Gordon Food Service (GFS) is the largest family-owned and operated B2B food distribution company in North America. Founded in 1897, they currently operate across 50% of the United States and most of Canada. GFS works with independent restaurants operators, healthcare and education institutions, all the way up to major restaurant chains and many more.
Part of their "secret sauce", is their consultative salesforce better known as CDS (Customer Development Specialists). CDS reps meet with customers to provide ordering and pricing support, education on cost-saving and other operational practices, and digital tools support.
Goal: Sunset a nine year old web application and rebuild a faster and more intuitive platform, leveraging human-centric design principles and updated development and architecture practices.
Challenges: Navigating change management and untangling layers of business process that were created to fill in gaps the technology created.
Since I was working with internal users, gathering user data was pretty accessible. A combination of end user data along with business owner and subject matter expert knowledge was leveraged. There was even a recording of a CDS rep using the old platform that was provided to me!
(1) A CDS must use StreetSmart to complete customer item pricing before traveling out to meet customers for consultations. This competitive item pricing occurs between 2 pm, Friday and the window closes at 2pm every Sunday to be in effect by Monday morning.
(2) The older, antiquated interface created a mental fatigue that discouraged CDS reps from fully completing their pricing activities before meeting with customers. - This resulted in missed opportunities and lost profit for the company and the CDS rep's commission.
With this project, a lot of time was spent with the sales management team. We discussed functionality, new business processes and concepts which would launch with the app, data hierarchy, and more. We went through many iterations before proceeding to the high fidelity UI designs.
InVision was key for stakeholder review and feedback throughout the process. Zeplin was used to collaborate with the development team.
Using both InVision prototypes, and production versions of the app, we were able to gather feedback from the end users, the CDS reps. This of course, allowed us to make tweaks to the UI before fully launching to all reps.
StreetSmart during its Beta testing phase shown on a Lenovo Yoga laptop.
StreetSmart went through a stage 1 beta phase, and phase 2 rollout. Today, StreetSmart is use for all CDS sales reps with several million dollars in return-on-investment.
The business stakeholder team, have reported positive results such as an increase in time spent within the app for users, and increased margin. Most sales reps have also been able to onboard with very little training, and easily navigate around the application.
I had the opportunity of hearing from a CDS sales rep in person (he was not aware that I designed the app), and he loved the application. For him, it allows him to have better visibility into his pricing and margin opportunities which in turn have a positive impact on his commission based compensation.
I joined this project as an end-to-end Product Designer, working cross-functionally with the business owner team who were also SMEs (subject matter experts), software architects, developers, and our end user group - the CDS reps.