One of Frontline’s strengths is its historical culture of getting top management directly involved in the physical field environment of the accounts or projects that they manage.
This is not just a case of spending time in hotels, or schmoozing with clients, either. It’s about getting into the field and directly experiencing the situation, the culture, and the nature of the market, first hand.
Frontline believes that this kind of immersion is crucial to the service quality we offer our clients.
An example of this was in Tanzania where our systems yellow flagged the coverage of a certain client’s volumes in the North West province. Our senior manager of the Retail Tracking Services department, Art Van Rensburg, wanted to see the situation for himself, so he flew to Mwanza.
Having already spent hundreds of hours in rural areas, he was well prepared, and confident in his ability to track down any problems. Together with our [very proactive] client, he spent 3 days bushwhacking into deep rural areas, covering around 1400 km in order to visit outlets and investigate.
The result was that there had been a change in the way the deep rural outlets received their stock. This variation in route to market required a re look at the collection methodology that was currently in place. We tweaked the method, and also got agreement with the client on adding a brand new channel to the market. Once implemented, the coverage of the affected brands rebounded, as they were no longer flying under everybody’s radar.
It was about reading the signs, trusting the instruments, and getting our hands dirty, in order to get accurate, actionable market intelligence to our clients. It’s also about a company culture that encourages all our people to get out there and live the market.
Frontline Research – agile, proactive, and invested in our clients’ success. – Yes, we know Africa.
By Art Janse van Rensburg & Kevin Abraham