November 21, 2022
When starting out, it is normal for an organization to collect important data and information using pen and paper. But what happens when your organization wants to scale? For TaroWorks client Population Services International (PSI), using pen and paper to collect crucial sales and inventory data was no longer an option when they were looking to expand to new countries.
On Wednesday, September 28, we joined Alan Doyle, Director, Corporate Systems at Population Services International (PSI) during our webinar to discuss how PSI is scaling a sales management system globally using TaroWorks.
PSI is a social marketing organization that uses marketing principles to help provide services and products for people around the world. Their mission is to make it easier for people to lead healthier lives and plan the families they deserve.
PSI works to improve healthcare globally. They focus on issues like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, family planning and WASH. In 2021, PSI has helped over 75 million people in Africa, 7 million in Asia and a half million in Latin America get access to the healthcare products or services they need. In 2018, PSI looked to TaroWorks to help solve their challenge of scaling a sales management system for tracking sales of their health products in multiple countries. To make things more complex, PSI had the additional challenge of scaling a sales management system in multiple languages, during COVID.
A crucial component to PSI’s double-bottom line strategy is the distribution of products. These products range anywhere from HIV self-test kits to insecticide treated nets to contraceptives. Before implementing TaroWorks, sales managers in the field could not make timely decisions because of their lack of data. Sales data was either not available or not accurate/complete. If the data happened to be accurate, it was not timely. Sales managers grew frustrated because they couldn’t answer these questions:
To address these problems, PSI underwent a rigorous RFP process, and chose Vera Solutions as their implementing partner. Vera Solutions connected PSI to TaroWorks. From there, Vera Solutions lead the project management and build of Salesforce and TaroWorks.
TaroWorks was a piece of the pie we felt we were not going to have to worry about once we had actually started implementation.Alan Doyle, PSI
Once PSI began to roll-out the TaroWorks implementation, they saw an immediate expansion of functionality, market intelligence and the ability to capture data.
Implementation began in 2018, and started with a 3-week country design phase in Uganda, Benin, Nigeria and India. In 2019 they built out TaroWorks and tested in their pilot countries of Uganda and India. Since 2020, they added Malawi, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.
The process of implementation went smoothly. PSI went to their working countries to see what salespeople were working on, to conduct interviews with directors and to learn what the team wanted to see from the new solution. It wasn’t until covid-19 hit that they began to face some challenges during training sessions. Alan explained that it is “so much easier when you are in a room of 15 people, then when you are training them from a distance. When you can’t see people it is nearly impossible to help them out”.
Once TaroWorks was implemented, PSI was using the technology as their front-end interface to allow their sales people to enter medical details and sales information like the location of pharmacies, distributors, address, contact names and geolocations. TaroWorks also enabled PSI salespeople to collect data on what kind of products they are selling, the price, discounts and the quantity. This data proved to be invaluable because it helped PSI make strategic decisions and create new objectives for the next round of sales. Once the data is collected in TaroWorks, the app syncs to Salesforce.
To create a solution that worked for PSI, they incorporated the use of Microsoft Power BI. They move their data from Salesforce to Power BI for a number of different reasons. First, Power BI is what they used prior to TaroWorks, and is what their staff were already trained on. In addition, PSI has 10s of thousands of transactions per week, and data is cheaper to store in Power BI than Salesforce. This adds complexity to their solution, but makes it more cost effective.
TaroWorks, which is a subsidiary of the Grameen Foundation which is of course a highly reputed organization – so we knew we were getting quality and the solution itself will grow with time, so as the new Android versions come out, TaroWorks will make sure they upgrade to make sure it works with seamlessly with Salesforce.Alan Doyle, Director, Corporate Systems, PSI
Since the implementation of TaroWorks, a lot of positive changes have been made for PSI. They now have a great understanding of how new brands in the market affect existing brands, they understand the difference in coverage rates across countries, they know which outlet types sell the most products, and understand which promotions and discounts are makeing a difference. Before TaroWorks, the organization did not have a solution that was scalable. Salesforce and TaroWorks helped them scale their processes so they could be effective in more countries.
PSI has scaled the system to their Malawi, Benin, and Côte d’Ivoire operations, and are continuing to expand to more countries. In the future, PSI will be introducing more functionalities to TaroWorks. These functions include introducing photo features to take pictures of shelves and adding technology to better understand what competitors are doing in the marketplace.
Technology like TaroWorks is going to work for us. As the tech grows and new android versions come out, TaroWorks does the hard work of making sure integrations are going to work.Alan Doyle, Director, Corporate Systems, PSI
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