The FileMaker solution:
When David Buck joined Seachem as its IT manager almost six years ago, he knew that he was signing up with a company that had a very clear ambition. "From day one, I knew what the challenge was," he begins. "The exec team at Seachem had a clear vision of implementing a programme that would reward the pet stores that support our brand. The only thing that was uncertain was how best to do that."
Naturally for a company that distributes its products through retail outlets across the world, 'on-shelf presence' is absolutely key for Seachem. Greater visibility and range of products equals a better choice for the consumer as well as better brand awareness for the company itself.
As a result, Seachem made the decision to launch a kind of 'loyalty' programme with its retail partners; those stores that stocked a greater diversity of Seachem products would be rewarded with better wholesale price points and free products for use in store.
Driving loyalty, building diversity
"We created a 'ranking' system for our partners," says David, "placing them into bronze, silver, gold and even platinum levels based on their commitment to the Seachem brand." Entry into these tiers was based on the range of products stocked in each store. 50 or more different products from the Seachem range would qualify a site for a bronze ranking, 70 or more for silver, and anything upwards of 100, gold.
"The platinum tier was reserved for those stores that had already qualified as gold standard retailers and were then prepared to send two sales representatives for training at Seachem HQ in Georgia," explains David.
"It was a great idea in principle," he continues. "But like any great idea the real proof is in the delivery. We had a sound concept, but working out how we were going to roll that out across thousands of retailers across the world was the challenge. Clearly, we needed a technological solution that could help us make this plan a success."