Planning made easy: six steps to simplify cooler planning

Do you feel Nexo Discovery could work well for your business, yet have no clear idea of how implementation should be carried out? We know that there is always work to be done when it comes to planning new initiatives. Below, we’ve outlined six practical steps for rolling out a connected cooler program.

Phasing cooler data implementation for dynamic enterprises

Nexo works with bottlers and drinks brands across global territories and, through our collaborative work, we’ve formed an understanding of typical challenges. In a fast-moving commercial environment, there is often little time to devise processes, especially for the planning and implementation of data analysis.

We’ve summarised the steps that we believe will guide you through an intelligent exploration of your data- minimising time wasted, and maximising insight.

  1. Commission Nexo controllers to lock data to your ownership

Good data husbandry begins with care, and process. Your coolers will only appear in Discovery once they have been commissioned. You can choose to do this at the OEM prior to deployment, or in the field on routine sales visits- or both. And, our auto-commissioning process enables an OEM-commissioned controller to be automatically linked to your account, via regular syncing- meaning you can get on with the job in hand. Contact our service team for more information.

  1. Decide how to collect your data

There are two main ways in which Nexo data is transferred to Discovery. Your communication method is another flexible feature of the Nexo solution, designed to fit your precise needs.

Firstly, Bluetooth is used to transmit data via the Nexo app, from the device in your rep’s hand directly to your own Discovery portal. If choosing to use Bluetooth, you must choose whether to collect data manually or automatically, and give relevant personnel a briefing on how to do this.

Secondly, modem communication is possible, suitable for banks of coolers in single locations, and situations where it is less common for reps to visit coolers.

Which fits your way of working best? Talk to your account manager to gain a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of each method. You can also use both!

  1. Decide which coolers to evaluate, and which period to look at

What is the hypothesis behind your most important strategic activity, right now? Think about the specific type of cooler that this relates to- or the segment or segments you are targeting. Focusing on a sub-set of coolers can be a way to gain quick wins.

Time period is also important. Do you assess cooler performance monthly, or weekly? Should you match the analysis period to existing operations, or take the opportunity to test this constraint? Perhaps operations can be optimised.

For example, are there any specific outliers, spikes, or other trends in the data? These can be caused by unusual circumstances or events. Reviewing temporal data is a chance to look at activities differently. Furthermore, outliers, or ‘spikes’, should be excluded if you are seeking to establish base line statistics.

 

  1. Evaluate potential commercial and operational impact of data

Above is an example of a ‘decision tree’ flow chart you can build to help you work through the evaluation process. To reach this point, brainstorm all the possible implications you can think of- and then challenge this thinking by asking others to review it. What do expert colleagues say?

This can enable the building of a business case for experimental decisions. Quantify the possible impact of each decision step- with estimated revenue increase, or cost, or some other KPI measure. Once you have a set of possible impacts, and have assigned to them a value or other measure, you can build a picture of what you see happening along the way. What is the chance that you reach each stage? This can be evaluated as you go along.

  1. Design process change to test impact of data

Following the decision tree method and others, you will identify a strategic choice. Nexo Discovery helps you to identify the hypothesis, and analysis of the data will give you hints to the possible outcomes. This needs to be followed with action if you wish to prove your hypothesis, or to refine your strategic choices. Data in Nexo Discovery has already been parcelled into suggested action plans- but this is just the start of the potential impact you can make. Work with Sales, Operations or Service, for example, to define the final action, and to specify the process by which you will carry this out.

The actions involved in this activity ought to be monitored, to see how accurate the hypothesis of the strategic choice is – ‘did it work?’ Measuring and testing the process enables refinement, and success.

  1. Once there is confidence in the impact of the data, decide where to make data available, and to whom

Do you need to distribute the data into your existing ERP systems? Think about the nature of the data relevant to your strategy. If it is commercial, who must see it? If it is operational, how open should your data structure be? It is worthwhile thinking about the impact you’ve idenfitied, and what your business will look like in 12 months’ time. Who do you want to involve in this process- and to share in the success?

Nexo Discovery is built on an open, flexible architecture that enables integration into all types of systems. Speak to your Account Manager to discuss your needs.

 

Here to help

Planning your data strategy at the outset pays dividends in the future. We’ve given you some thought starters, above, to kick off your thinking. However you may wish to take further advice, and alongside its core services, Nexo provides professional services and training for customers. If you would like to discuss this, please contact Niazy Kioufi on niazy@nexo.com.

Practical tips for Asset Management via connected coolers

Asset Management has become a critical process to master for owners of fleets of coolers.  Preventing assets from being stolen or going missing, and maintaining a digital asset register are universal needs. Here are some techniques we recommend to tackle this, using Nexo solution data.*

 

When you want to prevent theft or unauthorized relocation

One of the key indicators that a cooler may go missing because of theft or relocation is declining commercial metrics. (It seems to be commonly the case that a lost cooler follows poor sales, although the causality of this cannot yet be proven by the data).

Nexo Discovery provides action lists for your coolers which specifically point out declining commercial metrics so you’re able to act on those ‘at risk’ coolers before any cooler theft or unmonitored relocation occurs.

 

  • Identify at-risk coolers from the Nexo Discovery action list
  • Check and reassess your visit plan against the at-risk coolers
  • Focus in on lesser trends to refine your cooler deployment plan: what is the right capacity cooler for each individual store?

 

When you want to rectify issues with your asset registry to reduce write-off costs

Another reason coolers go missing in the asset registry is because they are moved from shop to shop, and the movement is not recorded. Often, the rep in the field may know about these movements, but the asset registry is not updated, which means that when it comes time to audit your inventory the coolers are reported as having gone missing, and the cooler is written off.  This can have significant cost associated with it over your entire asset base.

An enhancement in Nexo Discovery is the automatic updating of the addresses and locations of coolers. This removes the need for a manual process when coolers are moved.

Nexo Discovery also flags up coolers which haven’t been visited for a period of time (a metric which is configurable), thus providing another indicator that someone should visit the shop or cooler to ensure that it is there and in proper working condition.

 

When you want to optimize your geographical distribution based on sales intelligence

Bottlers often tell us that they wish to ensure they have proper coverage of a geographical area. Nexo Discovery includes a new set of maps to enable this.

Heat maps, like the one in Figure 2, display key metrics such as cooler distribution, Door Openings, Footfall, and Conversion Rate. Used in tandem with your operational planning, the data can steer you to take action to cover various geographic areas effectively, based on how coolers are performing against your KPIs.

  • Using zoom and pan tools, navigate the map to find commercial ‘cold spots’
  • A small heat gradient surrounding a cooler indicates a good conversion rate, whereas a wide distribution of colour from red to yellow or green shows that sales are below average for the catchment area of the cooler
  • A cluster of high performing coolers in one area indicates high demand. Could these areas be suitable for increased targeting of consumers?

 

Nexo Discovery provides the tools and capability to effectively manage your asset base and prevent theft issues before they arise. Nexo Discovery was designed from ground up to provide easy to use, actionable insights from your coolers – leveraging big data techniques to determine suggested actions, so you can manage your cooler base effectively and efficiently.

Get in touch with us to discuss your specific need and how Nexo Discovery can be used to help maximize productivity from your cooler estate, on sales@nexo.com.

Or why not take a read of our latest think piece, Developing consumer experiences of the future: three tips for FMCG brands.

 

*Please note that the advice in this article is for illustration only, and that any steps you take based on data collected via Nexo should be based on your own analysis and data. Advice in this article may not be appropriate for your organization.

Developing consumer experiences of the future: three tips for FMCG brands

mobile lifestyle marketing out-of-home retail "consumer engagement"

What needs to be done to enable consumers to discover new, compelling brand interactions?

IoT is rapidly growing in importance for FMCG brands. The ways in which a connected device deepens the experience for the consumer- from a car that tailors tools to your driving habits, to a home store using a VR experience for tactile online shopping– present limitless capabilities to meet marketers’ objectives, now and in the future.

Marketers know that experiences, not technology itself, drive the adoption of new tools and interactions by consumers. What needs to be done to enable consumers to discover new, compelling brand interactions? There are three key areas that brands must align to take advantage of the opportunities presented by IoT.

Firstly, consumers need to warm to the notion of interacting with physical objects. We have begun to see this in the large scale launches of Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Home, and the future of consumer interaction will be primed by this type of lifestyle tool. The experience for the consumer needs a number of factors: they should not be disrupted by the process; they need to appreciate the value of the interaction, beyond rational acceptance; and they ought to be inspired by the benefits the interaction brings.

Secondly, the progress of mobile platforms (apps, and mobile devices) towards a holistic consumer experience will be critical. We currently know our mobile phones primarily as search devices, portals to our social networks, and media devices, so developing usage as a tool with which to interact with the exterior world is another necessary step. While technological development in this area is inevitable, earning consumer trust will be vital to enable full acceptance.

The third component of a successful IoT consumer experience is to provide an end-to-end experience for all parties involved. There’s little point in providing a coupon to a consumer if it cannot be redeemed there and then, or requires further effort to be validated. Equally, brands and retailers will not invest if a campaign’s return path analytics do not allow them to analyse outcomes and develop actionable theories. In summary, the tools that will enable the best IoT consumer experiences will be developed for the consumer and for the vendors to service specific and meaningful needs.

This will give heart to those taking the advice of the recent R3 Worldwide whitepaper, that pointed to a strong consumer dialogue as one of the key tactics in strengthening brands’ market share, in the face of retailers’ growing dominance.

Nexo Discovery is the leading connected cooler solution offering consumer engagement, together with operational management tools, and a sophisticated new approach to commercial analysis. It has been designed specifically for brands and marketing equipment management. Where human behavior is evolving rapidly on its own, and mobile platforms keeping pace, Nexo provides a ready technology solution for brands wishing to expand their relationship with consumers. The only challenge now is a creative one.

Take a look at some of our favorite tech-enabled consumer experiences:

Tesco – virtual shopping screen http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19148154

Born Free – free an Orca screen https://vimeo.com/228971024

Molson Canadian – beer fridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gper3YkzMg

Heineken – Departure Roulette departures board https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg0oBV32ZDk

 

Find out more about the Nexo solution here.

 

How IoT is transforming the cold drinks industry

Putting big data and proximity marketing to use to increase sales.

Internet of Things technology is making physical objects smart, connected and more effective. They can collect, measure and action data, sometimes resulting in direct interaction with consumers. Let’s take a look at how such technology can be applied to refrigeration equipment in the cold drinks industry.

By adding sensors to a cooler, you are provided with data to remotely understand how it is performing commercially and functioning technically. But IoT technology also opens up new marketing opportunities.

Enter the world of proximity marketing – localized wireless distribution of promotions, marketing campaigns and advertising – allowing companies to connect with customers and deliver a personalized experience of your brand. Your smart coolers can now engage directly with customers passing by the fridge via their smart phones, tablets and smart watches.

This is all made possible by beacons and beacon functionality within controller chipsets that send signals to attract attention to a specific location, in this case your cooler.

Adding beacon functionality to a cooler allows you to communicate with the consumer at point-of-sale. The cooler can gather data about a person standing in front of it, and deliver personalized messages to that person directly on their own smart device. A smart cooler should also be able to schedule, activate and report on the interaction with consumers. This opens up for a whole new dimension of consumer engagement; converting footfall around your cooler into increased branding and sales opportunities.

And what can these marketing messages be about? Anything from special deals to a reference to the weather; “Hey, it’s going to be 30C today – maybe a good idea to grab a cold drink? I’m right behind you!” But the communication is not limited to text and images – looking forward your coolers can also be turned into interactive and personalized augmented reality games, cameras and video players.

All of a sudden you are also getting the same metrics for a physical world campaign, as you would from a digital campaign, making them easier to plan and evaluate.

Now to be able to have you cooler connect with the people around it, they need to be open to receiving direct communication from you.

2016 report from Mindshare shows that 62 percent of consumers today are happy to share their data as long as they receive something of value in return.

Data can be attained if a person is already signed up through a participating app or social network; and the service allows you to send targeted messages and promotions.

Beacons have been named among the most important new mobile technologies in helping real-world companies deliver an interactive digital experience to their customers. Proxbook published a report for Q4 2015, indicating that 5.103.500 proximity sensors were deployed globally at the end of 2015. It is estimated that 400 million beacon sensors will be deployed by 2020.

According to data shared during a Boston Retail Partners’ session, 70 percent of companies plan to add beacons over the next five years.

Beacons are becoming a crucial part of bringing a digital experience to the offline world, to drive customer engagement through multiple channels. Making your cooler smart and taking advantage of the growing field of proximity marketing will help increase your cold drink sales and maximise the investment in the cooler itself.

Email sales@nexo.com to find out more.

IoT products at CES – The overriding lessons of success

The dust has now settled on another Consumer Electronics Show and unsurprisingly, as predicted, it proved to be the year of IoT (Internet of things), artificial intelligence, drones and automotive surprises. However, what struck us was the most compelling or successful product lines seemed to demonstrated a number of key learnings.

Collaboration and compatibility are key – (IoT) Internet of Things devices seem to create the greatest value to the consumer when they work with other technologies and platforms to be part of a greater use case. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule but they tend to be few and far between.

The IoT Hub/Eco-system battle has continued to gather pace – Apple’s Homekit, Google’s Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and HTC’s connect giving consumers a single familiar interface to control their smart devices. These enhance product offering by allowing control as part of a bigger eco-system. Those companies trying to develop independent or proprietary eco-systems, will need to either be outstandingly good or have a totally unique use case that no one else can deliver.

However, the most obvious lesson from CES, is that most disruptive devices at CES deliver simplicity, ease of use, reduce costs, or perform mundane, complex or unanswered tasks. The best, deliver on all of these.

When it comes to commercial technology, these are lessons that have been already been learnt by Nexo. With a suite of services for cold drinks brand, Nexo optimises profits for cold beverage companies by providing a simple, easy to use, overview of sales and performance, an unanswered task until now. Nexo reduces cost by minimising loss and allowing remote diagnostics of these refrigeration assets. The system even gives a touch point in retail with consumers at the Point of Sale. And the best part, Nexo can provide API’s for the data and insights to be feed directly into other business systems, or remote access via a secure portal ensuring the value of the system is always accessible.

The IoT at the Consumer Electronics Show

It’s that time again. CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, undoubtedly the biggest technology showcase in the world will no doubt deliver the latest and greatest innovations soon to be unleashed onto tech hungry consumers.

During the last few years the IoT  (Internet of things) has gone from whispered rumor to be the buzz word around the whole show, but what has it delivered so far apart from hype and excitement? Some would say not a lot, and the reason why is very simple. It’s not about the technology which already exists it’s about the use case which identifies what a connected device should deliver.

For example, a connected oven sounds convenient, being able to adjust cooking temperature whilst at the local bar sipping a cocktail, but someone has to put the food in the oven to begin with. Most of us that cook understand that there is more to it than timing and temperature to produce truly great food. How can you do this remotely? What master chef would risk leaving the Sunday lunch in the hands of an app that just manages the temperature of the oven?

It’s no doubt very cutting edge showing friends your latest oven app but what value does it really deliver? A simple temperature adjustment or on/off switch is not a strong enough use case. Today all ovens have on/off timers so no real new value  is delivered by a consumer having this on an app.

Until product developers and marketers are clear on the use case, otherwise known as value proposition then technology alone will not fly…. Even the big boys don’t always get this right.. Sorry google glass!

At the heart of commercial success, is understanding, what problem technology can solve for the user. Until such time that this happens and real value can be delivered to the consumers,  a simple IoT connected oven through an app, really won’t set the world alight or deliver global mass market penetration of IoT devices.

Maybe add more value to this solution by allowing the app to control more things or be part of a totally connected kitchen? Then we might be getting closer to mass market adoption but even adding a chain of appliances whilst making the product offering broader does not always add more value. At the heart of the success is understanding the answer to the simple question of what problem will/can this solution solve that is relevant i.e. needs to be solved for the consumer? Unless there is a compelling answer then technology will simply remain technology. Answering this question at nexo has been at the heart or our IoT development.

Let’s see what progress has been made at CES this year. Happy New Year

Choose the right ‘Smart’ device this Christmas.

It’s finally here, believe the hype! 2015 will more than ever be the Christmas of ‘Smart’. Wearables, Devices, Homes, TV’s, Games consoles, we are becoming more and more connected and that’s only going to grow. The Internet of Things is here.

So how do you choose a gift for that loved one, or even for yourself? (to ask Santa for of course) that you’ll still be happy with even three or six months down the line?

Firstly, as there is such a multitude of choice in the market, I would suggest that you first think about what need will you fulfil with a smart device?

Looking at a use case is probably the best way to identify what would be the right smart present for which person. To me ‘smart’ is about a better or new way to do something you already do, something that adds value by reducing the time it takes to do mundane tasks, or does something that’s adds and entirely new dimension or value to your life.

For example, buying somebody the latest smart sports tracker, when all they do is walk to work everyday is probably not going to be a present that they’ll use for very long.

Do they have pets at home that they worry about in the day? Get them a connected camera so they can check on them, that’s something that they’ll probably use every day. Why not combine that with a smart heating? A Hive or Nest System, so as well as heating efficiencies they can get peace of mind that they can turn up the heating if it’s a cold day.

Worried about coming home late at night when its dark in your house? Get a smart light system like Philips Hue and turn it on whenever you want or set a schedule to make sure your house is well lit when you arrive home.

It’s the same process when choosing a smart supplier for your business. At Nexo, building smart technology and services for cold drinks businesses, we believe that answering the use cases for technology are the absolute driver of the value to our customers. That’s why before we build or develop anything, we identify the use case, who and how its going to be used and determine the potential value it creates.

So when it comes to choosing between us and other smart technologies it should be an easy choice for our customers. Choose something that is specifically designed to perform, driven by use cases, to add increasing value to your business over time.  Or something that is going to be put in a draw in a couple of months?

Make the ‘Smart’ choice, Happy Shopping this Christmas!

Delivering customer experience

Successful customer experience has always been at the heart of consumer marketing…the A,B,C of building brands and loyalty.

The delivery this customer experience is now going through a revolution as strategically important, millennial consumers have a different set of behaviors, values and beliefs. Its not enough to deliver a great single channel consumer experience, in order to succeed you need to deliver a seamless multi-channel, multi-touch point experience delivered in the way that your target market requires. These facts are changing not just the content of communications but also the delivery mechanism.

A successful experience needs to be simple, millennial’s don’t have time to break down complex offers….simple offers and good value are the new engagement DNA and “what’s in it for me?” needs to be delivered credibly.

Much more savvy consumers also value personalization, above the line marketing still has a role to play but as we have seen the year on year growth in digital spend means we are now targeting the consumer in a more personal way.

The next development is leveraging the key that sits in every consumers pocket, their smartphone, engaging with the consumer through technologies such as beacons….in fact, great technologies already exist in the market but pulling together the business model still requires vision and innovation.

Large consumer brands do understand the importance of getting directly to consumers at the Point of Sale with relevant content that resonates with the consumer, seen as a value and not a nuisance. Developing the content is the easy bit in this model but what is most challenging today is successful deployment of campaigns. This not helped by many suppliers offering global brands endlessly different technogical solutions.

Facebook recently announced, that upon request, they will give a free beacon to every retailer in USA and advertising avenues for the global social media player have seen incredible growth. This is a smart strategy to sell more advertising to global brands who are embracing social media to reach consumers and in the case of WeChat or Facebook it is these business that hold the key to the “new consumer”….Digital marketers ignore at your peril.

Power3 (The power of 3×3)

At Nexo we believe that every part of our solution should be valuable on its own, but when combined should be greater than the sum of its parts.

When we built our solution this was a driving force in development. How can we utilize all of our inputs to develop better insights, and improve recommended actions?

We can measure a fridge’s door openings very simply, and from a single data point, one can build an actionable recommendation. Low sales rate against the average for the channel? Reduce the size of your fridge, surely. High sales rate? Increase the size of your fridge, right?

As an example, lets look at the first scenario: low sales. Using a single data point, reducing the size of the fridge looks like the right thing to do. However, simply add ‘footfall’ to this equation and you can see that this could be the wrong decision. If footfall is low against the average then it’s no surprise that sales are low; the action here is to improve footfall, either by moving the fridge, or by driving increased footfall through other activities.

If footfall is high but conversion is low, we can theorize that the planogram may be wrong for that location, and can look at merchandising other brands. Alternatively… we can add another data point from another of the Nexo services, and see that the temperature of the fridge is too high. Therefore the reason for the lack of sales is simply that the drinks are warm, and consumers have worked this out. Remerchandising would not only be wrong, but it would lose even greater sales over the long term.

Where other services might use single or limited data points to develop their recommendations, Nexo uses the power of three.

 

Turning the “Internet of Things” into the “Internet of Value”

After all the hype, its time to deliver.

The “Internet of Things” has been trumpeted for a while now, and the promise has been that it will make the world better, quicker and simpler. Whilst these are all great notions, the question we believe everyone should be asking is “how will this add commercial value to my business?”

At Nexo we believe that we have the answer to this question. In fact, we’ve proven so by demonstrating our capability in the field in partnership with the worlds top soft drinks and beer brands.

The Nexo solution captures data from branded fridges deployed by cold drinks brands in retail channels. This data is then transmitted to the cloud, where the Nexo algorithms analyze the data to create insights for sales, operations, service, and marketing. The beauty of these insights is that they are collected in real time, and thanks to the connectivity of the fridge we have more continuous data than anyone has been able to collect before, at a cost effective price.

The beauty of the “Internet of Things” is not simply the opportunity to collect and collate this data, it’s the extra layer of benefits that arise from adding cloud storage and cloud computing power, to enable the next level of analysis and business information. The combination of these has enabled us to design solutions that have not even been thought about before. And the best thing is, this isn’t the future- it’s today.

On the back of our core technologies we now have the ability to develop real time insights, giving our customer the tools to immediately increase sales through action driven insights, de-risking and informing decision making.

It’s an exciting time, and we feel like we’ve only just started exploring the possibilities that deliver increasing value to our customers.