Furniture manufacturer equips sales team with mobile product catalog

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For Sauder, a large producer of ready-to-assemble furniture, exchanging information is a daily part of the product development and sales operation. But the company’s legacy file sharing solution was ineffective and required more functionality, including file synchronization to ensure that employees were working off the latest materials. Employees also needed the ability to comment, edit and collaborate on documents and, most importantly, to have access via mobile devices.

Sauder wanted employees to use tablets as their primary means of communications at a large tradeshow that was approaching. Jan Arvay, VP of information systems at Sauder, says, “It was time for our tradeshow presence to be digital and mobile--our reps were pushing us to ‘get with the times.’ We needed to find a new tool, and fast, but it needed to be a good fit for our immediate requirements, built for enterprise use and able to keep our confidential product information protected.”

In addition to support for secure mobile file sharing, Sauder wanted a solution that could be deployed in a private cloud environment. After researching various offerings, Sauder decided to implement Accellion organizationwide.

“Part of the beauty of Accellion is that it’s so easy to use, which allowed our reps to be up and running immediately,” says Arvay. “We rolled out Accellion to 100 reps in just two days and used the reporting features to know who had logged-on in order to make sure the entire group was ready to go once the show doors opened.”

Because product documents can be uploaded to an Accellion workspace in a matter of seconds, Sauder had the flexibility to edit and finalize materials right up to the start of the show, with any last-minute changes easily updated across the board. During the six days at the show, reps met with prospects, showcased Sauder’s extensive product offerings directly from their tablets, and had the information they needed right at their fingertips.

“What you put on the cloud is a decision process, and a lot of companies have taken a leap of faith with the public cloud,” says Arvay. “Our new product materials are our bread and butter, and we wanted to keep that data and all of the activities surrounding it close to the vest in a private cloud setting. And with Accellion, we could go that route.”

Sauder plans to roll out Accellion to the organization at large, using workspaces to more effectively collaborate internally, with remote teams and with external vendors. It also plans to take advantage of kitedrive, Accellion’s mobile synchronization solution, which allows employees to edit, save and share Microsoft documents on mobile devices whether from the office or remotely.

“Accellion provided immediate value by allowing us to easily replace our legacy solution and hit our initial goal of boosting mobile productivity for our sales reps,” Arvay says. “There are certainly more benefits to come as our usage expands and we take advantage of all that Accellion’s collaboration, file sharing, file synching and mobile app capabilities have to offer.”

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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