Wholesale grocer puts $1.5m focus on e-CRM

Grocery wholesaler Metcash is deploying a suite of e-CRM channel applications to consolidate its product management, merchandising activity and customer analytics.

Sydney-based Metcash is a wholesale grocery and consumer goods distributor whose core business units are IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia) Supermarkets, Campbells Cash and Carry and Australian Liquor Marketers. The company has 4200 employees across 70 sites in Australia and New Zealand, with around 1200 PCs, Metcash CIO Doug Sweeney said.

Metcash will integrate the Channels application suite from Blue Martini Software into its financial and fulfilment systems to in order to achieve a single point for managing merchandising, customer management, B2B e-commerce and service operations. According to Blue Martini, the contract is worth around $1.5 million.

The challenge of dealing with more than 4500 franchisees and managing service across multiple touchpoints was the main driver for adopting the e-CRM solution, Sweeney said.

Metcash preferred a CRM solution that would manage and streamline its broad product catalogue, complex pricing structures and tends of thousands of promotions, Sweeney said, rather than deploying an "isolated" CRM solution.

Channels provides portals that give resellers and distributors the tools and information they need to sell a company's products. The software solution also distributes sales leads and publishes Internet-ready product catalogues. The comprehensive channel management solution also integrates with Metcash's existing PeopleSoft and EXE systems, a key factor in its buying decision.

Sweeney said the solution was helping to improve service across all business divisions.

Metcash will implement the solution this month and go live early next year.

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