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Dr. Pepper Snapple Group exec: Mobile increases sales, distribution

NEW YORK ? A Dr. Pepper Snapple Group executive at Aberdeen Group?s Retail and Consumer Markets Summit said that by equipping its employees with mobile handsets and tablets, the company is able to sell and distribute more products.

During the ?Strategies for Mobile DSD and Impacting the Physical to Digital Project Journey? session, the executive spoke about how digital has changed the direct store delivery industry. In particular, the executive spoke about the opportunities available on tablets to sell products.

?The new generation is changing the game,? said Gerry Mecca, vice president of IT at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, TX.

?The next generation is to outfit employees with tablets, not because they are cool, but because we can give the seller the information they need,? he said.

Digital delivery
The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group includes a wide variety of soft drinks including Dr. Pepper, SunKist and 7Up as well as juices and teas, such as Snapple.

Currently, the company has more than 7,000 employees in the field with mobile handsets to help with ordering and delivering products to beverage distributors. The company began using the devices in 2007 and 2008.

Although the devices are somewhat robust, the idea was to give everyone in the company the same device to work with. However, as the bring-your-own device fad is catching on, the company is looking to let employees bring their own devices to work.

Additionally, the company is looking for ways to include tablets into its sales field more because of their portability and ability to do more on the devices.

For a DSD company, tablets also let employees take pictures of displays to show clients how product is set up in-store.

Once a sales person shows up with a mobile device, the employee takes the order and it submitted wirelessly. Then the order is received and shipped in approximately 48 hours.

When the order is delivered, the employee takes both a handheld device and a printed copy with them.

Digital delivery helps both DSD companies and distributors streamline the inventory process by using real-time inventory and pricing.

Direct to store
According to Mr. Mecca, although some might have said two to three years ago that DSD would be phased out, there is still a place for companies to help get products to retailers.

Additionally, DSD companies can help retailers set up displays and products in ways that they want.

?Nobody wants a dying product on their shelf, but everyone wants one that sells quickly,? Mr. Mecca said.

By using a DSD company, it can help retailers build displays and roll out logistics, meaning that retailers do not have to worry about merchandising or wearhousing.

The exec claims that 70 percent of the most successful product introductions are done via DSD.

As takeaway tips, the exec said that it is important for companies to not do everything at once. For example, the company first gave employees and stores Wi-Fi and is now looking at other ways to incorporate mobile.

Additionally, with consumers using their devices more, it is important for companies to include mobile into their business.

?Users are bringing their own devices into stores, so you better deploy a mobile device management strategy,? Mr. Mecca said.