Ben E. Keith Increases Efficiency With New Tablets

REDMOND, WA (February 14, 2012 - PRNewswire)—Ben E. Keith Co. has completed a successful rollout of more than 280 MobileDemand xTablet T7000 devices equipped with Windows 7. When the wholesaler implemented new Anheuser-Busch Mobility software, it also used the opportunity to upgrade its field devices for sales representatives who distribute 38 million cases of beer annually.

"We needed just the right piece of equipment to meet the demands required of our sales representatives," said Steve Fleming, vice president of Administration and Information for Ben E. Keith. "We decided to look for devices that offered the durability and functionality to let our reps hit the streets hard every day and sell with maximum efficiency."

Before the upgrade, Ben E. Keith reps used pocket-sized units that allowed them to take orders and send them to the warehouse. However, as the business grew and changed, the company recognized the necessity of improving the devices used in the field. Always a leader in implementing new technologies to help reps do their jobs, Ben E. Keith decided to replace the outdated handheld units.

As Ben E. Keith began looking at more modern devices, such as tablet PCs, it quickly became clear what was important. Sales reps were looking for an integrated scanner and built-in numeric keypad. Durability was also a key concern, as consumer-focused tablets were not durable enough for the daily demands of beer distribution.

With the new units, reps are able to work with a familiar Windows 7 user interface. The large screens enable quick product lookups and allow reps to show new promotions or the latest TV commercial. The full Windows 7 operating system gives reps access to business applications, such as Internet, email, Microsoft Excel 2010, videos and presentations. Reps can also use tools for merchandising, shelf space or profit calculators. High-capacity batteries power the devices all day without being plugged in or recharged.

"Having Windows 7 made it easy to use the tablets and make updates. And our reps were already familiar with the operating system, which made implementation and training seamless," Fleming said.

As a result of the implementation, sales reps have seen a significant reduction in the time it takes to complete store inventory. The new Windows 7 devices have improved pre-sales processes and sales rep productivity, and they have led to better customer service. They have also reduced errors and provided more uptime due to reduced device malfunctions — resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

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