Headquartered in Nashville, TN, Agri–Sales Associates depends on efficient information–management technology to stay up–to–date on the activities of its sales representatives in the field, as well as to provide up–to–the–minute service to its clients. "There are three major bodies of data which I am trying to connect to each other," explains Agri–Sales technology consultant David Simmons. "They are the field sales reps, who are the core of the business, the vendors who provide the products that are sold, and us — at the management office — the clearinghouse in the middle. We manage sales and marketing campaigns and monitor performance. Today we have a number of different vendors, with between 2 to 200 products each. We service over 70,000 potential customers, which may have anywhere from 5 to 50 personnel each. And we run a full sales reporting and forecasting database for the past rolling 25 months encompassing hundreds of thousands of transactions."
It's a complex arrangement, with vast amounts of data streaming in and out of headquarters every day: transactional data such as what's been sold to whom and how much commission is due, as well as qualitative data such as competitive information and market intelligence on their ever–changing customer base.