Success Story

15% more revenue by visiting
the right store at the right time

Since implementing portatour®, our distribution of our key brands in the stores has increased by 15%. That is huge in the tobacco industry.

Mark Hooks,
Director of Sales Operations
Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd. using the portatour® route planner

About Scandinavian Tobacco Group

Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd. is the USA sales company of the Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco, employing 9,500 people and holding a strong position in Scandinavia and the USA. STG Lane’s brand portfolio includes Café Crème, Henri Wintermans, and Cohiba cigars, Captain Black pipe tobacco, Winchester little cigars, and Bugler and Kite fine-cut tobacco.

www.st-group.com

STG Lane’s territory sales managers visit stores and retail outlets daily, five days a week. By promoting existing brands and introducing new brands, field representatives are crucial for reaching independent stores and their customers.

If you are looking for a tool to optimize the effectiveness of your sales force, their activities, and ultimately sales, then portatour® will deliver all of these.

We didn’t expect our volume to increase dramatically just because we were sending people to the right places at the right time, but since implementing portatour®, our distribution of our key brands in the stores has increased by 15%. That is huge in the tobacco industry.

Mark Hooks, Director of Sales Operations

Why dynamic route planning?

Until March 2014, daily route and call planning was based on ZIP codes and intuition, resulting in scattered routes, wasted time and resources.

Conventional mapping tools such as Microsoft Streets&Trips or multi-stop route-planner software can only optimize routes for a handful of pre-selected addresses or show the route to the next customer.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group Cigars and Pipe Tobacco

Evaluation and implementation of portatour®

The sales group was demanding a solution “yesterday”. Mark Hooks, Director of Sales Operations, was able to deliver portatour® very close to this deadline. The first evaluation of portatour® by STG Lane during an online demo was on 4th March. Installation and configuration was completed by 14th March. Rollout started by training the first pilot users on 17th March, the rollout to all users was completed by 4th April – within a month of first learning about portatour®.

We have done a lot of rollouts of other tools which have required many webinars and a lot of questions have arisen. We had fewer questions about portatour® and a quicker implementation than with any other rollout we have done before. The portatour® support team was accessible and the quality of support exceptional.

Solution: portatour® dynamic route planning

portatour® provides route planning based on store classification, call frequency, and shortest driving distances. Route plans can be updated dynamically on the road, compensating for traffic delays and scheduling shifts due to customer visits taking longer or finishing sooner. Full integration into Salesforce promises a quick rollout. portatour® offers significant advantages compared to all other evaluated solutions.

For us, it is not only important to visit all retail stores, but to visit the right store at the right time with the right frequency. A sales rep starting Monday morning should not have to ask “where do I have to go?” With portatour®, everyone knows where to go next.

Our sales team loves portatour®. It has completely taken away the burden of route-planning. Our resellers are achieving greater revenue. In summary, it has been a really huge success for us.

Tobacco bundles

Insights and profit gain through portatour®

portatour® enables management at STG to set objectives for “calls per day”, supports territory sales managers with optimized routes to reach these objectives, and allows everyone to measure those objectives.

The result is an incredible increase from 3-5 calls on average per day in March 2014 to 8-9 calls per day on average in August 2014 – increasing the sales force effectiveness by over 50% and having a groundbreaking effect on the cost effectiveness of the outside sales staff and vehicles. The efficiency gain was achieved solely through portatour® dynamic route planning and translated directly into a business growth of 15% within a few months.

Detailed reporting on the field activities is another key benefit. Owing to the user-friendly support for call reporting provided by portatour®, call report coverage increased dramatically and became consistent. Management gained access to real-time information on the current situation of the sales reps out in the field, allowing management to drive campaigns and to increase the number of calls.

What we didn’t expect until we found it in portatour® is the clear reporting: calls per day, duration of calls, coverage of stores by classification. Reports generated from the daily activities were eye-opening. We now understand what is happening out in the field, which has proven to be invaluable.