineken Spain looked to Accenture for assistance.
Accenture, Heineken NV Holdings and Heineken Spain had previously collaborated on several successful projects and Heineken already knew of Accenture’s deep knowledge, skill and experience in customer relationship management (CRM) and capabilities—making Accenture the natural choice.
Accenture’s research into the characteristics of high-performance businesses supports Heineken Spain’s CRM initiatives. Accenture’s High Performance Business research shows that leading companies focus on understanding customers' needs and preferences and aligning them with the overall organization.
High-performance businesses make a concerted effort to carve out a distinct market position by knowing their customers intimately and by experimenting with new ways to reach different customers. For the alcohol beverage industry, high-performance businesses ensure they display exceptional brand and category leadership within the market and target high-value customer segments.
To begin its realignment, Accenture and Heineken Spain developed a vision that emphasized:
Using this knowledge, Heineken Spain and Accenture put into motion an initiative coined “Customer Knowledge to Action.” The objective of the project was to build and implement CRM methodologies and tools—based on SAP CRM—into the sales team’s daily activity.
In particular, it aimed to increase customer knowledge of Heineken’s and competitors’ Point of sale (POS) results to be able to segment customers based on their needs and business potential. Furthermore, it aimed to define the optimal portfolio of products and services for each customer segment.
The information obtained from these efforts would be used to make decisions on how to tackle the marketplace and with the right commercial resources, from discounts and promotions to POS materials and the company’s sales force. Finally, this information would be leveraged so that Heineken could:
With a newfound ability to analyze market conditions, POS results, profit and loss and customer segments, Heineken Spain made strides to increase its share of the hotel, restaurant and catering market. In fact, based on the results of the pilot, Heineken Spain estimates that it can expect up to a 50 percent increase in contribution margins in the rollout of the CRM-based business model to the rest of its territories.
The sales management tool allowed the global brewing leader to simulate the impact of promotions and other commercial actions before it made the investment. Heineken Spain executives and members of the company’s sales team can now access precisely the information they need to take advantage of sales opportunities, make optimal decisions about where to place their co-marketing funds, measure the results of their actions and meet their overall corporate objectives.
For example, by using the action-impact simulation capabilities of the customer analysis tool, a member of the sales team can now determine the value of customer visits versus providing trade marketing benefits, such as POS advertising, promotions and/or events.
Together, Accenture and Heineken Spain have developed the in-depth insight required to better respond to shifting customer needs and market conditions. Heineken Spain has taken bold steps toward building a high-performance business by enhancing sales capabilities with its easy-to-use CRM tool. Its focus on CRM in a mature marketplace is also helping Heineken Spain maintain and extend its market leadership.
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