The economic impact of COVID-19 on the Consumer Goods Industry has been significant, and the future is still uncertain. The pressure is on to advance consumer goods innovation while maintaining business operations in the face of a changing consumer landscape. 

Now, as many companies are going back to work and attempting to adapt to the ‘new normal’, it’s more important than ever to show agility and resilience. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is facing an uncertain recovery from COVID-19, so consumer goods companies must continue to grow while navigating the crisis. But how?

In one of the Salesforce Leading Through Change webinars, we heard from Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), one of the biggest coffee companies in the world, about how the organisation is emerging from the stabilisation phase and getting back into growth.


Optimising sales processes with Salesforce

JDE has been using Salesforce throughout its global operations since 2019, and one of the top priorities of Eelco Walinga, JDE Sales Excellence Manager, was to develop commercial teams through coaching. While coaching is an effective process in itself, being able to follow the progress of the employees afterwards is even more valuable. After all, that’s how you measure the success of the coaching. While JDE had its own solution in place, sales coaching cards in Excel, it wasn’t particularly user-friendly.

“You've got a lot of different files. It was shared in different places to secure the privacy,” said Eelco, “And in the end that really wasn’t telling me anything about the progress made or about further training needs”. 

After considering whether there was an out-of-the-box solution for managing JDE’s coaching programmes, Eelco decided a bespoke solution would be the best option. During a Salesforce ‘build it now’ session, they developed and built an app in just one day – talk about agile consumer goods innovation!


Consumer goods innovation that hits the mark

The innovative new app has been a success from the point of adoption, and, being developed as a custom solution, meets JDE’s requirements exactly. It’s mobile, so sales staff can update it wherever and whenever they need to, it’s automated to create a workflow activity in the background of every coaching card, and it’s totally secure.

No matter what part of the coaching process an employee is at, the app pulls all the relevant data into a personal dashboard. There, Einstein Next Best Action comes up with strategies and recommendations for the next steps and potential improvements.

Agility is often the key when it comes to successful consumer goods innovation, and an app first imagined by JDE and then built in just one day, before being swiftly rolled out for commercial use, is a perfect example of that. What started as a manual process for JDE was easily translated into a completely bespoke and user-friendly app that retained all of the features sales managers found essential, while also solving problems they had experienced.

“Having an open mind and just knowing that the system is really agile makes it easy to add or remove objects in the process of developing the system,” said Eelco about the benefits of a Salesforce ‘build it now’ session. “Just start it, make it better, and involve your people, which really helps in the adoption of the app.”

Businesses in the consumer goods space might worry they don’t have the capacity and focus to develop consumer goods innovations during the current climate, but as this example shows, it can be done swiftly and successfully. As long as you can align the right people, processes, and technology, ideas can be turned into reality much faster than you might think.

Watch the webinar to find out more about JDE’s experience and see a demonstration of their app in action.