House of Horvath Acquires Market Monitoring Mobile App

House of Horvath is putting in place a new software solution, the Companion® Suite by CIS Group, installed on mobile devices to allow its team of about twenty representatives across Canada to digitally record and document the large amounts of in-store merchandising information that they collect during their visits.

From whatever location, users on the road can communicate with the Office module, so their data is quickly accessible to administrators in Toronto. With powerful analysis tools to refine their perception of market opportunities, key account managers will know precisely what products are in what store, and details on the distribution, prices, and stocking levels can be promptly summarized by chain, to help them get the most out of their business reviews with chain partners.

The ability to manage several, separate product lists was an important requirement since House of Horvath is selling about 250 different cigars through different channels, and to customers of several types – one example being wholesalers, who service both chain and independent gas/convenience stores. Another group is the direct delivery customers: among them are tobacconists and specialty grocery stores, but yet another sub-type are duty-free border and airport stores. Adding to the complexity, tax stamps in Quebec are different from those in the rest of Canada, and flavor restrictions also apply in some provinces. Therefore, maintaining province-specific inventories, and product lists, is an absolute must.

The same type of segmentation can be used to provide the flexibility required, when defining marketing strategies, to direct these at any particular grouping of customers – for example, a channel, a province, a regional wholesaler’s customers, a particular store chain, or even a single account. By this process, a representative preparing to visit a store gets to see on his computer the exact relevant information – the appropriate promotions for that store on that date, the merchandising information captured during the previous visit, and the precise list of elements to be surveyed during the current visit.

That survey information transmitted by the representative becomes permanently available at the office for thorough analysis and reporting. It may include the distribution of products, out-of-stocks, pricing, inventory, merchandising, product location, and notes for subsequent visits – and the survey may of course cover products of the competitors as well.

Other functionalities available to the representative will be the maintenance of his list of contacts at all levels within a customer’s organization, the route planning screen, the product catalog display, and the order entry screen, along with expense account tracking.

About House of Horvath

House of Horvath was founded in 1977 on the principles of quality, tradition, and integrity, and has a family tradition of making cigars since 1932. Its cigars are handmade in the Dominican Republic, and it also sells products from 15 different suppliers. Based in Toronto, it has a team of about twenty representatives who visit customers across the country.