IBM has announced that M-Industry, one of the world’s largest private label consumer goods company and subsidiary of Switzerland’s largest retailer and supermarket chain, Migros Group, has launched a new IBM designed mobile offering to transform how product promoters work.
As part of its overall digital transformation, M-Industry is rolling out iPads equipped with IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps to more than 300 employees across their promotion agency, Trade Marketing Intelligence (TMI) unit. These apps will provide promoters with immediate access to information to better coordinate, conduct and complete in-store promotions.
M-Industry formed TMI three years ago to oversee the in-store promotions of the company’s food and non-food private labels and third-party products throughout Migros stores in Switzerland.
Traditionally, TMI promoters primarily relied on manual-based processes with the back-office –such as phone and email communication and paper documentation – to get more information on products and store displays prior to, during and after their assigned promotions. Typically, promoters printed this paperwork at their homes before leaving for a store visit.
Additionally, promoters received last minute texts or emails on changes to product messaging or cross-product pairing. Coupled with limited access to knowledge about promotional content, this inconsistent method impacted the overall quality of the promotion.
As part of a broader transformation, M-Industry wanted to improve the productivity and efficacy of promoters by equipping them with the tools to streamline communications and access the right information all in one place to better prepare for store visits and deliver greater value to Migros customers.
“Our collaboration with Apple and IBM is reinventing how we do business. By creating a compelling, mobile-first process for our field employees, we are transforming how they work and it’s game-changing for not only employees but for our business and our customers,” said Lukas Bigler, Project Manager Head of TMI. “Our employees who work remotely in various stores require the most current product information to do their job well. We are now putting relevant information at the fingertips of our mobile employees, making it easier for them to do their daily job, be more productive and augment the quality of the promotions.”
M-Industry worked closely with IBM iX, one of the world’s largest digital agencies for business strategy and experience design, to create native apps, built using Swift, with a user-centric approach based on input from target employees. Each app is specifically tailored for the needs of TMI promoters – a base comprised of users with limited experience on digital solutions.
With an intuitive user experience, the three iOS apps are designed to simplify tasks and give promoters quick access to up-to-date data while they are managing product promotions on location:
Market Visit puts the latest promotion information in the palm of employee hands, including training materials on promotion products, real-time product notifications updates and other communication from the back office, eliminating the need for paper and multiple devices to prepare, conduct and complete promotions.
Promoters can also record expenses – travel or in-store product related – on the app and submit it prior to departing the store, which took days and weeks in the manual mode. Upon completing a store’s assessment, promoters can easily give feedback to the back office.
Shift Sync helps promoters better coordinate with the back office to plan work assignments more efficiently. Using iPad, employees can view and manage work schedules, request time off, and receive push notifications regarding assignment confirmations.
TMI Visits, a custom-built iOS app exclusively used by M-Industry employees, enables promotion execution managers to access location-based store and promotion information, capture notes about each store and its promotion activity, perform promoter and promotion assessments and analyze the results.
“Organizations across all industries are recognizing the need for digital transformation to drive efficiencies, reinvent business models and create digitally enabled experiences that enhances services delivered to their customers, and the path begins with mobile,” said Gareth Mackown, European Mobile and Apple Leader, IBM. “Together, M-Industry and IBM designed an iOS enterprise experience around the end user, beyond just for data entry, to create a simple-to-use platform that empowers employees with data driven insights, transforming work processes, increasing job satisfaction and raising productivity.”
IBM and M-Industry will continue their collaboration to further evolve the apps with plans to add new functionalities that will empower employees with better insights to deliver higher quality service and enhance interactions with store customers.
For example, iPads of the promoters could also be used for consumer interactions so customers can vote during product sampling on their favorite product, as well as share product demonstrations with in-store customers.