Leading global consumer health care group, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has awarded a three-year contract for sales, merchandising and brand consulting services to Imperial Retail Solutions.
This major national contract, which was won on tender, will see the Imperial Group partnering with GSK to drive the growth of its South African brands, particularly in the oral care sector. The dual model, tailor made for GSK by Imperial, includes syndicated and semi-dedicated service components and also targets the wholesale, franchise and pharmacy channels.
The company’s solid experience in the retail and pharmacy channels will be brought to bear in this contract. Imperial Retail Solutions MD, Jonathan Hartley, comments: ‘To ensure that we exceed our client’s expectations, we have added significantly to our team of people, and have also realigned our focus on the wholesale and franchise side of the business.’
From source to consumer
A number of differentiators contributed to Imperial winning the contract. He explains: ‘GSK understands the competitive edge to be gained through the unrivalled Imperial value proposition of “get me there, sell my product, build my brand”. This offers clients the opportunity to partner with Imperial for a seamless, end-to-end solution that can take products from their original source right into the hands of the consumer. Our reputation for building strong, open partnerships with our clients, as well as our transparency in breaking down the cost drivers in GSK’s sales and merchandising service, were further factors that helped us to secure this exciting new business.’
A tailored approach
Imperial Retail Solutions’ unparalleled brand consulting division also forms a critical part of the brand building ‘mix’, which the company has tailored for GSK to grow its business and bottom line. This will also grow the market share of its consumer health care brands like Aquafresh and Sensodyne, from toothpaste to toothbrushes, with all GSK’s new innovation.
Hartley adds: ‘We will be rolling out an innovative new brand consulting model to reinforce GSK’s marketing drive in the oral care sector.’
Focus on POS
The company will also leverage its point of sale (POS) capabilities. ‘To support GSK, we have expanded our POS teams in all regions. We are committed to ensuring that POS material is always up when promotions break, and to ensuring that our client’s return on investment is maximised on particular compliance projects,’ he says.
GSK will reap the benefits of Imperial’s recent investment in a new state-of-the-art mobile solution. ‘Our complete sales team has gone onto a mobile technology platform in the form of SAP-enabled “Cloud for Customer”. This gives us the ability to communicate almost instantaneously on projects and initiatives at store level. It enables us to give feedback to brand owners and the trade at a faster rate than ever before. Having this live information at our fingertips is a real point of difference for Imperial Retail Solutions and our clients,’ he concludes.
With a global annual turnover in excess of R98 billion, GSK is a world leader in consumer health care. Its portfolio of global brands includes Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Panadol and Lucozade, as well as local brands Grand-pa, Eno and Med-Lemon. ‘We strategically partner with suppliers that will ensure our success and add value to our brands,’ comments GSK’s sales director, Francois Jurgens.