Optima Business Group: Leveraging Information Technology for Salesforce Enablement
(7 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
Optima Business Group (OBG), a consumer packaged goods firm, achieved significant improvements in its sales and distribution processes through the implementation of sales force automation (SFA). The implementation was carried out in the urban markets of OBG, but it was not an easy journey. The chief technology officer has to decide whether OBG should implement SFA in its rural markets and, if so, how it should be executed. What are the risks and benefits of implementing the system? Competitors are fast leveraging information technology in other functions such as finance, HR and vendor management and OBG needs to catch up. Finally, competitors of OBG are adopting innovative methods to share the costs of IT implementation (e.g., handheld devices) with their partners. Faced with different options, and a unique terrain of conducting business in the emerging economy of India, the chief technology officer has to decide on OBG’s future IT strategy.
This case has been developed for use in courses in marketing, sales and distribution management, IT management, and operations management. It is useful for highlighting inter-disciplinary issues pertaining to distribution, IT and organizational behaviour. The case offers a platform for discussing the characteristics of consumer packaged goods (CPG) that make sales and distribution challenging for firms. Students should be encouraged to discuss the challenges faced by CPG companies in getting these products to market in emerging economies with unorganized retail markets. The case also highlights the role of the successful implementation of IT-enabled solutions such as sales force automation in meeting some of these challenges. This case will:
- Allow students to learn the sales and distribution structure and processes of CPG firms in India.
- Illustrate the implementation of sales force automation and the challenges in its implementation.
- Allow students to understand the potential benefits of IT implementation and its major impact on business functions such as sales and distribution.
India, Large, 2014
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