How JTI Romania increased control over distribution channels using a custom data collection solution

26/07/20185 Minutes

JTI Overview

JTI, a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies, is a leading international tobacco manufacturer. It markets world-renowned brands such as Winston, Camel, Mevius and LD. Other global brands include Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Sobranie and Glamour. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and about 26,000 employees worldwide, JTI has operations in more than 120 countries.

JTI started its business locally in 1993, one of the first multinational companies to be established in Romania. JTI Romania inaugurated in 2014 its new headquarters in Bucharest, the 5,000 square meter building is on four levels, housing over 200 employees, from the total of around 1,000 working in its manufacturing facility and in sales offices across the country. JTI Romania is widely recognized for its long term traditional and consistent Corporate Social Responsibility programs and community investment in cultural, social and educational areas.

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Executive Summary

Currently, JTI Romania covers directly a part of the universe of Points of Sale / POS’s (Direct Distribution) and indirectly, through agreements with various business partners (distributors, wholesalers etc.), the other part of the universe (Indirect Distribution). While for Direct Distribution data related to JTI products is available from JTI’s systems, data from Indirect Distribution channel is more difficult to obtain. Therefore, in order to address this need, JTI put in place a custom solution called Integrated Sales Data (ISD) for collecting data related to its tobacco products.

After implementing ISD, JTI improved the process to collect data related to its own products from POS’s part of the universe covered indirectly by the distributors. By implementing ISD, speed to market was increased and the time for data collection was reduced and allocated to field visits and coaching.

The need to optimize the management of JTI products sales data from Key International Accounts (KIA) was also addressed, as ISD was also implemented to collect and arrange the JTI products data received from Key International Accounts (KIA) within the same templates.

Distribution channel challenges and needs

To monitor all of contractual KPI’s, distributors have to send to JTI specific weekly /monthly reports (e.g.: information regarding the sell-out, the warehouses stocks, the distribution at SKU level etc.). Most of the distributors still use Excel files send by email or printed reports, due to the lack of an optimal IT infrastructure. JTI employees responsible for Indirect Distribution management had to collect all this data coming with different templates and fill in the database the information regarding the JTI products data received from our partners.

Business needs:

  • collection and handling of the data regarding distributors KPI’s by using a single application in line with JTI templates
  • reducing JTI employees workload with filling in distribution data in the system
  • increase the scale for collecting data related to JTI products

How the solution helped

Based on the analysis of business needs, EXE Software and JTI Romania worked together to find a solution to integrate different data formats coming from different business partners and to translate them in JTI templates.
In 2011, ISD functionality reached a peak in terms of coverage when implemented for top two distributors in the market. Now, the application is used also for selected KIA’s to collect stock information and sell out at POS level for JTI products.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

Currently, ISD functionality helps JTI to have better time ratio split between field activities and office work for relevant employees and to have integrated database with JTI products sales information from distributors and KIA’s.
JTI’s intention is to extend the current functionality with the objective to receive faster the information about its products from the market.