From household cleaning supplies to personal-care products, Procter & Gamble touches the lives of 65 per cent of the people on Earth. P&G’s history includes innovations like Ivory soap, Pampers, Tide and the first fluoride toothpaste, Crest. More than 175 years after its foundation, the company continues to expand its business using two other groundbreaking products: iPhone and iPad.
“P&G’s mission is to make sure that people around the world have access to superior products that can change their lives,” says Bob Fregolle, Global Customer Business Development Officer. “iPhone and iPad have been great enablers in bringing this to life.”
P&G was founded in 1837, when candle maker William Procter joined forces with soap maker James Gamble in Cincinnati. Within 25 years, the company’s annual revenues exceeded US$1 million. These days, 25 of the company’s 50 top brands individually generate net annual sales of over US$1 billion.
Today’s P&G is a truly global enterprise — and nowhere is this more evident than in its thriving business operations in China. “We cover 1.5 million stores in China,” says Jevons Ding, Sales Director of Customer Business Development, P&G China.
Jevons Ding, Sales Director of Customer Business Development, P&G China
To support its teams around the globe, P&G has developed more than 50 customised iOS apps. “We have over 25,000 iPhone and iPad devices across all functions,” says Jim Fortner, Vice President of IT Development, Operations and Architecture. “We’ve found the iOS platform to be very secure and reliable. And the development process is pretty straightforward; we can turn apps around in four to six weeks.”
Key apps at P&G include an iFactBook for executives that presents real-time business metrics; PeopleFinder, an employee directory; and a suite of tools to help P&G’s sales team engage with store owners and drive sales. These customer business development apps also help monitor sales performance and consumer insights worldwide.
“iPad enables sales managers to manage their reps and monitor product performance in stores,” Jevons Ding says. “Our salespeople use iPad to present our products to customers. We can see product displays on each store’s shelves, so if a product is selling better than anticipated, we can increase supply to avoid going out of stock.”
Sales reps used to carry heavy binders of paper printouts, which were quickly outdated and difficult to cross-reference with other information. “Now a rep can just take an iPad into a store, pull up real-time business intelligence and understand immediately where the gaps are in distribution, merchandising or pricing,” Bob Fregolle says. “iPhone and iPad enable our sales force globally to take a step ahead in productivity. Our people are more productive, they’re enjoying their work more and they’re connected in new ways with these amazing tools.”
With iPhone, iPad and customised business apps in hand, P&G is well positioned for its next era of innovation. “What we do with our brands is improve people’s lives every single day,” Fregolle notes. “We put innovation at the forefront in creating and distributing superior products. iPad and iPhone have enabled us to connect streams of data, eliminate a lot of paper — and most importantly, spend more time with our customers.”
“This is the most exciting time in the 23 years I’ve been in IT,” says Jim Fortner. “I see iPhone and iPad as part of the future, where everybody can do their business on the iOS platform.”
- iFactBook presents key real-time business metrics for executives.
- Binder enables sales teams at P&G to engage with store owners to build sales.
- Order and Audit allow P&G sales teams to capture customer orders and complete store compliance audits.
- PeopleFinder helps employees locate other P&G staff worldwide.