| Press release

New, improved mobile technology at Imperial Tobacco will make the planning and reporting of daily activities easier and more efficient from this month for its 450-strong UK field sales force. The benefits result from a significant upgrade to its Siebel CRM system that has just been successfully completed by its prime IT partner, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young UK plc.

Imperial Tobacco says that the system, based on the CPG (consumer packaged goods) version of Siebel, has already been a significant factor in increasing sales force efficiency over the last two years. The new upgrade will further improve the ability of sales staff to plan their daily routes and their customer call objectives. As a result their retail sector customers will gain an even better level of service, with an even faster response to their specific needs.

The upgrade will also enable sales representatives to focus more strongly on brand positioning at the point-of-sale, an activity regarded as crucial in a market where other forms of marketing are tightly restricted. It is also expected to help Imperial Tobacco in competing against its rivals for market share. The company initially deployed Siebel sales force technology on Fujitsu mobile pen-top computers two years ago, following a consultancy exercise by CGE&Y who also implemented the system and manage it under a long-term outsourcing contract.

Paul Maynes, IT Systems Manager for Imperial Tobacco in the UK, said: ‘Our UK field sales people together make over a million retail sales visits every year, and the Siebel system has given them the technology they need to handle that workload with measurably greater efficiency and productivity, and maximise the effectiveness of every customer visit.
The key to our success was the work done by CGE&Y in studying our needs, configuring the system to precisely meet them, and integrating the application with our existing IT. I am delighted that they are continuing to work with us to take our sales force technology forwards and move us even further ahead of the competition.’

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young also manages a number of other key Imperial Tobacco IT systems - including manufacturing, sales, distribution and finance - from a CGE&Y data centre near Bristol under long-standing outsourcing arrangements that were recently renewed for a further five years to 2008.


Note to Editors
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young is one of the world’s largest providers of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services. The company helps businesses implement growth strategies and leverage technology. The organisation employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide and reported 2003 global revenues of 5.754 billion euros.
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