AFS has been recognized in Gartner’s 2016 Market Guide for Retail Execution and Monitoring Solutions for the Consumer Goods Industry.
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This report profiles leading vendors in the retail execution marketplace to help consumer goods companies use technology to significantly improve in-store selling activities, sales force productivity and retail collaboration, and collect valuable retail conditions and competitive data.
Learn about AFS Retail Execution
AFS Retail Execution is easy-to-use, flexible and robust mobile solution is designed to be used by field sales and merchandising. Learn more in the Gartner report.
 Gartner, Inc., “Market Guide for Retail Execution and Monitoring Solutions for the Consumer Goods Industry”, Ed Porter, Stephen Smith, June 7, 2016.
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In-store selling activities can be significantly improved, sales force productivity and retailer collaboration improved, and valuable retail condition and competitive data collected and leveraged through use of these solutions. CIOs have a large number of evolving solutions from which to choose.
Published: 7 June 2016
Analyst(s): Ed Porter, Stephen E. Smith
■ The functionality of these solutions continues to improve, most notably in selling/retailer collaboration tools and the provision of action-based analytics.
■ Current deployments have been linked to sales force productivity and product sales improvement.
■ Complex transaction/product order capabilities, offline data synchronization, extensive configuration capabilities and cloud delivery are almost universally provided or offered.
■ Some global deployments now exist, and a growing number of providers have or are working toward the ability to enable this.
■ This market continues to attract new entrants, and there are several smaller players with surprisingly extensive functionality.
■ Carefully consider your longer-term geographic requirements and specific local needs. Wherever possible, consolidate vendors to streamline cost and complexity. Realize, however, that several vendors offer functionality and knowledge that may be critical for certain countries, and some vendors do not have sufficient local expertise in some markets.
■ Evaluate cloud-based solutions to speed deployment and to assure the use of the most up-todate selling and action-oriented analytic capabilities.
■ Carefully consider how this solution will fit with other selling and marketing tools and future in- store digital/Internet of Things (IoT) information needs, because significant differences in adjacent expertise exist across this vendor landscape.
■ Carefully consider your company’s readiness for and projected use of more advanced selling and analytics tools, because sales force buy-in, cultural change management efforts and training will be necessary.
Retail execution and monitoring (REM) consists of those activities that are executed by manufacturers or their channel partners at the store level. This covers a wide range of activities, all of which are focused on selling as much of the manufacturer’s products as possible. Examples of these activities include taking product orders, restocking shelves, building promotional displays, recording shelf conditions and competitive activity, and communicating with retail store management. For direct store delivery (DSD) products, it also includes store delivery and other related activities, such as invoicing or collecting payments.
Key required functionality for REM solutions includes account management, calendar and day trip planning, product ordering, data capture of store conditions, and offline data synchronization.
AFS Technologies is a software and services company focused on the consumer goods industry. It is one of the biggest REM solution providers and also offers solutions and consumer goods expertise in key adjacencies, such as TPM, supply chain and data discovery analytics. Its experience in this space and focus on consumer goods is a claimed point of difference. It is one of six vendors with a global REM presence. Its solution is easy to use and intuitive, but still lacks some emerging capabilities, including gamification. The solution is flexible and is built to support workflows and taking action. Analytics are designed not just to gather and report, but also with the purpose of taking action. Its new smart store audit module is designed, for instance, to turn an out-of- stock item into an order, or a void space into a task to fill it. It has recently introduced enhancements to better integrate Nielsen, IRI and NeoGrid data into its solution, with trigger actions based on the gathered information. Its already strong DSD functionality was also enhanced in the past year.
Total Users: 132,000, which is a large increase from our 2015 report — 47% North America, 7% Latin America, 27% Europe and 21% Asia/Pacific
Offerings Covered: Merchandising, DSD, van sales and distributor management Image Recognition: Yes, through partnership with Trax Technologies and other vendors
Major Subsegments Covered: Food/beverage, personal/health, pharmacy, semidurables and durables
Key Technology Partners: Microsoft, Rackspace, Trax (image recognition), Honeywell and Motorola
Adjacent Expertise: TPM/TPO, POS data management, shelf management visualization, ERP, distributor management systems, warehouse/supply chain management, workforce/capacity management and crowdsourcing