Frucor Suntory amplifies sales and service with a unified mobile app

BrandPost By Laura Jordan, SAP contributor
Nov 20, 20236 mins
Digital Transformation

Frucor Suntory has a long and proud history, evolving from a small, local fruit juice business into a significant international beverages company that produces more than 30 million cases of drinks each year. But its 20-year-old sales automation system was holding it back.

person drinking bottled water
Credit: iStock

Early in my career, I stayed in an authentic ryokan inn in Kyoto. It was right out of an 1800s Hiroshige woodblock print with a Japanese garden, hanging lanterns, sliding rice paper doors, and a glowing view of Mt Fuji at sunrise. After work, my colleague and I discovered the local dishes and Suntory scotch—a first. 

Today, Suntory’s food and beverage products are enjoyed on a global scale, including Suntory Oceania, a partnership of Beam Suntory and Frucor Suntory that offers a broad spectrum of beverages across Australasia. 

International beverage company produces more than 30 million cases a year

Since the 1960s, Frucor Suntory has evolved from a small, local fruit juice business into a significant international beverages company that produces more than 30 million cases of drinks each year at its New Zealand-based manufacturing plant. 

The company manufactures, markets, and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters, and soft drinks, such as V Energy, Suntory BOSS Coffee, Maximus, h2go, Just Juice, The Real McCoy, and Fresh Up. It also bottles the Pepsi range of products for PepsiCo in New Zealand. 

But Frucor Suntory’s 20-year-old sales automation system was holding it back. During meetings with customers, salespeople had to juggle up to four different siloed tools to access data on premises and in the cloud. The tools also didn’t work well offline, which frustrated field sales reps and customers alike. 

Unifying four siloed sales tools into one iOS mobile app for easy access to data

Frucor Suntory’s outdated on-premises custom sales automation system scattered information across multiple tabs and locations. The company realized salespeople needed access to consolidated information via a simple user interface. But simple is as complex does. 

In order to address what was holding salespeople back, the company needed to enhance the user and customer experience with smart info available at the right time—no more bouncing between multiple applications in a sales call to gather the necessary information. 

In addition, they needed standardized processes during sales meetings that would populate the CRM with the right data. This, in turn, would empower field sales to deliver the desired outcomes with seamless online/offline workflows. And, looking ahead, the company wanted built in flexibility to support new markets and evolving consumer demands—such as low or no-sugar drinks. 

Plus, by optimizing the sales reps’ daily customer visits and delivery cycles against greenhouse emissions—the new system would reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

New, guided sales processes increase sales productivity by 13%

To empower sales to serve customers better, Frucor Suntory underwent a full digital transformation to the cloud with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and developed MySH (My Sales Hub), a native IoS solution for the Apple devices used by the Frucor Suntory sales team.

Bourne Digital, an Australian digital agency and SAP and Apple Enterprise partner with a focus on human-centered design, was chosen by Frucor Suntory to help them build, deploy, and support the My Sales Hub initiative. 

“Bourne Digital partnered with Frucor Suntory to apply design thinking to re-imagine the field sales journey,” explained Selim Ahmed, CEO and founder of Bourne Digital. “SAP BTP then provided the foundational capabilities including security, mobile platform, and integration to bring the new sales journey to life.”

Design thinking encourages people to collaborate and have conversations that feed on each other’s creativity, which culminates in the best work.  

Built on the seamless SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), MySH provides guided sales processes using consolidated data from Frucor Suntory’s on-premises and cloud back-end systems so sales has the right data at the right time. Sales meetings on MySH are more efficiently run for the best customer experience and, as a result, sales productivity has increased 13%. 

“The role SAP BTP played was the glue to bring all of our systems together with a great user experience,” said Barbara Ciancio, head of digital IT solutions at Frucor Suntory. “It gives us the ability to present real time smarts from SAP to our sales team in a seamless and meaningful way while in the market.” 

SAP BTP enables applications to leverage generative AI capabilities that improve the developer experience and streamline integrations. AI services enhance process automation, as well as analytics and holistic planning, and simplify administrative tasks. 

3% increase in sales revenue due to the MySH recommendation engine

MySH is specifically geared to empower territory sales teams with customer-specific data to inform the right conversations in real time with a guided sales process, synchronized communications across the field, and a recommendation engine to increase sales.

With the unified mobile app, sales team can provide the best experience to a wide range of customers across New Zealand and Australia. Visibility has improved, customer recommendations are intuitive, processes are standardized, e-learning modules foster growth, and sales reporting is holistic.

“The tool (MySH) now encompasses some brilliant features which gives us (Frucor Suntory Sales Team) the ability to have richer conversations with our retail partners,” saysScott McIver, Sales Field Manager at Frucor Suntory. “The order starter and suggested orders are game changers for us. These allow us time to focus on growing sales. It’s already had a massive impact for sales for me and my team.” 

And, as a result of smart-selling features (suggested items from recommendation engine), there has been an increase in the number of incremental cases sold that equates to a 3% uplift in sales revenue.

The next time you’re in Australasia, drinking your favorite beverage with your Kiwi or Aussie mates, chances are good you’ll be enjoying a Suntory Oceania brand. Kanpai!

Frucor Suntory is an SAP 10th Anniversary Innovation Awards 2023 finalist in the food and beverage services category. To learn more about the MySH iOS app deployment download the pitch deck.