Case study

Brewing company boosts efficiency of their sales force in Africa

About Heineken International B.V.

Heineken is the world’s most international brewer with its brands available in more than 170 countries around the world. The company produces and distributes its regional, local, and specialty beers and ciders.* Besides the mature and developed regions, it operates and seizes opportunities in emerging markets. Such as Africa and the Middle East. This region reached 14.5% of Heineken‘s total revenue in 2013 with an annual production volume of more than 27.4 million hecto litres of beer.

*Its brands include Heineken, Amstel, Anchor, Biere Larue, Bintang, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Desperados, Dos Equis, Foster’s, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, Tiger, and Zywiec.

Heineken Business Challenge

Heineken relies on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as their back office technology for sales force automation. Though for sales reps who are everyday out in the field, the circumstances for doing business were quite challenging. Especially in countries like Nigeria, Congo, Algeria and Rwanda. Where it’s quite common that there are no roads and weak to no Internet coverage. Account managers often visit many restaurants, bars, hotels, and outlets throughout the day with no up-to-date CRM data at hand.

We needed to give the sales representatives a tool that would structure and simplify their work. says Ernst Leemans, Sales & Distribution Project Manager for Africa & Middle East at Heineken International


Therefore, it was critical to provide them with a solution they could use to plan and make their sales calls (visits). At the same, time the input data would give the back office important market and performance insights.

Thus in March 2012, Heineken equipped their sales force with Samsung Galaxy tablets and Resco Mobile CRM solution.

Resco offered the functionalities that we needed. Such as access to account data, showing customer locations on a map, picture taking, and protected data with good quality/service ratio. Leemans explains.


With mobilizing the sales workforce and upgrading their tablets with a customized Resco Mobile CRM application, Heineken was able to implement several improvements:

  • Full-offline access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

    Even with no internet connection or no mobile signal, sales reps in African countries have account information always available. They can create and edit CRM data while completely disconnected from the Internet.

  • Comprehensive agenda with customers’ locations:

    Thanks to the integrated calendar, Heineken‘s salespeople can schedule their visits better and see where they need to go on a map without leaving the app.
    The solution enables them to plan their week in a more efficient way. There is now less time lost in visiting between the outlets because of inefficient planning. So the main advantage for them is that they can have a structured week now,“ Heineken‘s Project Manager adds.

  • Business processes on the tablet:

    Sales representatives can make requests on the tablet that need to be approved by their managers. For them it’s easy to make the request in the app and get real-time feedback. You can imagine that in Africa this is a high efficiency gain.” Heineken‘s sales reps often request to change account’s details such as address or telephone number in the app and if their customers ask for a new equipment (like a fridge) that needs to be approved, they can trigger a workflow for this request. Their managers can then faster and easier decide and approve or decline the request.

  • Efficiency gains:

    From a management point of view, Heineken sees another benefit: “With the Resco tool there is a higher level of control, as it is possible to see if employees make their calls and see efficiency gaps.”

  • Flexibility:

    Heineken was positively surprised by the number of Resco Mobile CRM’s capabilities. “Almost every requirement coming from the market is in a way available.“ And what’s equally important, they can deliver the updates with new functionalities to their mobile workforce within a short time. “The flexible system makes it possible to upgrade multiple different markets to next versions of the system, allowing the company to respond quickly to the requirements coming from the markets.“

A shift towards mobility

Even though the back-office system with Microsoft Dynamics CRM was difficult to teach users at first, as Heineken admits. The mobile application on the other hand, was easy to grasp. “Over the past years more and more countries are using the tablets with mobile system from Resco, we have over 1,000 users in 2014.

Heineken sees numerous benefits from using Resco Mobile CRM, which continue to help them to produce better results. Ernst Leemans sums up:

The sales reps are very satisfied with the application, they‘re using less paperwork and have more time to focus on selling and serving the clients more efficiently.


Heineken – Case Study Pdf