India’s First Do-It-Yourself SFA and DMS for FMCG

Background

Peri CRM started its journey back in 2018 with the vision of transforming the Sales and distribution landscape in India. Our founders who had been consulting Indian FMCG companies in digital transformation and business process automation for many years now were consistently disappointed by the quality and performance of the existing Sales force automation (SFA) AND Distribution management system (DMS) platforms. The rhetoric was similar across the spectrum of FMCG companies:

– too expensive to implement
– takes months to stabilize
– high dependency on vendor to handhold and solve issues
– tons of data go in, but nothing valuable comes out

Peri was born with the resolve to support Indian FMCG companies overcome these struggles with SFA and DMS adoption to allow business leaders, middle and senior management take full advantage of technology whilst not making the frontliner a data-entry operator rather empower his/her smartphones with super useful tools to improve daily productivity. With this background when you refer to Peri’s mobile application, you can easily spot the fun, engaging and easy-to-use interface, very low on data entry rather dependent on clicks, taps and mostly one-handed interaction. Having built an amazing automation platform, Peri kept struggling with a bottle neck that wasn’t allowing the platform to reach the masses – the Indian FMCG companies and their distribution partners (stockists and distributors) spread across the country who do not have easy access to top software vendors and who often resort to basic, low-standard products for their business needs.

Bottle Necks We Been Solving Since Covid

When Covid hit the country with nation-wide lockdown enforced in March 2020, FMCG companies and their distribution partners were severely impacted. And suddenly there was need of digitized data which can be utilised to ensure the supply chain from factory till the retail shelves is maintained. In that frenzy, few early movers reached out to SFA and DMS vendors like Peri to implement a solution and help them get back on their feet as soon as possible. As things stabilised, more FMCG stakeholders realised the importance of having a cloud-based Sales and distribution automation platform to support their day-to-day operations. Although the simple solution was to go ahead with implementation, FMCG decision makers were faced with these bottle necks:

  1. High cost of implementation: any decent SFA, DMS application available in the market requires days to weeks of implementation effort by consultants, for which the vendor typically charge the customers anywhere between INR 50 thousand going upto INR 5 lakhs. This high upfront cost makes it a tough sell to decision makers especially in uncertain market conditions.
  2. Implementation timeline: it’s rare to find a FMCG company with full preparedness for SFA, DMS implementation, especially at the project execution level. And the moment the onus of implementation is on the vendor, it becomes a game of ping-pong till things go really bad and someone from senior management intervenes and steers the ship. This delay is counter-productive to both parties with tangible loss for the vendor and intangible productivity loss for the FMCG company.
  3. No way to try and see: perhaps the biggest deterrent for decision makers to onboard a SFA, DMS is the inability to implement the solution on a trial basis, move at their own pace, slowly orient the company towards the change, and when there is enough confidence about the product & its adoption by all stakeholders, take the plunge by implementing it fully with all bells & whistles.

Peri Launches Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

India has a decent bouquet of FMCG SFA and DMS platforms, ranging from established players who enjoy a majority market share to startups who are trying to differentiate on one or more areas and capture a niche market share. Even then not many cloud-based SAAS SFA and DMS platforms have tried to address the bottle necks stated above. The prime reason being that offering a product as trial is a slippery slope because there is risk of attracting non-serious customers from across the country with absolutely no filtration, spending marketing money on reaching the right target audience, overloading the IT infrastructure, deploying a dedicated B2C conversion team not to mention the possibility of getting inundated with support tickets. Which is why most Indian automation platforms either do not offer a trial, or limit it to either 7, 14 or 30 days with limited functionalities and limited number of users. In the history of on-premise or SAAS platforms, no vendor has been able to crack the code for making Indian companies adopt automation on their own i.e. “Do-it-yourself” as its popularly known in the western world.

On 1st June 2022, Peri CRM launched one of India’s few fully featured, no holds bar, self-onboarding SFA and DMS platform which offers Indian FMCG companies and their distribution partners of different sizes in general trade (GT), free to use for a period of 90 days. This self-paced impleentation gives access to automation platform without any fear of selecting a misfit platform, spending lakhs of rupees with no actual business benefit or suffering delays and adoption challenges.

Using Peri, Indian FMCG companies can now begin a digital transformation journey, a cultural change along with their employees, stockists, distributors, promoters, merchandiser, and other support staff and bear the fruits of automation without spending a dime.

Features of DIY

Peri’s self onboarding has been carefully designed keeping in mind the understanding and tech know-how of a common Indian business owner. The multi-step wizard guides a user through all the necessary stages of data collection before becoming a live entity on Peri. Below is a screenshot of the wizard and details on each step:

Sign-up: any FMCG company or stockist or distributor who wants to utilise Peri’s platform must sign-up using their email id which sends an activation link on their email asking for confirmation. Once authenticated, the company representative is asked for a password that creates a unique profile on Peri’s database. If due to any reason, user abandons the company activation, Peri sends them reminder for 30 days after which the profile will get deleted from the system.

Company details: once profile has been created, the user is asked to furnish details about the company (like GST number, registered address, contact number, logo and more) and create all sales entities (typically a sales office by state).

Master data: once sales organisation is in place, user is next asked to configure products, supply points and employees of relevant hierarchies and business units.

And just like that, within 30 minutes or so, a FMCG company and its distribution partners are up & running on Peri CRM what earlier used to take weeks or even months. Amazing right? That’s the real power of a cloud based SAAS technology platform which Peri continues to provide to the Indian ecosystem.

Benefits of DIY

Peri’s vision of self-onboarding is to spread automation at the grassroot level (we envision to touch 500 odd Indian cities with a population of 1 lakh or more) so that any FMCG business owner operating even in a remote part of the country can visit Peri’s website, get inspired to adopt automation, upload its master data and other information through a simple wizard as explained above. Peri is giving a shout-out to all FMCG stakeholders, whether they have a handful of employees or are a large organisation who are dissatisfied with automation and want to test out adoption of Peri with a handful of employees. We want to reiterate the benefits of choosing a self-onboarding, free-to-use for 3 months, do-it-yourself platform like Peri over the dozens of options available in the market today:

  • India’s fastest onboarding i.e. 30 minutes to setup basic sales organisation
  • 90 days of free usage to enhance data, test adoption in the market & move towards automation culture
  • Once trial ends, a mid-tier plan (which serves most Indian FMCG companies) costs INR 10 per day per employee
  • No hidden costs, we integrate with top ERP’s SAP, MS365 free of charge if they are cloud enabled
  • Top tier data visualisation platform Zoho analytics comes as part of Peri’s package

If you are a FMCG company or distribution partner running your operations from any part of India and struggling with the day-to-day business problems like sales persons not covering market as you would like them to, or beats not getting touched properly, or orders not coming to you in a consolidated format which can help you allocate inventory to each order and ensure dispatched happen on time, we invite you to sign up and try running your operations with Peri CRM for a period of 3 months without spending a single rupee and doing everything at your own pace. This trial will give you a good understanding of what works best for your setup and whether spending on an automation software will give you the desired benefits or not. If you face any difficulty, please reach out to us and we will be happy to support and make it a success.


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