Gaselia: Implementing the Road to Market methodology for a West African beverages group

Gaselia was founded in 2002 by local entrepreneurs, and is headquartered in Bamako, Mali. It is specialized in the production of non-alcoholic beverages such as mineral water (Assinie brand) and soft drinks, under the Monarch brands (Planet, Bubble Up, etc). The company has then developed in Côte d’Ivoire and more recently in Guinea. It employs 800 people, and has expanded to cover the entire value chain, from the production of PET plastic bottles, to the direct distribution among a network of 200 wholesalers supplying around 10,000 retailers. It is an ambitious company with leading positions in each of its market, that has received interest from public investors, such as the IFC and Proparco with a 24m€ loan in 2018, and recently in 2020, from a private equity fund, Africa CapitalWorks.

Gaselia group operates under these names:

  • Nouvelles Brasseries de Côte d’Ivoire (NBCI)

  • Nouvelles Brasseries Bamakoises (NBB)

  • Braguinée

See below a video on the business in Côte d’Ivoire:

Background

Geraldine Schildknecht was appointed Marketing and Commercial Director of Gaselia Group in September 2019 with the mission to strengthen the sales capabilities and gain market shares. With a long experience at Danone and at several other FMCG companies in Europe and Sub-saharan Africa, she had first hand experience of the Road to Market best practices to implement. She chose Optimetriks’s SaaS solution for its flexibility and relevance to the business needs.

Challenges identified at the time were the following:

  • Lack of understanding of the market with few data points

  • Unsatisfying availability of the Gaselia products in the outlets

  • Use of traditional and inefficient tools to monitor the market and field staff productivity

To address those issues, the following approach was implemented:

  • Mapping of all the retailers. Capture with our application of their key dimensions: name, contact details, picture, GPS, brands sold, sales, etc.

  • Segmentation and ranking of the outlets based on certain criteria

  • Definition of a new sales organisation and routes for each sales representative

  • Deployment of the workflows for each type of user: wholesale, area manager, sales representative, direct sales, etc

  • Capture of all visits / field users interaction with the tool to have more qualitative KPIs to measure the performance

Mapping the outlets

Knowing your universe of outlets is the foundation on which you need to build your go to market strategy. Without this database, it is impossible to properly define your territories and dimensions your sales organization. Consumer goods companies often rely on external agencies to collect this data, but it comes at a higher price, and the issue is that the data quickly becomes outdated, as outlets close and new appear. Our recommendation to Gaselia was therefore to do it internally leveraging a temporary team of students and dedicated workflows on our mobile application. Instead of using pen and paper and unreliable data collection and entry mechanisms, our app provides an end to end solution that makes the data quality much better. In Abidjan, the trade census took around 8weeks, with similar results in productivity in Conaky and Bamako. The daily work was monitored through real time dashboards and maps, as can be seen below.

Sales Force Automation

The second phase has been to roll out several workflows for all the sales roles:

  • Sales Representative

  • Merchandisers

  • Area Managers

  • etc

Top features appreciated by the users have been:

  • The ability to visualise all the information of an outlet including its picture and location on Google Maps with accurate GPS information

  • The ability to easily filter and search on the list

  • The intuitive matrix display of the products

  • The capability to define custom workflows that are specific to the roles of the user. In total, 4different workflows have been designed.

  • The design of custom reporting web dashboards to understand the sales performance

In the case of Gaselia, the adoption of such system has changed the way of working of around 200 people, it was concomitant with a reorganization of the sales function. Therefore a lot of support was required to ensure the users and the managers find their way through the new system. All along the process, providing close support through in person training, our ticketing system and on site assistance turned out to be critical to maintain high adoption rates.

Ten months after the kick off of the project, the results are satisfactory with daily adoption of the tool by all the field users and regular submissions to understand the commercial performance. The roadmap is then to integrate other modules such as route management, inventory management, order taking and GPS tracking.

“The Optimetriks solution has been a real value addition to the global commercial reorganization, bring much needed efficiency gains in our processes. Their agile software solution has been critical in getting the right data points to understand our commercial strengths on the field, manage our outlet universe and rationalise our process. We have now strengthened our internal reporting discipline thanks to the tool, and are able to manage our business operations and team impact much better. Optimetriks has been extremely dedicated to helping us in this transition. The whole team is highly reactive and open to new suggestions. Both Optimetriks and Gaselia are working together smoothly to continue improving our process and the solution to succeed in our markets.”

Géraldine Schildknecht, Marketing and Commercial Director, Gaselia Group

If you are also operating in the beverages sector and wants to implement digitised road to market processes, please get in touch with us at sales@optimetriks.com or through this form: https://optimetriks.typeform.com/to/f533Q5

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