Bell Distribution Inc.

Sales incentive solution that costs less and delivers more

"CGI's expertise in SAP as well as its proven track record with other Bell Canada projects prompted us to choose CGI as our partner.

Jason Jasmins, associate director, internal sales compensation, Bell Distribution Inc.

Bell Canada is Canada's largest supplier of telecommunications services. With one of the world's most robust and reliable public switched networks, Bell Canada provides advanced voice, data and image communications to more than eight million business and residence customers across Canada. Through its Bell Distribution Inc. (BDI) division, Bell also offers numerous retail outlets throughout the country. Stores are both franchises and corporate, and all offer the full range of Bell products, including phones and phone services, mobile phones, Sympatico Internet, and Bell ExpressVu.

The Challenge

In order to stimulate sales and motivate employees in its corporate retail outlets, BDI has a variety of commission and incentive plans. However, the company previously had to depend on a manual system to calculate commissions and bonuses for its sales representatives and managers at the stores. The process could take from 12 to 15 days, which impeded Bell's ability to react rapidly to promotion opportunities and policy changes to commissions and bonuses for its sales representatives and managers at the stores.

The system used by the Bell family of companies for retail, finance, and human resources activities is SAP. The company realized that if it could convert its incentive system to SAP, information would be automatically integrated and easily transferred. However, 700,000 incentive transactions are recorded every month and incentive plans are calculated on everything from salary to store performance and location.

Because BDI was carrying out a number of IT projects at the same time involving the same data and sectors, a further challenge was to ensure the incentive solution could be implemented at the right moment in order to correctly interface with BDI's other systems.

The Strategy

CGI gathered and produced a detailed blueprint of BDI's requirements. SAP did not offer a solution precisely suited to BDI's needs, so CGI adapted the SAP retail solution, configuring and enhancing it to accommodate BCI's criteria at approximately one quarter of the cost of other solutions. "The CGI team really took the time and energy to understand our business and to see how we pay our sales reps and what we were trying to accomplish in our various functions," said Jason Jasmins of Bell Canada.

CGI produced a new system to calculate commission and bonuses, as well as a system with which to determine "what-if" scenarios. With this feature, BDI would be able to evaluate the impact of new promotions. The data would also be worked into SAP's data warehousing module to allow for analysis and reporting.

BDI would have the ability to conduct in-depth analysis by comparing the history of certain promotions with current trends. "CGI developed a modeling module that allows me to take scenarios based on history and calculate the anticipated expense of a new plan and the sales needed to offset this expense," continued Jason. "Thanks to CGI, I can now better support my partners in our operations group and corporate retail stores."

CGI also provided BDI with an early release to allow for the calculation of second quarter bonuses for managers. In doing so, the client was provided with an opportunity to work with SAP in smaller segments, which in turn allowed for a more manageable training.

The Technology

  • Database server - SUN E5500, 7 CPUs (400Mhz) and 7GB RAM. Running UNIX (SunOS Ver. 5.6), Oracle 8.0.6 and SAP 4.6C.
  • App1 server (fail-over for DB Server) - SUN E4500, 7 CPUs (400Mhz) and 7GB RAM. Running UNIX (SunOS Ver. 5.6), Oracle 8.0.6 and SAP 4.6C.
  • App2& App3 Server - SUN E4500, 4 CPUs (400Mhz) and 4 GB RAM. Running UNIX (SunOS Ver. 5.6) and SAP 4.6C.
  • BW production system consists of one database/application server.
  • SUN E5500, 4 CPUs (400Mhz) and 4GB RAM. Running UNIX (Solaris 8), Oracle 8.1.7 and BW 2.1C.

The Results

BDI received a powerful, accurate incentive tool that reduces its calculation cycle time by 50% at approximately one quarter of the cost of an off-the-shelf solution. BDI was also able to drastically reduce its dependence on an outside contractor who previously handled the commission process. And, because CGI developed the new system by re-configuring and enhancing a standard SAP solution, the learning curve for BDI employees was kept to a minimum.

"I was particularly impressed with the fact that the CGI professionals were willing to stretch the limits of what could be achieved. They also exhibited a lot of flexibility and foresight to ensure that everything being planned would fit nicely into our existing SAP system. CGI absolutely added value to our business."

Jason Jasmins, Associate Director, Internal Sales Compensation, Bell Distribution Inc.

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