Clover certainly isn’t waiting for the cows to come home – it has recently incorporated a proprietary App with stand-out features that is loaded onto a bespoke mobile device, with the aim of increasing efficiency within its client service and store merchandising network.
This turnkey solution was developed for the dairy giant by award-winning Cape Town-based software company, Morpheus Commerce (www.morpheusmobile.com). Headed by CEO and Founder Gary Durbach, the company won an Apps Africa innovation award in 2017 and was a 2017 Finalist in the Digital Company of the Year category at the 15th annual National Business Awards. Previous and current clients include Red Bull, Tiger Brands, Bos Ice Tea and i-store.
For Clover, Morpheus Commerce crafted a breakthrough end-to-end solution that combines hardware and software.
“Most companies find managing and dealing with hardware really irritating and time-consuming,” explains Durbach. “This is because they have to manage a host of external suppliers from mobile network service providers, to handset suppliers, to insurance providers. The Morpheus Commerce solution takes care of all the admin, paperwork and supplier relationships, removing the headache for the client.” All support is digitized and requested and delivered through the App.
Morpheus Commerce tested eight different handsets before settling on the most rugged device – “we have actually thrown it on the floor a few times!” he chuckles.
He then negotiated to increase the handset’s one-year manufacturing warranty to two years. In the event of theft and the less likely possibility of damage, he brokered an insurance package that will hand-deliver a replacement for a missing or faulty handset within 24-hours so that representatives experience only minimal downtime.
Durbach has also created another unprecedented advantage: To ensure connectivity each device is loaded with dual SIM cards, one from Telkom, the other from Vodacom. Users can toggle between the SIMs, depending on their location, to achieve optimal signal coverage and reception. Special data packages were also brokered. Regardless of which, users don’t need to be online to be able to access the App.
Clover implemented the Morpheus Commerce solution in late February 2019 and can now monitor and track sales and stock-taking for over 1250 of its Merchandisers operating across the country, and in real time, too.
The benefits for the Merchandisers are clear, as daily tasks appear upon login, making the day’s work far more efficient. As each handset interfaces with centralized management, there is clear and mutual accountability for both parties regarding deliverables. On the management side, physical locations and movement of the field force can be observed in real time via a geolocated digital map and sales reporting and merchandising status updates are automated.
Says Manager of Sales Analytics at Clover, Hannes Pretorius: “We initially started with a beta-phase of just 10 Merchandisers using the Morpheus Commerce solution and then based on the demonstrated success, involving both increased efficiencies and cost-savings, we have now rolled it out across our field force.”
Morpheus Commerce has also created the ability for its clients to filter what the handset is used for, with the option to remove access to social media channels, such as YouTube, should the solution need to adhere to the client’s corporate code.
While Morpheus Commerce currently focuses on the retail and FMCG markets, its solution is relevant to a range of industries. Hospitals could incorporate it as a digital aid for Doctors’ rounds and ward inspections; corporate cleaning services could digitally manage their cleaning schedules; car rental companies could upgrade their car returns process by doing away with unnecessary tree-ware; and so on…
But just how efficient is it? Typically, explains Durbach, in a hypothetical company with just 100 sales representatives, each of those representatives will work approximately 235 days in a calendar year and make on average 10 calls a day. By using Morpheus Commerce, this same company would benefit from the following efficiencies:
- Time is saved before each client call due to less preparation needed – this is all provided on the device
- Time is saved on client calls due to the faster interface, gaining approximately 1 x hour of time per rep per day
- Time is saved through automated reporting
- Time is saved by placing sales orders directly via the device
- Time is saved as there is a15% travel time reduction through planning
- Costs are saved due to the 50% reduction in printed material
The result is an overall increase in efficiency and significant savings. Clearly, the near future can anticipate other companies joining Clover in this new wave of efficiency when it comes to distributed management.
Morpheus Commerce is not, as you first might think, named after the ancient Greek god of dreams – “although we do solve nightmares!” Durbach quips – but rather, it takes after the memorable character played by Laurence Fishburne in the Matrix movie franchise. In the fictional world of the films, Morpheus is the leader of rebel forces fighting to save humanity. In reality, Morpheus Commerce will save Sales and Merchandising Managers considerable time and money…