Agile Field Force Planning For a Leading US Retail Merchandising Specialist
Lawrence Merchandising Services (LMS)
Lawrence Merchandising Services (LMS) is a full-service retail merchandising organisation with experienced field staff across all 50 states and Canada. The firm is committed to increasing sales and profits for clients by delivering in-store solutions for their merchandising needs. LMS works for clients in many respected retail brands.
Over the last two years, LMS has seen strong growth in its retail merchandising activities. From a base of long-standing traditional retail accounts, LMS made the decision to expand and seize new opportunities.
Director of Data Analytics Michael Terpkosh explains: “With more and more retailer accounts across the US and Canada, we needed something to help us understand those clients’ businesses better, so we could deploy our field teams efficiently and continue delivering great service.”
“Before this, LMS had limited technology resources for field force planning. Say if we were bringing on a new client with 5,000 stores, we would have used Google maps to put pins against their locations, then compared it to a map showing where LMS already had reps working. It was not efficient and didn’t give us multiple scenario modelling or optimisation capabilities.”
Previously, LMS matched the incremental growth of its long-standing customers over time, adding more reps as needed. Michael adds: “With one of our new accounts, we service over 16,000 stores a month. At that level, we needed structured guidance and support with the complex task of refining overlaps with other reps and retail stores. We had to expand our network of field reps quickly but it was vital to do it accurately, investing in the right places to service existing customers and new business.
“We chose InSite FieldForce because we could not find any other solution that could handle our volume of business across every US state,” says Michael. “We felt this was the only application that could accommodate our scale and continuing growth.”
InSite FieldForce supports LMS’ move from a traditional merchandising company to a fast-growing, digitally led business with headroom for further expansion. The solution has enabled LMS to change its approach, moving towards more territory-based reps rather than recruiting for particular accounts. This helps LMS operate more efficiently, with reps working in the area where they live and servicing multiple clients.
The solution is now embedded in LMS’ business processes, from onboarding new clients to continually reviewing and optimising deployment of existing reps across the USA. CACI’s InSite FieldForce integrates with other software from another provider, giving LMS strong analytics capability across its entire field operation. LMS uses CACI’s InSite FieldForce along with Movista’s Natural Insight software to run LMS Client Services and Operations, enhancing field team performance.
The benefits are not just internal and operational. “We expected to keep InSite FieldForce behind the scenes and use it to optimise our planning. But we’re also using it to demonstrate our capability in RFPs, showing clients the capabilities that we have to work in the field with a widespread account,” Michael explains.
“There’s nothing in the marketplace that measures up to CACI’s InSite FieldForce for national coverage across the USA and Canada. It’s unique, customisable and a perfect fit for retail field businesses. InSite FieldForce has been a direct enabler of our business growth to the level we’re at – and where we’re going next. It started out that we wanted to use it to run our existing business more efficiently and now it’s become a part of our strategy. It’s credit to CACI that it’s become an integral part of how we look at existing and new business.”
Michael Terpkosh – Director of Data Analytics, LMS
Michael Terpkosh identifies many benefits of using InSite FieldForce. “It helps us with client retention – they know we can adapt and refine our team to match the evolution of their business. In the pandemic we’ve had to be more nimble and flexible. When clients have needed us to help them retune their store calling programmes, we’ve been able to do what-if analysis to show the impact of changes to coverage or visit frequency. Clients know we have the tools and expertise to work with them to optimise their approach.”
Using InSite FieldForce at proposal stage means LMS can ensure that new engagements will be profitable. Michael says, “We typically get a list of stores to be serviced and their addresses – we can plot out the stores and model their estimated service requirements against our existing reps’ locations. That shows us how we’ll need to change our field force – who to add and how to optimise our existing people. We can predict the costs of recruitment and on-boarding for a new account.”
There’s also a benefit for LMS’ field-based employees. “In the current employment market, some reps are nervous about working on just one or two accounts – they’d rather work with multiple accounts and work more hours. InSite FieldForce means we can optimise our workforce to give people those opportunities. We want to hire great reps who will be motivated in their work: it’s a virtuous circle as clients then get high quality representation from committed, expert people.”
If you want to hear more about how CACI’s field force expertise can help you and your team, get in contact now.