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Kraft Heinz optimises sales force with Trax

The branded goods manufacturers Kraft Heinz and Hengstenberg, which in Germany merged their sales forces at the beginning of the year, are making their work more efficient with Trax. The cloud-based solution analyses shelf photos and rapidly provides a dashboard that visualises the optimisation potential in a sales location.

“The solution offers us genuine time savings because it takes a lot of the daily counting, measuring and documenting out of our hands,” reported Kai-Oliver Wlecke, National Manager of the Field Force at Kraft Heinz in Germany at the German-language ECR Conference, which took place last week as an online-only event. Since the beginning of the year, Kraft Heinz and Hengstenberg have been making common cause in sales in Germany — with a total of 42 employees.

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While other Trax users also use crowd services to import photos of shelves, the joint sales force of Kraft Heinz and Hengstenberg takes the pictures themselves, uploads them to Trax and after a few minutes receives a view of KPIs with deviations from the ideal targeted as Perfect Store.

Shelf availability is the most important goal

The availability of the goods is one of the most important points that Kraft Heinz checks automatically with Trax – before the question of its placement on the shelf. This is because it is assumed that 10 – 20 percent sales potential lies in on shelf availability (OSA). By using the software, even cold de-listings, when not only the items but also the corresponding price tag has disappeared, can be easily detected.

Kai-Oliver Wlecke said that he has actually been looking for a suitable CRM system for a long time. He still hasn’t found one, but he has found the Trax platform, which Kraft Heinz decided on in 2019 and introduced last year. Using AI-based vision recognition, the solution identifies all items on the shelf based on photos and analyses the actual situation.

More time for sales

“Our employees now have significantly more time for sales conversations with the shop owner or store managers,” explains Wlecke. It is very motivating for his team to have more time for the essentials and thus more experiences of success. The time spent by the field staff evaluating and preparing store visits at home has decreased significantly and market penetration has increased as a result.

Already during the visit to sales outlets, the Trax dashboard shows the sales people the most important potentials of the store. The reliability of the data and the credibility of the reports is very high on the basis of the photos. This is particularly important in times when some people question the sales force because there is hardly any direct store delivery business left, he says.

Focus on stores with the greatest potential

Based on the Trax analyses, the field staff of Kraft Heinz and Hengstenberg also plan their store visits and routes themselves. This is because it shows which of the previously visited markets have the most potential.

In order for Trax’s solution to identify the customer’s individual SKUs beyond doubt, their clients provide Trax with packshots of all items. Using computer vision technology, Trax then converts photos into actionable planograms and scorecards.

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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