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Snack leader rules with KM

With brands like Doritos, Tostitos, Cracker Jack, Sun Chips, Ruffles and namesakes Lay’s and Fritos, there’s no doubt that Frito-Lay rules the salty snacks industry.

To gain 56% worldwide market share, the $11.6 billion company pursues aggressive and early adoption of technologies and best practices, and uses information as a source of competitive advantage.

In January 1999, Frito-Lay reorganized its sales force to improve customer service. However, when regional sales teams were redeployed as national retail customer account teams, existing knowledge capital became fragmented. Several factors cropped up alerting the company of an imminent “knowledge gap” that could result in lost opportunity and efficiency, and in added costs. Those indicators included the following:

• Sales support was buried in demands for updated information.

• Finding people with specific expertise became difficult.

• Best practices were continually being reinvented.

• Orientation costs for newly hired sales employees began to soar.

• Mountains of data interfered with the ability to generate and leverage knowledge.

To solve its knowledge management-related problems, Frito-Lay chose Navigator Systems Community Portal Services to assess its capabilities, audit its knowledge and technology, and analyze its knowledge gap.

As a result, the company decided to implement a knowledge management portal to a single national account sales team, motivated by common goals and challenges. The solution included integration of business intelligence tools to turn data into insights, and collaboration between team members to turn those collected insights into improved business action.

The new system has reaped the following benefits:

• The time to distribute market research to the sales team was reduced from 30 days to three minutes.

• The time to identify subject matter experts was reduced from 90 days to three minutes.

• The time to access customer analytics was reduced from two weeks to three minutes.

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