Snapshot

A Fortune Global 500 oil and gas company supplying the world with high-quality energy products needed a solution for tracking the full lifecycle of their lubricants from factory to point of sale. They also wanted a way to engage with last mile resellers and get more directly involved with the sales effort. Namely, it was clear that the client needed to interact with mechanics in the shops and garages where recommendations to vehicle owners took place. The lubricant products were integrated with our connected goods platform to benefit from real-time life cycle tracking and end user insight tools that ultimately help increase sales.

We cooperated with the client to roll out a loyalty program that incentivized mechanics with a pre-launch sign up bonus and a structure for rewarding ongoing participation. The program generated enthusiastic interest from mechanics and the client continues to gather actionable data. This confirmed that their investment in activities for motivating last mile resellers was the right choice.

Participation rates continued to rise post-launch, up to 50% as of April 2020, and the invaluable data being gathered is being applied to plan other sales driven efforts in other markets.

INTRODUCTION

Our client develops and sells fuels, lubricants, and chemical products in almost every country. The nature of their business requires tireless and consistent investment in research and technology development. Their specialization in fueling the world’s energy needs combined with actively managing an obligation to mitigating climate change have contributed to their status as leaders and their staying power in the industry. Scantrust expertise and experience, including our methods for turning physical goods into points of interaction with last mile resellers and end users, makes us a great partner for industrial companies with limited route-to-market visibility. From the first stage of this project, our experience implementing the Scantrust connected goods platform and working with various printing partners proved to be the best choice for a client hoping to turn a challenge into a revenue opportunity.

THE CHALLENGE

Once our client’s lubricant products leave the factory and enter distribution channels, marketing and sales efforts targeting vehicle dealerships and repair shops are largely out of reach. This is despite the products being sold under the client’s own brand name. While professional mechanics were already selling and using their products, they frequently had limited to no useful knowledge about their product advantages. This was not conducive to ensuring continued sales. This discomfort was compounded by the absence of a mechanism for monitoring product distribution routes, with no way to verify on-shelf availability data. Retail strategies for sales and marketing were frustrating blind spots. The need to focus on last mile resellers, the mechanics, was clear from the project brief. If there was a chance to firm up the decisions mechanics made when choosing lubricants, then that would be our focus. Scantrust worked with the client to develop a system that would gain the mechanic’s interest and convince them to invest time in learning about the product. The bet was that this would translate into recommendations to vehicle owners and in turn generate sales. With the challenge and an approach settled, we set out to bring the products online and to developing a compelling reward system for the mechanics.

We aim to generate value for our client’s business right from the start of a project. Our experience binding millions of products to real-time business intelligence combined with quickly customized solutions, like on-the shelf inventory reporting, allows us to consistently deliver that value. — Tim Hadsel-Mares, APAC Director, Scantrust

THE SCANTRUST SOLUTION

The client chose to launch the project in Southeast Asia, one of several regions where Scantrust has a local presence. The first step required cooperation with the client’s bottle cap supplier in China for printing serialized QR codes directly under the lubricant bottle caps. The printer used high speed cameras to read the codes, record them, and then load them into our system, inline, for association and activation. We provided the necessary software for the integration, ensuring that each cap was correctly bound to its online identity and with minimal impact on the printing process. Once the unique codes were activated, they were moved to the client filling facility where they were paired with bottles of lubricant and prepared for shipment. Visits were made to repair shops toward recruiting mechanics prior to the program launch. Mobile phone credit was offered as an on-the spot incentive to register, giving the effort a head start with a roster of mechanics ready to earn rewards with the Scantrust developed app as soon as the program went live. Data from the scans, recorded as “sell-outs”, were used by our data science team to create automated, real-time inventory reports, resolving the challenge of efficiently planning for re-stocking activities by calculating against sell-in data for each repair shop.

We’re currently seeing rising participation rates in the active region for this program – up to 50%. That result generates interest in a similar program for other regions and justifies the resources put into this one. — Paul Kanwar, Director of Loyalty Programs, Scantrust

RESULTS

The program target for registrations was quickly met and we confirmed both interest in the reward program as well as willingness to learn more about the products. Most importantly, the mechanics were willing to recommend our client’s product as their preferred lubricant. Participation rates continued to grow after the bottles went on sale. By April 2020, we saw participation increase up to 50% indicating strong potential for supporting similar programs in other regions. The Scantrust solution provided our client with a direct, resilient communication channel connecting them to garage mechanics that included incentivization for learning about and recommending their products. We delivered a way to track the product distribution story, even up to the point of sale, and created visibility into on-shelf inventories. Through the continued nurturing of these channels, data, and the insights about last mile resellers, this program will continue functioning as a way to grow the retail business. The loyalty program is currently running in two Southeast Asian countries with other markets in the region showing interest. Complex distribution lines and the inability to reach purchasing decision influencers are challenges that are cross regional, yet working with our client, we demonstrated that a new approach can turn a pain point into revenue.