By Heather A. Johnson
Toy manufacturer GUND, based in Edison, N.J., is well known for its long history of quality, huggable plush teddy bears. Plush toy products from the 110-year-old company can be found in stores nationwide and throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and South America.
GUND’s 150-person U.S. sales force regularly attends industry tradeshows and visits customers to market the company’s everyday and seasonal product collections. Sale associates previously used a clamshell device with basic software that couldn’t accommodate the modifications necessary to meet the company’s changing needs.
In need of a more stable device and flexible application, GUND implemented a new mobile sales force solution from Intermec and Apacheta. Sales associates now use Intermec CN2 handheld computers equipped with Apacheta SellACE software to:
- access product, promotion and pricing information
- confirm order deadlines and ship dates while on-site with clients.
GUND sales associates are now creating near-flawless orders, driving down out-of-stock instances and keeping customers satisfied.
The company has also reduced credit card transaction fees and minimized customer support calls. In a company statement, Christopher Walsh, vice president of I.T. for GUND says that “nearly 100% of GUND orders are taken through [the] mobile sales system, making it a mission-critical piece of [our] business.”
He adds, “We were able to update obsolete hardware and adopt flexible mobile sales software that enables us to react quickly to customer demands and increase productivity and cost savings.”
Intermec’s shirt-pocket-sized rugged CN2 runs on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform and can operate in batch mode or with local area radio connectivity. The CN2 has an integrated Intermec EV10 linear scan engine with low power operation to preserve battery life for mobile computing applications. It’s a Cisco® Certified Extension (CCX) device, ensuring compatibility with Cisco infrastructure and advanced features—including the latest in security.
“We make solutions where we can provide software content to deploy applications for customers, and we are always looking for the right combination of pieces to bring about a seamless and hassle-free enterprise solution,” says Intermec’s Jon Rasmussen, industry marketing director of consumer goods.
Apacheta’s SellACE software enables companies to customize their workflow based on unique business needs, and can be updated as business processes change.
Mike Kabat, director of software development for Apacheta, says the software is designed to accommodate companies such as GUND that sell a high volume of different products.
“The ordering aspect sounds simple, but there is a lot of complexity [to it], such as pricing,” says Kabat. “Promotions are very dynamic because they come and go, and they need to be presented adequately so they can be accounted for on the spot. From a software prospective, we’re able to support this.”
And because nearly every dollar of revenue comes from this system, Kabat says, “The trustworthiness of this application is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.”