More than a century ago, pharmacist Caleb Bradham combined the ingredients for a refreshing new beverage and launched one of the world’s best-known brands. In addition to Pepsi, today’s PepsiCo manufactures and sells brands such as Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Tropicana, Quaker and Frito-Lay worldwide.
Getting beverages into the hands of consumers requires a complex web of interlocking distribution systems and ever-shifting logistics. Using iPhone, iPad and customised apps built in house, PepsiCo’s North America Beverages division eliminates bottlenecks and ensures that the right products arrive in the right locations as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“In North America we run approximately 17,000 distribution routes a day,” says Brian Spearman, Senior Vice President of Go-To-Market and Service for PepsiCo North America Beverages. “We have to get the products from our manufacturing and warehouse facilities onto our trucks and into stores in time to meet demand. With iPhone and iPad, we can be more efficient and get in front of problems before they even happen.”
Dimitri Papaevagelou, Territory Sales Manager, PepsiCo North America Beverages
In the past, PepsiCo drivers and merchandisers began each day by picking up printed schedules with order quantities and tasks to be performed at each outlet, from unloading cases of drinks to setting up new product displays. If a store needed to add to or cancel an order, it was a challenge to accommodate the request while on the move because communicating with the delivery drivers was difficult.
“If you couldn’t get hold of a driver on the road, you didn’t know where the delivery was,” says Dimitri Papaevagelou, Territory Sales Manager for PepsiCo North America Beverages. “Hours could go by where you didn’t know what’s going on.”
To make merchandising and distribution as seamless as possible, PepsiCo North America Beverages created Power4Merch, a customised in‑house app for iPhone. With Power4Merch, merchandisers are immediately notified when a driver has arrived at a store and can be sure that deliveries are unloaded quickly and displayed correctly, so the right products are always on the shelf and ready to buy.
“It allows the merchandiser to see his day right on iPhone,” says Mark Uppaluri, Director of Selling Systems for PepsiCo North America Beverages. “It has an electronic time card, and he can see his schedule, the store details, the account profiles and everything he needs to know to service the store.”
Meanwhile, managers use iPads to monitor their teams’ performance, pull up pricing, planograms and contracts, and help coordinate deliveries with merchandising using two customised apps for iPad. The Manager’s Briefcase app gives territory sales managers electronic versions of all the paperwork and resources they need to manage their teams, including store audits, employee coaching forms and automated notifications to merchandisers.
“A manager can make manpower assignments right on iPad,” Uppaluri says. “It automatically sends a push notification to the merchandiser’s iPhone, so he knows he’s got a new stop. Life before was all about being on the phone, checking email in the office, checking paperwork. Now with iPad, the manager starts and ends his day where he needs to be, with his team.”
The second app, SPOTLight, gives managers instant access to their SharePoint content. “I can pull out pricing, display planograms, customer development agreements, new contracts, you name it,” says Papaevagelou. “It’s all there.”
Mark Uppaluri, Director of Selling Systems, PepsiCo North America Beverages
Developing the apps was a straightforward process, says Uppaluri: “It was easy to create rich, beautiful applications for our end users. Within four months of starting to develop for the first time on an Apple device, we were able to deliver a production-ready application.”
And iPhone and iPad fit in with PepsiCo’s established IT systems, making deployment and security a breeze. “We simply plugged them into our existing ecosystem and they worked flawlessly,” Uppaluri explains. “We use Mobile Device Management from AirWatch to securely deploy our applications and manage them, and we leverage the built-in security on iPhone and iPad to protect them from unauthorised access.”
For managers and field staff in PepsiCo’s North America Beverages division, iPhone, iPad and in-house apps have made distribution and merchandising faster, simpler and more efficient.
“We don’t get a lot of game-changers in our industry,” Spearman says, “but we think iPhone and iPad technology is absolutely a game-changer for us, both in terms of communication and service and in productivity. We’re very, very excited about it.”
“iPhone and iPad are light, they’re portable, they’re extremely fast, and the user experience is simply beautiful,” says Uppaluri. “With these devices and the new applications we’ve developed, our employees take pride in the company — and they help us do a great job servicing our customers.”
Customised in-house apps:
- Power4Merch allows PepsiCo merchandisers to view schedule, store and display details.
- Manager’s Briefcase gives managers the ability to coordinate and monitor deliveries, schedules and customer contracts.
- SPOTLight provides access to SharePoint content, including presentations and videos.