"Fonality HUD Mobile allows us to stay connected around the world so we can make quick purchasing decisions to add the latest wines to our catalog. This flexibility has improved our productivity and profitability, because we can stock wines faster."
B-21 is a Florida-based wine retailer that sells wines from across the globe at every price point, both from their storefront and nationally across 36 states using their award-winning website. By sending their buyers to vineyards around the world to taste the latest wines and get a jump on new and unique selections, they distinguish themselves among the industry and customers alike.The wine industry has evolved dramatically in recent years, and profitability hinges on how fast B-21’s new varieties can get into the hands of customers. For B-21 to ensure delivery of the very latest selections, buyers need to stay connected to move wines into inventory in virtually real time and keep transactions moving regardless of location.
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With 30 total employees and six buyers who travel around the world on a weekly basis, B-21 needed a solution that kept employees connected. The team currently uses the desktop version of the Fonality Heads Up Display (HUD), but sought a complementary solution that could be as flexible and mobile as they were.
While B-21’s buyers already utilized the Fonality HUD call feature “find me/follow me” which allows the user to program incoming calls to ring through to a single or multiple phone lines, they needed the capability to identify each caller, which wasn’t available at the time. To avoid bogging down responsiveness and productivity, they avoided answering every call because of the high amount of solicitors and other distractions. As a stopgap, they delayed answering and checked voicemails at day’s end, which was not optimal for speed and efficiency when the calls were actually important.
Ultimately, it became clear that this lack of visibility was jeopardizing the opportunity to make timely decisions, thereby threatening profitability.
Seeking to bridge the gap between buyers and the rest of their team, B-21 researched mobile solutions that would empower the entire staff to work together. They initially consulted with well known telecom providers, but quickly realized the solution would not be seamless with their Fonality system.
In May 2012, they were approached by Fonality to beta test the new Fonality HUD Mobile application. With a simple download to their phones and an adjustment to their network’s firewall, each user easily configured the Fonality HUD mobile application themselves. They were up and running in no time!
B-21’s six buyers immediately started benefiting from the new app, especially during their travels. So far, B-21 has used the enhanced application in six countries, including Spain, France, and the Bahamas, with seamless connectivity and real-time visibility about who is calling, texting, emailing, or chatting. Because buyers sometimes operate in remote areas with limited cell access, they now stay connected with a quick switch to Wi-Fi functionality.
Additionally, B-21 takes advantage of Fonality’s contact center features by using call queues in the store for incoming orders and fulfillment to better serve their customers. With Fonality HUD Mobile, they can leverage the same queues to transfer calls directly to the field for improved customer service and productivity. This unique capability allows mobile users to see exactly how many callers are in queues, listen in to the calls, and to respond and interact accordingly anywhere, anytime.
With Fonality HUD Mobile, B-21 has experienced a sustained spike in overall productivity for the entire team. Now, the in-store team doesn’t wait to communicate with field personnel and the entire team can quickly and easily collaborate to make more informed decisions without delay.
In fact, one of their buyers recently utilized the chat feature to share information about a new wine they wanted to add to their selection. With Fonality HUD Mobile’s instant interactive abilities, they were able to purchase the wine faster, integrate it into their online inventory in record time, and begin making sales the same day. Because of this efficiency, they sold out of their stock within 24 hours! That nimbleness helps to solidify their position as market leaders in a fast-moving industry.
“As a leading wine retailer, our business is global. We are extremely busy and often work remotely,” said Justin Hammer, vice president of B-21. “Because our industry is extremely competitive, we can’t afford delays and must have access to our global network of buyers at a moment’s notice to ensure that we’re leaders when bringing wines to market. Fonality HUD Mobile allows us to stay connected around the world so we can make quick purchasing decisions to add the latest wines to our catalog. This flexibility has improved our productivity and profitability, because we can stock wines faster. In fact, we recently secured a new wine that was recently in the New York Times, made it available online as pre-order and sold out within a single day solely because of the efficiencies enabled by Fonality HUD Mobile. It is a real difference maker!”