Ross Products is a division of $22 billion Abbott Laboratories and provides pediatric and adult nutritional and related healthcare products within the United States. The national field sales team at Ross drives product sales through physician relationships and the distribution of samples to physicians at clinics and hospitals.
To maintain a competitive position in the industry, Ross’ sales force carries out marketing campaigns, part of which involves distributing product samples. For the field sales team, it’s important to make sure that the samples go to the most effective influencers at their customers.
To keep track of their visits, Ross’ salespeople would record their sales calls on paper forms. Each month, salespeople would send paper forms for entry by a supplier who would then send the data file to Ross. Reports would then be generated for Ross managers.
Because the division’s salespeople were tracking their activities manually, it was taking too long for Ross’ managers to determine if the sales force was properly executing the marketing programs. “It was difficult for our senior managers to track the product samples the salespeople were giving out,” says Alger Waller, pediatrics business system manager at Ross Products. “This meant we weren’t making the best use of this important asset and, in effect, were risking spending money on the wrong accounts.”
Ross turned to Adesso Systems to automate its field service process, selecting the Adesso Instant Mobility Platform because it enabled Ross to immediately respond to market feedback. The Adesso application can be accessed at any time on PocketPC handheld devices, regardless of a connection, so salespeople can enter sample-tracking and other relevant information while they are at the physicians’ offices, when the information is fresh in their minds. When a wireless connection is available, the new information is automatically synchronized to Ross’ Adesso server. Managers view the synchronized data via Web-based reports, providing immediate visibility to field activity and instant insight into key field outcomes.
Ross is now saving thousands of dollars each month by replacing the old system’s outsourced reporting service. The company’s senior managers now get near-instantaneous activities reporting, so they can improve sample tracking. By monitoring their sample distributions, they’ve already increased sampling efficiency by up to 30%.