Bizom turns 5 years old this year. What started as a simple order-taking app has evolved into India’s leading Sales Force Automation and Distribution Management System with over 250 brands. It took many years to get here but what remained constant was the focus on solving the problem that every FMCG, and CPG company faces. Increasing the productivity of the sales force, increasing sales and distribution visibility, and access to important data and analytics. All this so that the companies can strategise better, sell more and make more profits.
The first ones to be impacted by an organisation that adopts Sales Force Automation (SFA) are the frontline heroes of these companies, the sales executives. They face the biggest change as they shift from traditional manual methods of doing their job to complete automation through SFA implementation. As a company working with over 200 clients across verticals, we have seen numerous adoption issues from lack of familiarity to right down resentment as they feel monitored. But with every client, we have seen these issues resolved, be it through our ‘Evangelization team’ or by building in ‘gamification’. What we were really building though was ‘comfort and familiarity’ with the product so they would look at it as a personal tool to help them work better and not a policing tool.
We decided it was time to talk to the end users and get a real sense of if we really managed to achieve this. We spoke to multiple field users of Bizom and it was gratifying to see that the dream our CEO, Lalit Bhise has of touching a million lives while building a billion dollar company is inching towards reality.
When we stepped out on the field we weren’t sure of the response but our apprehensions were put to rest when we met Mr Ankith Agarwal, a Banjara Sales Executive. His enthusiasm was infectious as he took time out from his work to interact with us and tell us about his experience with Bizom.
“Earlier we used to have to do everything manually. Taking orders on daily sales reports (DSR) took longer and during the rainy season it even used to get wet and I’ve lost orders to this. It’s much simpler now with Bizom. I can take all the orders at every outlet and all the data syncs end of the day. I don’t have to carry a DSR around.
It’s also organized my work life better. Every morning I know my exact route and the outlets I have to visit and it also shows me focus SKUs so I can plan and sell better. Earlier if I needed to know my secondary sales to date it was a lengthy process of going through my beat book. Bizom shows me my targets and achievement all on one screen.”
“Everything’s a click away” he smiles as he proceeds to use the app taking us through his routine.
The next Bizom user we met was Mr. Lakkam Sandeep, Mars Senior Sales Officer who was kind enough to come down to our office on a holiday to talk to us. (Do we have the best users in the world?)
Our question was the same that we always put to everyone. “How has Bizom changed your life?”
“It has made my life much simpler. Things like following up with my merchandisers which used to take up a lot of time are now automated. I can see in real-time how many outlets they have covered and the merchandizing data of each officer is available on my phone.
“I’m able to analyze everything from facings to shelf share and compare these with my competitor data for the same parameters. I can then plan my market strategies accordingly and try and improve our sales. We are able to react quickly to competition in the market. Bizom is definitely a game changer.”
Next on our field trip was Paras Marketing, a Jyothy Labs distributor using Distributor Management System, all the way in Hoskote. I like to think that Frodo had an easier journey on the way to Mount Doom. Pulling up in a crowded busy street we walked the last few hundred metres.
2 of the warehouse managers who work at Bizom joined us in the conference room and our first question was “How had automation through Bizom’s Distributor Management System changed their organization.”
“We have been using Bizom for the last 6 months and it has simplified all the processes like inventory management, order fulfilment, sales returns, claims etc.
Bizom has helped our inventory management. Earlier we would not have a clear picture of our stock. Now when we take the closing stock report through Bizom we know exactly our stock position. We used to take orders and do the billing without knowing if it was in stock or not. But with Bizom you can only order the SKU if it’s in stock otherwise Bizom doesn’t allow us to bill it which is great.”
“We used to process all retailer claims product-wise using pen and paper. There was a lot of confusion since all this was manual. Matching our company claims with retailers’ claims was tedious and we have faced losses due to this as well. Now with Bizom, we know exactly how many retailer claims we are accepting as well as our claims that are processed by the company. Our primary planning also has become much simpler as we place them through Bizom”
“When you’re out here seeing people from across walks of life using Bizom, it really is a recognition of the hard work Lalit,Vasu and Shree have put in building a product that is used by so many and so well.” Arun our Chief Growth Officer quipped. And I could not agree more.