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Global Snack Manufacturer: Automating Distribution and Sales Force Management

A global snack food manufacturer takes control of its complex sales and distribution network using Accenture NewsPage solution.


To take control of its complex and growing sales and distribution network in South Africa, the global snack food manufacturer wanted to arm its field sales force with better planning capabilities, quick access to up-to-date customer and product information and tools to effectively track and meet their sales targets. The company implemented Accenture NewsPage Sales Force Automation solution to increase the productivity of its sales force—comprising 350 distributor users and 400 handheld users—leading to faster delivery of products to retailers, prompt and error-free invoicing, and faster revenue recognition. Accenture’s automated and easy-to-use solution has also enabled the company to compensate its sales force faster, resulting in improved satisfaction.


The global snack food manufacturer wanted to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly growing South African market. However, its existing distributor management system lacked the scalability and support required to meet its growing needs. Moreover, with a complex distribution landscape consisting of large numbers of depots and sales people, the company had difficulty tracking its products and customer orders. The company’s field force was still using pen and paper methods to reference and record product and sales information that often included cross-border sales in neighboring countries, which weren’t effectively tracked. In some cases, as long as two-to-three weeks would pass before the field force returned to the office and manually entered the information into the company’s system.


The snack food manufacturer collaborated with Accenture to implement the distributor management and sales force automation solution for approximately 350 distributor users and 400 handheld users. The company chose Accenture NewsPage Distributor Management System (DMS) based on the software’s demonstrated capability to control promotions, improve productivity, streamline inventory, and get accurate and reliable data on secondary sales on the manufacturer’s other subsidiaries in the complex and highly fragmented Asia Pacific region.


With Accenture NewsPage DMS, the client has gained visibility into all sales and distribution activities across South Africa and neighboring countries. Now, as soon as a sales person captures an order, the information is processed by the client’s back office, leading to faster delivery of products to the retailer, prompt and error-free invoicing, and faster revenue recognition. The solution has allowed the client to manage its distribution system comprehensively, including inventory and credit management, customer and product master data, invoicing, van and credit sales activities, and promotion claims management. It has demonstrated to be scalable, highly customizable to address the company’s complex needs for the African market, and easy to integrate with its existing back-end systems. Moreover, with a short delivery cycle of less than six months and little support and maintenance requirements, the client has been able to reduce its total cost of ownership and improve its time to market. With DMS integrated with its back-end ERP systems, the client can now avoid manual data entry errors and easily access customer, product, promotion and transaction data at the click of a button. The automated solution has also reduced the time spent waiting for manual sales reports to reimburse the sales force, resulting in its improved satisfaction.