A Good News Partnership

A "good news" partnership

The News Group (TNG), part of the Jim Pattison Group (Canada’s third largest private company), has been a leader in the Canadian magazine and book wholesale industry for 100 years. It is Canada’s largest periodical wholesaler and supplies blue-chip retail customers such as Loblaw, Shoppers Drug Mart, Chapters-Indigo-Coles, Safeway and 7-Eleven.

The challenge

TNG needed a user-friendly solution for its complex data-collection process that is fundamental to its merchandising services. The challenge was compounded by vastly varying levels of technical sophistication (and differing attitudes towards new technology) among its 400+ merchandisers who collect data from over 2,000 locations. Not having had easy or timely access to this data limited TNG’s ability to analyze and apply the learning to its operations, customer satisfaction or bottom-line improvements.

The solution

At the outset, Ivrnet enabled TNG to automate the distribution of assignments and data collection around the country using only the phone and the merchandisers’ voices. With no new technologies to learn, TNG quickly achieved 100% adoption of the new system by all its merchandisers. Though a seemingly simple solution from the merchandisers’ perspective, this required Ivrnet to quickly develop a deep understanding of TNG’s information gathering process and management control systems while keeping costs to a minimum. With the easy and timely data-collection process in place, Ivrnet then focused on analyzing the data and identifying and implementing improvements to TNG’s operations.

Because Ivrnet made a real effort to truly understand our needs, their solution provided far more than datacollection improvements. By analyzing calling patterns and data in real-time, Ivrnet helped us to automate timesheets and payroll, validate merchandisers’ routes and calculate travel expenses. Most importantly, this enabled us to instantly respond to clients’ needs for precise information about on-the-shelf merchandise and to provide our in-the-field merchandisers with real-time direction. We now have tremendously simplified information processes and unparalleled business intelligence feeding information directly into our management control systems.

Glenn Brillinger
Vice President - Category Management
The News Group